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Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  11,922 ratings  ·  865 reviews
The New York Times bestseller

One of America’s most original and biting comic satirists, Denis Leary takes on all the poseurs, politicians, and pop culture icons who have sucked in public for far too long. Sparing no one, Leary zeroes in on the ridiculous wherever he finds it—his Irish Catholic upbringing, the folly of celebrity, the pressures of family life, and the great
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 27th 2009 by Plume (first published November 4th 2008)
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Many of my friends were curious about this book and asked me if Leary comes across like an a-hole in it. I assume they’re asking because he generally has a dark, angry style of comedy and his stand up routines contain a lot of yelling and ranting. My answer is no. Providing that is, you keep an open mind, are able to laugh at yourself and check your politically correctness at the door. Leary just states it like it is and tells a little truth about the sucky side in all of us.

I laughed while read
Offensive, rude, acid tongued. That’s when he’s in a good mood. And that’s exactly why I love reading this book. I love Dennis’ relentlessly un-pc view of life. His parodies. His exaggerated views. His acerbic, rapier wit. This book showcases his slaying of victimhood and the self-absorbed posers who invade his world by living in it. By un-pc, I mean he tells it exactly the way things are. The truth hurts, and most people can’t handle it. He paints the script with just enough exaggeration and ma ...more
You know, I usually find Leary's comedy to be pretty humorous and thought that would translate well into his writing. Not so much. I read about 50-60 pages and barely chuckled once. The material was dated and stale, stuff you've undoubtedly heard a million times before (All families are dysfunctional? Really? Get out!). I'm loathe to put down a book I haven't finished, seriously, (see my review of The Meaning of Night if you don't believe me), but this just wasn't worth it. The jacket's pull-out ...more
I still have 80 pages left, but I can already tell this isn't gonna get any better. I'm not that familiar with Leary, but I'm pretty sure he's more talented than this book. It's a rant-fest, which is fine, except the topics he chooses are all TIRED TIRED TIRED. I'm talking Anna Nicole, Lewinskygate, "A Million Little Pieces," Child Stars Gone Bad, the guy who sued McDonald's when he spilled coffee on himself, etc. PETA wouldn't even have to hire a lawyer to get Leary convicted for the relentless ...more
I'm sure this is book is offensive to many, but I found it honest and laugh-out-loud hilarious!
“Why We Suck” is an apt title for a book that really truly sucks. I was a fan of Denis Leary's comedy when he first became popular in the early to mid-nineties, so I expected this to be a fun read filled with his trademark humour, sarcasm, and offensive observations. Not only is it not funny, but it doesn't even deliver the promised offensiveness or anything remotely witty. Unfortunately this book is undeniable proof that he has completely and totally jumped the shark.

In the early chapters of “W
Adam Floridia
Denis Leary’s expletive-ridden rants have always made me laugh.

I just wanted to get that out there before I discuss how awful the book is. It’s bad. Really bad. Stand-up comedy does not translate well into writing (I think that is the reason for my dissatisfaction with Colbert’s book, too). The difference between oral comedy and comedy in the written form is that an author needs to be able to write. Leary’s title alone mocks the “stupid”; ironically he doesn’t craft a grammatically correct para
After telling a friend that I'd just finished reading two books with heavy, emotional subjects, she suggested I read this. The book claims to be offensive to everyone at some point. That alone made me laugh. Life is serious but we've all gotten way too easily offended and need to see ourselves in a totally different way.....even those parts of us that aren't so great and especially those parts that we think are the absolute best. Why? Because they aren't.

