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Zombie Spaceship Wasteland

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  8,455 Ratings  ·  965 Reviews
Prepare yourself for a journey through the world of Patton Oswalt, one of the most creative, insightful, and hysterical voices on the entertainment scene today. Widely known for his roles in the films Big Fan and Ratatouille, as well as the television hit The King of Queens, Patton Oswalt—a staple of Comedy Central—has been amusing audiences for decades. Now, with Zombie S ...more
ebook, NOOK Book, 208 pages
Published January 4th 2011 by Scribner
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Kemper
Jan 05, 2011 Kemper rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, biography, 2011
I relate to comedian Patton Oswalt to an almost scary degree. We’re about the same age, we both grew up as nerdy sci-fi/comic fans in areas where there was absolutely nothing cool going on, and we both seem to share a bleak outlook when it comes to people. I loved his routine Text from his My Weakness Is Strong comedy album so much that my wife got a specially made coffee cup for me with the words I HATE on one side and a cartoon of a giant robot destroying a city on the other.*

*(I looked for a
...more
Lyn
Aug 27, 2011 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is hilarious.

And like the old saying, “It’s funny because it’s true” this is SO funny because it rings true. Patton Oswalt writes about growing up in the eighties, so there’s a connection – but specifically about growing up in the eighties, IN THE SUBURBS and being a “broke ass white kid”.

He and his cheap beer guzzling friends listened to The Doors and Zeppelin and then REM and U2, and it’s just funny. This is written as a series of loosely connected vignettes, all funny, some also i
...more
Krok Zero
Oct 04, 2010 Krok Zero rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: winter-10-to-11
Hmm, is it time to write a review of Patton Oswalt's book? I expected to put the book down upon finishing it and eagerly race to Goodreads to pen a five-star hosannah extolling the multifaceted brilliance of Mr. Oswalt's first official literary endeavor, but the reality is that I was slightly disappointed by the totality of the (occasionally masterful, always amusing) text. So this review is a little more muted in its enthusiasm than the one I hoped to write but you'd still be crazy not to read ...more
Harmony Cox
On the back of this book, there is a blurb from Dave Eggers. He says that this is the book that finally proves Patton Oswalt is a writer as well as a comedian. This will go down in history as one of the many, many things that Dave Eggers is wrong about.

I am a lightweight comedy nerd, and I have nothing but respect for Patton Oswalt. He's definitely one of the best established comics working today. But stand-up comedy is a way, way different art form then writing. The idea behind this book was ap
...more
Mark Russell
I've had numerous friends recommend this book to me, and apparently they know me pretty well, because I loved it and thought it was hilarious from beginning to end.

If I might digress for a brief rant, however (and this is nothing against Patton Oswalt or this book), I just want to lodge a complaint to no one in particular about the sheer amount of energy writers of my generation spend analyzing the pop culture of our youth. About 70% of this book is about legos, Dungeons & Dragons, movie tro
...more
Alice
Mar 29, 2011 Alice rated it it was ok
Shelves: pop-culture
I can't believe how disappointed I am in this book. I love Patton Oswalt. He is one of my favorite comedians and I usually find him witty, insightful and just plain hilarious. Usually when he goes off on a tangent, he pulls it right back to his original point in a clever and humorous manner. I don't know what went wrong with this book. I think he tried to cram too many styles into a slim volume. Did he want to write a straight-up memoir? Did he want to write a few "comedic riffs"? OK, either of ...more
Nicholas Karpuk
I still have a book to read by Tom Lennon and Ben Garant, but after that I may halt my purchases of books by comedians I enjoy.

Patton Oswalt seemed like a safer bet compared to most comedians. He seemed so narrative in his stand up that I thought it might be safe to delve into his writing. Unlike Eugene Mirman, whose abstract style was wretched for long-form work, I thought Patton could hold it together.

Well, yes and no.

This book does indeed contain chapters that form a complete thought. The n
...more
Erica
This was a particularly fun read for me because I got to listen to it with my kidnapping victim! We laughed, we laughed some more, we "awww"ed a few times, and it gave us plenty of good quotes.

