**spoiler alert** Well I do not really know what i shall think of this read.
On one hand it was pretty funny, the more the closer it came to the great...more**spoiler alert** Well I do not really know what i shall think of this read.
On one hand it was pretty funny, the more the closer it came to the great finale. On the other hand it just managed to be so funny because the whole premise is so completely absurd and the protagonist simply so far out of this world that the book itself verges on the metalevel of societal critique through hyperbole... I guess i liked the snidy world view and jaded stance of "Oliver" towards his parents, because if we're honest that's much like a middle-aged adult tends to see the world (Who can keep the same "heroes" from age five to age fifty? Fathers included). The same ideas and opinions put in the mouth of a pre-teen ought to be hilarious by themselves. Only, they aren't. Not always at least, because especially at the beginning it's a bit of intimating to see a seventh-grader talk like Blofeld (from the Bond universe) and make decisions like any other cinematic or literary supervillain does on a day-to-day base.
I came to enjoy the level of organisation that shone through every new revelation, secret compartments in school toilets, secret lifts to his supervillain lairs, secret bodyguards spread throughout the general public... all meant to make the daily life of Oliver Watson as pleasant as possible while he juggles the tasks both his schoollife and the steering of the big multi national multi billion dollar conglomerate of companies he owns pose on him. Being a fat and somewhat not too social kid in middle school doesn#t bother him as school is boring for his criminally ingenious brain and friends or family moot sentiments for the third richest being in the world... but deep inside something still craves for the affection of his despised mum, and the appreciation of his ridiculed father... So he goes on a campaign to get elected class president. And the chaos begins.
Outside of the text the book is beautifully made, with a lot of photographs used to illustrate the plot and they somewhat "ground" the bizarre story in suburban normality. Combined with the rather largish fontsize chosen this means the actual text is quickly consumed once you get in the flow. And it has a bit of a diary feeling to it with the short chapters and "what i did today" contents of the narration... overall i did find a lot to enjoy with the book and a lot that left me a unfazed. So i can neither say that i'd recommend the reading experience for others nor would i absolutely dissuade you from the buy. You'll just have to find out for yourself if this is your kind of humor/metalevel societal commentary or not.(less)
**spoiler alert** I'm sorry... i know i should never buy books just because they sound funny and are incredibly cheap so even when they're not too lov...more**spoiler alert** I'm sorry... i know i should never buy books just because they sound funny and are incredibly cheap so even when they're not too lovely i'd still have not paid much for the experience. That's a deadsure receipt to end up with a book like this whose blurb or recommendations sound like a lot of fun, but which in itself is basically good for "Fremdschämen" (that's the german word for this wonderful state of mind where you can suffer from being embarassed in somebody else's stead for them and yourself alike).
It's not really my kind of book to read about the growing up of a female nonconformatist tomboy told around the instances and steps on the way to overcome her homegrown and school improved ignorance about everything anatomical and sexual... Yes, there is some humor in disastrous first kiss experiences or clumsy experimenting with tampons, but does that honestly carry a book over 200 pages? It's a bit like watching an endless four or five hour long slideshow of childhood pictures for a person you do neither know enough to be interested in nor are sure you'd want to get to know after the experience. It's just so ... strange to look into foreign social circles and the depressing blandness of growing up in the eighties. The common motive of all the little stories (puberty, growing up and sex) SHOULD be enticing enough to make it interesting, but even the "scandalous" moments are just somewhat 'meh' instead of completelly captivating and thrilling.
Maybe it really depends on who writes a story about his/her life's little sins and secrets... i've come to see that a somewhat average girl from the eighties is just not the type of author that can hold my attention and enthusiasm for a whole book. Not even the style of language is anything extraordinary, it all comes down to average, bland, grey and tasteless... nothing to get excited about. The average reader probably will have annecdotes with way more pep and bite to them than this whole nifty "book". Just go and phone with some of your childhood friends and you'll probably have more thrill than after reading this. (less)
Well, well, well... I still absolutely adore the great artist, cynic and atheist that is Penn Jillette. This book was very "him"ish and i sometimes ev...moreWell, well, well... I still absolutely adore the great artist, cynic and atheist that is Penn Jillette. This book was very "him"ish and i sometimes even could hear his very distinct, raspy, pleasant bigmannish voice telling the annecdotes about his life and the hilarious things that have happened to him throughout it... In that aspect there's nothing wrong with this book. It's pure Penn and does breathe his style, his mannerisms, his showmanship.