Leary manages to simply write things tha
I mean with chapters devoted to Anna Nicole Smith, the Church and Republicans I was really waiting for a timely paragraph or two about the quality of food on airplanes. Or what part of the chicken the McNugget came from. Leary used to be really funny, now he just seems to be cashing cheques and trying to prove he belongs with the cool kids. Despite it's title, this book had no unifying theory and only took shots at the most obvious of targets while never taking on the controversial (the autism k ...more
Dear god, this is the worst book I've read in a long, long while. I got it for Christmas, and even though it looked stupid I thought it might be funny. I did once like Denis Leary, way back in the MTV days, and in the movie the Ref. Anyway, the central thesis of the book seems to be that women should not work, and only stay home with kids and do womanly things. So yeah, right up my alley.
You start out thinking he's pretty funny and nodding in agreement at the points he makes, but after a few minutes, his point is beaten into your head and he just keeps pounding away until he ends up giving you a headache. He's like the guy who carries the joke too far.
Eh. I'm not sure who his audience is; he's famous and rich, but I think he thinks of his peers as "guys from the neighborhood" and thus he goes to some lengths to gently explain the relative importance of both the Atlantic Monthly and Ploughshares, as well as the significance of John Ashbery, clearly assuming his assumed "peers" know nothing of them. Yet he also toots his own horn about being one of the youngest writers ever to appear in Ploughshares and refers to his own television program as c ...more
Hey, guess what? Denis Leary is angry! Who knew? I usually find his cynicism and his acerbic wit hit-or-miss, anyway, and, I'll admit, much of what he writes here sounds like much of what I think to myself often (or say out loud if I'm drunk). But people don't usually find it funny when I do nothing but bitch, complain, and ridicule people, so it's hard to find it funny when he does it even though he's famous. Still, it has its moments when taken in small doses; Leary proves to be funny for only ...more
Let me start off by saying that I find Denis Leary amusing (usually) in his comedy. Sometimes, though, it seems he is trying to hard, and that definitely translates in this book. He may not be fat, lazy or stupid, but he is definitely LOUD. Some of his points were funny, while others were redundant & stereotypical. I would have given it maybe a 3 or 3.5, but his chapter on Autism is absolutely appalling! I am not someone who is easily offended at all, and I will even find topics totally oppo ...more
If you like No Cure for Cancer, if you like Denis Leary, if you like politically incorrect but often accurate assessments, if you just plain want a good time, you'll love this book. If you think that races and genders and the obese and the children of the world need to be handled with kid gloves, you won't. And that's just too damned bad for you.

I care about the world and (occasionally) the people in it. I'm doing my bit to make it a better place. But sometimes I get sick & tired about hear
Dennis Leary is best known for his roles in the films Wag the Dog, The Thomas Crown Affair, and The Ref, among others. He now presents, Why We Suck: A feel good guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid, a book most appropriately classified as a 240-page rant.

Although the subheading promises a "feel good guide," Leary's material in no way nurtures the fat, loud, lazy, stupid Americans he assumes to comprise his audience. Chapter by chapter Leary essentially scolds his readers for who we are, w
Dennis Leary - Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy, and Stupid

So let me preface this with I love Dennis Leary. I love Rescue Me. I love when he was on MTV talking about hooking up with Cindy Crawford in the bathtub in 1990. But what I don't love - is this book.

He says many things that I do not agree with. The biggest one is:

If you can afford to live a good life and have only 1 parent work, and both work, then you are ridiculously selfish and self centered and a terrible par
Did i love this book!!! YES!!! Denis Leary is EXACTLY my type of person. I was laughing out loud for most of this book. I would love to be as outspoken as he is, i am probably not far from it. Defnitely not everyone's cup of tea, but if you love honesty, you will love it. Just an easy read with loads of laughs. Long live Denis Leary!!
Why does this book suck ? If I could give it negative stars, I would. You will learn ABSOLUTELY NOTHING from this book, and have a bad time doing it. It isn't because he is "daring" and "outspoken". No, it's just because he isn't funny. In one of his prefaces, he challenges the reader to put the book down, effectively saying that we can't handle it. That's good advice, but not for the reason given.