Oswalt is great at reading his own stuff. His delivery is perfect, his voices are fun, and I could see his facial expressions in my mind because I watch too much of this guy and really need to stop being such a stalker (hahaha! Who am I even trying to kid? I will never stop)

This one's light, humorous, snar
...more
Joe
Aug 25, 2013 Joe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened-to
"I can re-remember things to suit my regret." - Patton Oswalt

What a fantastic antidote to the bad taste that "Dad is Fat" left in my literary mouth. This is exactly what I was looking for from Patton Oswalt. This is another comedian who I'm a huge fan of, I've seen all his specials, all his movies and TV appearances...and this book was something entirely new and original. It wasn't just a retread of stand-up he's done before. Rather, it was a personal, touching, hilarious and heart-breaking jour
...more
Michael
A kind of yard sale of essays and reminiscences, most of which are entertaining. As opposed to witless drivel published by other comics (looking at you, Chelsea Handler, though it pains me), Oswalt isn't just making gags in this book. (Actually, the gag bits are the worst bits of the book.) Instead, he indulges in a fair bit of autobiography that creates a Portrait of the Stand-Up As a Young Man. He played D&D, was a science-fiction devotee, watched tons of bad movies and worked in suburban ...more
Chris
May 28, 2011 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I apologize ahead of time for not even trying to aim at Point B, or even starting from Point A. Comedy and terror and autobiography and comics and literature—they’re all the same thing.

To me.


I hereby officially nominate Patton Oswalt as the spokesperson for the Generation X nerd. And would like to perhaps hire him as my personal ambassador to the world. He’s a couple of years older than I am, but we definitely share similar formative experiences and outlooks. Except he’s funnier, more articulate
...more
Jake
Feb 17, 2011 Jake rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Patton Oswalt is one of my two favorite comedians (right up there with Louis CK) and one of the funniest creations of all time. His book...is not.

Half memoir and half comedy skit chapters SOUNDS like a good time. But the comedy chapters feel like bits that couldn't make it into his stand-up act and the memoir parts focus mostly on his younger, pre-comedian D&D days. It's not terrible by any stretch. I just hoped for more behind-the-scenes as a struggling comedian and less disgruntled middle-
...more
Serena.. Sery-ously?
Ok, questa volta l'ho terminato.
Tanta tanta noia e la consapevolezza di non avere la minima idea di quanto Oswalt stia dicendo nel 90% dei casi.
E poi secondo me parte per la tangente come pochi!

Not my cup of tea (Abbandonato al 23% senza rimpianti, ma io e Patton ci siamo lasciati da buoni amici).

Non solo non ho la minima idea di chi sia Patton Oswalt (Lo so, io a malapena so accendere il decoder della tv, figuriamoci guardarla).. Ma per i primi due capitoli mi ha parlato di cose/persone/show ch
...more
Brandon
Jan 17, 2011 Brandon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finished this at the gym while lamenting that I was riding the stationary bike instead of running.

Patton Oswalt's first book differs from most comedian books. For the most part, I've stopped buying comedian books because they are inevitably disappointing. If I like a comedian enough to follow their work to the point that I want to purchase their book, I am usually pretty familiar with their material. Unfortunately, my experience has shown that comedian books, especially initial comedian books,
...more
Clare Shaffer
If you are looking for a book with a clear, concise plot and manageable characters, you might want to look elsewhere. Zombie Spaceship Wasteland, though an extremely clever, funny book, doesn't seem to have any clear plot line or story. Instead, it is a mishmash of different stories from the narrator's, stand-up comedian Patton Oswalt,life. Intermingled in these memoirs are random little bits of comedy routines that he has performed in the past, which also take on the persona of yet another life ...more
Jon
Nov 08, 2011 Jon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to really get interested in a person that starts a biographical section in a book by sharing how he used to steal from his bosses, and clearly, clearly, feels no shame about it. I should also point out that it isn't played for laughs, nor is there any comeuppance that occurs or is even suggested. No, it's just matter of fact.

At times I laughed (though extremely rarely, barely got through the whole fake greeting card section), but generally I flipped pages waiting for something interes
...more
Jeremy
Jan 07, 2011 Jeremy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First, the bad: it's *incredibly* short; some of the bits, while perhaps conceptually interesting - for example, an epic poem about his favorite D&D character - don't really work; it's not all that funny.

Now, the good: It's not all that funny, but it's not necessarily *supposed* to be all that funny. Look, if you're a huge fan of Patton Oswalt's stand-up comedy and you see that he's writing a book called "Zombie Spaceship Wasteland", you would expect that it's going to be hilarious. If you w
...more
Abe Something
Feb 23, 2014 Abe Something rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Other books Patton's book led me to:

Nightmare Alley - William Lindsay Gresham
The Horizontal Man - Helen Eustis
The Daughter of Time - Josephine Tey
Carioca Fletch - Gregory Mcdonald
The Hawkline Monster - Richard Brautigan
At the Mountains of Madness - H. P. Lovecraft
The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World - Harlan Ellison
The Howling - Gary Brandner

This book is chock full of references that I look forward to digging into. I knew to start keeping track of the gems Patton was dropping w
...more
Ariel Cummins
I think I should just stop reading books by comedians I like. After being burned by lukewarm feelings (MIXED METAPHOR IN YOUR FACE!) about Bossypants, I still had hope that Patton Oswalt, king of the Nerd Comedians, would be able to deliver a funny and coherent memoir. And yet, here I am, summing up this book with the same word I used to describe Fey's -- meh.