But that's sadly not the only thing that makes this book itself... First of all there's the title and solicitation text which "drove" me to buy the ebook... and it's not really about his atheism and how it influences his every day life... that's only one or two of the parts that make up this autobiographical confession, intermixed with very much the same kind of other bits and pieces from four decades of a rollercoaster personal and professional life that already made up "God, No". And that simple fact is what really angers me... why did this book need to be published at all? Why not put all together as ONE volume "God no, the life confessions of Penn Jillette" and be done with it? None of the volumes is long enough to really burst any page limits and honestly i don't like to be milked for several volumes when i'd been promissed the whole thing with the first book already.
So it's a bit of disillusioned frustration about being ripped of for making two books out of a single (great) autobiography for a truly freaked out life in and out of the showbusiness and a bit of not really been that interested in getting to know ALL the dirty secrets of his life when the title and solicitation alleged to a more essaish kind of book abuot atheism and more general things that takes lots from my enjoyment of many of the chapters dealing with really inconceivable things happening to this great man. Maybe i'm not open minded enough, maybe i'm just petty, but that#s just the way it is. I would have enjoyed this way more if it hadn't been marketed the way it was... and i'd bought it knowing about it's nature instead of feeling a bit of deceived by a large sleight of hand of his publishers.
If you WANT to read a biographical collection of truly inspiring life situations and how they changed or sometimes even created his beliefs, his way to react to life then this is exactly right for you. Just don't follow my lead and expect something different out of EDIAAH!(less)
An interesting mix between an atheist manifesto an autobiography and a political reckoning with the world of today. I've been a fan of Penn and Teller...moreAn interesting mix between an atheist manifesto an autobiography and a political reckoning with the world of today. I've been a fan of Penn and Teller for some years now and this book once again shows the reasons. Penn is a sharp analyst of human flaws and strings an enjoyable tale around these snipish puns against himself and others.
And boy, did this guy have a crazy life! If you know P&T Bullshit! then you may recognize the attitude. But the history behind it is a thing worth reading all by itself. And once again a book manages to put up the question how anybody could possibly be a believer, when doubting and finding other truths than in old fairy tales from middle eastern countries is SO easy.(less)
I like the stile of Mr Pispers and this collection samples some of the best of his elder texts and some of the more progressive "post 9/11" pieces fro...moreI like the stile of Mr Pispers and this collection samples some of the best of his elder texts and some of the more progressive "post 9/11" pieces from his stage programm. If you know his current things you might recognize quite a bit from here, but that's not too bad as many other things are included and those he still repeats are some of the best.(less)
A well rounded autobiography of close to two decades of political satire with many prime examples of Schramm's stage and television work showing exact...moreA well rounded autobiography of close to two decades of political satire with many prime examples of Schramm's stage and television work showing exactly why i like the man so much. He just tells the naked hard and uncomfortable truth. And we still find it funny how he does so.
Not too much new in here, but for everyone who likes Schramm or his stage personalities Dombrowsky, Oberstleutnant von Sanftleben or Social Democrat August this is a fun read and an opportunity for quite some nostalgia.(less)
Nuhr bleibt Nuhr. Verspielt, intellektuell, um die Ecke gedacht und doch immer einen Moment Zuhören wert. Ich weiss zwar nicht, weshalb das Buch unbedi...moreNuhr bleibt Nuhr. Verspielt, intellektuell, um die Ecke gedacht und doch immer einen Moment Zuhören wert. Ich weiss zwar nicht, weshalb das Buch unbedingt ein Ratgeber werden musste, aber auch als Pseudo Weisheitenbuch landet dieses Werk mitten drin im Werkkatalog des rührigen Comedians/Kabarettisten. Wenn es auch vielleicht keinem aktuellen Bühnenprogramm entspricht und nur marginale Ähnlichkeiten zu den diversen reise- und weltbetrachtungssendungen von Dieter nuhr hat, ist es doch vom Ton her unverkennbar "seins" und damit sehr geniessenswert.(less)
gewohnt souverän und lustig, aber auch mit einer kräftigen Portion Selbstironie berichtet Michl hier von den Veränderungen, die mit Familienmitglied N...moregewohnt souverän und lustig, aber auch mit einer kräftigen Portion Selbstironie berichtet Michl hier von den Veränderungen, die mit Familienmitglied Nr 3 in sein Leben getreten sind.
Auch für AK-Hasser und Nichteltern absolut empfehlenswert. Ich bin schon gespannt darauf, wie das gleichnamige Bühnenprogramm sich wohl vom geschriebenen Wort unterscheidet.(less)