I expected (hoped) for a cross between Dennis Miller and George Carlin. I got nothing that I couldn
Apr 12, 2009 ConnieK rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to ConnieK by: Frank, Jean
The only thing I dislike about this book is its title. It's entertaining, intelligent, a quick read, and hilariously funny - even in chapters where I disagree with his opinions. It's even - can't believe I'm saying this about a book with this title - touching, especially the ending. Leary obviously adores his wife, family, and especially his mother - although all must have wanted to strangle him when they read what he wrote. Didn't know a thing about this guy before reading this book, but am cer ...more
Wes Young
Typical rant-like tome akin to his stand-up, 'Why We Suck' brings to mind George Carlin without the intelligence or humor and an Irish-Catholic slant. The book is less about why americans suck than what about our culture bothers Denis Leary. This book also has a lot of autobiographical stuff in case you care about why Denis is the way he is. Read it if you are in prison and have a lot of time to kill, or are a masochist
Tremayne  Funchers
Denis Leary or 'Dr.' Denis Leary as he states himself has written a satirical masterpiece. The Doctor uses his sarcastic wit to ask the true questions Americans do not want to ask themselves. Offensive , racist, and sexist Leary uses his offensive nature to insult you enough to force you to think about the real issues in America.(Side note it's wicked hilarious) One cannot push the idea that the obese , politicians and George Bush are America's major problems more than Leary. The Dr either makes ...more
loved his rants! the parts on parents, nicknames, Oprah and other celebs, colors were my favorites and I laughed aloud. Quick, easy read especially when you start reading it like he's doing his standup.
This was a hard book to rate because half of it was excellent and half of it was lame. I give Leary a lot of credit, though, because books written by sand-up comedians hardly ever pan out very well (the only exception that immediately comes to mind is Steve Martin's PURE DRIVEL). Jokes just don't go over as well on paper without the physical aspects of the comedian's delivery. Also, I usually don't care for very coarse, vulgar comedians, but Leary's material thankfully doesn't rely on shock valu ...more
Okay, so Viking decided to forgo all forms of grammar in order to let Leary's voice (and by "voice" I mean "rant") shine through. Who needs periods, commas, colons or ellipses when you're laughing so hard you almost choke on your own spit?

Sure, he does hold the belief and pushes the fact down my throat that I should, according to him, be in the kitchen right now making my husband a sandwich while gearing myself up to: fold the children's laundry, teaching little Timmy how to read, planning a sp
This book devoted only about 25% of itself to the topic suggested in the title (mainly how North Americans are obsessed with celebrity, food, and are, in large part, stupid). He also does his own take on the weary subject of how the male and female brains operate differently. I've seen and heard comedians tackle that exact subject so many times I was a little disappointed to see it trotted out again. The other 75% was really a memoir of Leary's life as a child of Irish immigrants in Boston. Lear ...more
Bob Kublawi
I have been a big fan of Denis Leary for a long time now. His two comedy albums are priceless. I think my favorite bit is about "coffee-flavored coffee", which he reviews again in this book. His stand-up act is high-energy, loud and hysterically funny.

Leary's comedy has always been a commentary on the absurdity of what goes on all around us. There is an honesty to what Leary has to say because he is not afraid to lampoon himself and his family to help throw light on just what he is trying to say
The other reviews hit all the high points here--it's more of the same from Leary; it's better spoken than read; it's a lot of rant rant rant without a lot of actual commentary. Still, it was an entertaining enough listen. I don't agree with a lot of what he said, but I can see where he's coming from on most of it.

I was curious about this after I saw him interviewed on The Daily Show, and Jon Stewart asked about the "autism isn't real" debacle. Leary clarified that he wasn't saying "autism is com
If you like Denis Leary's ranting comedic style, you'll enjoy this book. I could practically hear his voice in my head as I was reading. Most surprising, perhaps, was the underlying tenderness throughout, especially in the stories about his parents, his brother, his wife & kids. The book isn't exactly a memoir, but certain chapters read like one, and added depth to what otherwise might have been a superficial comedic romp.

Dr. Leary and I hold similar opinions about many things. For example:

The hubby and I listened to this audiobook on a long car trip. It's not, like, my favorite book ever, but we laughed and it passed the time. Thankfully, it was less harsh than I expected, and had a surprising amount of memoir woven in (his stories about his Irish family, particularly his mother, are hilarious). If you can't tell from the title, the thesis holding these stories and essays together is something along the lines of "America ain't what it used to be, folks." He tackles everything fro ...more
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Denis Colin Leary (born August 18, 1957) is a Golden Globe- and Emmy Award-nominated American actor, comedian, writer and director. He is known for his often angry comedic style, and his chain smoking. Leary is currently the star and co-creator of the television show Rescue Me.
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“Every job has parts of it that are a giant pain in the ass - whether you carry a penis or a purse.” 17 likes
“Loud, stupid and overeating will suffice as long as we also have the funny, the fierce and the intellectual” 14 likes
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