Oswalt's book definitely has some hilarious moments, and I really enjoyed the times when he talked about ACTUAL events in his life. It wa
...more
Kate Woods Walker
Feb 22, 2011 Kate Woods Walker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a fan, and have been ever since first hearing Patton Oswalt's intelligent comedy in a late nineties HBO comedy special. Now I'm a bigger fan.

Zombie Spaceship Wasteland was enjoyable start to finish, but I particularly enjoyed "Punch Up Notes," "Wines by the Glass" and "Mary C. Runfola Explains Her Gifts." Oswalt displays such a wide range of literary gifts, it's possible to imagine him among the National Lampoon writers of the 1970s, sitting at the Algonquin Round Table or even included in s
...more
Catherine
Feb 01, 2011 Catherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Laughed out loud at 7:15 in the morning as I sat by myself with this book and a bowl of raisin bran.* "The room smells like a hot, wet hat. The coffee tastes like pants," and "what's more rock and roll than a wolf and a cannon that's about to shoot?" Thank you, horrible Reed and grandma. Somehow you were key ingredients in the marvelous layer cake that is Patton Oswalt.

That's not to say that this book is one-liner, zinger-type funny. That'd be missing the point. Mostly, it's a warm fuzzy feeling
...more
Gordon
Apr 18, 2013 Gordon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love his comedy, and appreciate his thinking-man's approach. He's certainly literate enough to be authoring books, but this read like some contractual obligation, a hodgepodge of disparate material collected for a book release, rather than the labor of love he repeatedly mentions dreaming of. Reminded me a bit of my own comedy book I abandoned ten years ago when I decided to just post those brain droppings on a blog instead. The standup anecdotes are entertaining, as is the Neill Cumpston stuf ...more
Mark N.
I'm a huge Patton fan (very bummed to hear about his wife passing this year). It's a fun romp into his past. I used to work at a movie theater too, so the nostalgia factor was pretty huge for me. I would place this somewhere between "Bossypants" and "Yes Please".

Reading Silver Screen Fiend now.
kimberly
well, i'm done.

the parts that were "supposed" to be funny? totally not funny.

but the musing parts, the parts where he just rambles and talks about his life? LOVED.

TheLongWait
3.5/5
Funny, quick and what I expected. But totally not in a bad way. I have long been a fan of Patton Oswalt and have all of his albums. He's brilliant and that transfers to the page well.
Diana
Jan 22, 2017 Diana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have a deep and abiding love for Patton Oswalt. I'll just be here, waiting for him to write another book... :)
Cassie
I was surprised by this one. I kept trying to read the book in Patton's voice, and I had difficulty doing so. It doesn't read like one of his stand up routines, which is what I was expecting. Instead, it's much more introverted and optimistic. I was on board for cynicism and I got some transformative existentialism instead. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, just not what I was anticipating. The chapters that are more autobiographical were my favorites, with their raw honesty. The parody chapt ...more
Alan
Apr 05, 2012 Alan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any of the three
Recommended to Alan by: An awesome title and a high-contrast cover
I thought this book was freakin' awesome, actually... and not just because I think the guy might've been stalking me, back in the 1980s. Oh, not really... but from the "Preface Foreword Intro" on, Patton Oswalt was dropping names and recounting experiences which could easily have come from my own memories of that formative decade. He was in (East) Virginia in the Eighties; I was in West Virginia—not that far away physically, or even culturally. He was voraciously reading sf—much of it in books t ...more
Devin Bruce
When many standup comedians write books, they basically distill their standup into book form. Even some of my favourite comedians are guilty of this: I mean, I love George Carlin, but his books are basically his standup on paper. However, some comedians actually approach a book as its own, distinct kind of writing. And with Zombie Spaceship Wasteland, Patton Oswalt firmly plants himself in the latter camp.

This book is mostly a memoir, Oswalt's recollections of moments from his past that were imp
...more
Benjamin Chandler
Feb 21, 2011 Benjamin Chandler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been thinking some lately about where a person's sense of humor comes from.

This all started when I recently revisited some old episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000. I used to watch the show religiously back in high school. I taped it, shared copies with friends, watched with buddies, and sometimes turned it on trying to share the show with someone in my family. (They tolerated it.) Watching the show now, I was stuck by a few things: 1) It was still funny. 2) I definitely prefer the s
...more
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Patton Oswalt is an American stand-up comedian, writer and actor.
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“If the victories we create in our heads were let loose on reality, the world we know would drown in blazing happiness.” 31 likes
“Zombies can't believe the energy we waste on nonfood pursuits.” 26 likes
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