What a terrific book! If you deal with comedy in any form.... in print, cartoons, on television,on film, in a sketch troupe, an improv troupe, stand-uWhat a terrific book! If you deal with comedy in any form.... in print, cartoons, on television,on film, in a sketch troupe, an improv troupe, stand-up.... any of these, there is so much to learn here! Some of the best comedy writers around tell you about how they do what they do. Some deep, dark secrets of the craft are revealed here. I'm not kidding... it's like sitting in on 21 amazing Master classes.
My favorite interviews were: Bob Odenkirk, Merrill Marko, Al Jaffee(of MAD magazine "fold-in cover" fame), Larry Gelbart, Stephen Merchant... but, truly, there wasn't one that I didn't enjoy.
So, if you're already doin' funny as your vocation, this will help you be better at your job. Seriously. It will. ...more
Eh, OK, I guess... didn't live up to the hype, in my opinion. The message is very important... but the presentation was lacking.
The premise is an impEh, OK, I guess... didn't live up to the hype, in my opinion. The message is very important... but the presentation was lacking.
The premise is an important one and the idea was worth pursuing, but it's really about the length of a New Yorker article padded out to 80 pages with a wholly unnecessary glossary (could have easily footnoted these) and a bit of a self-congratulatory interview with the authors that takes up a full third of the meager 80 page book. I feel as though they could have written a decent book, had they taken the time, instead this is just kind of a long pamphlet. Hence, my disappointment.
This style of future history based on extrapolation from the present to the future is a rare type of speculative literature, but has been done amazingly well by the author of "Last and First Men" and "Star-maker" ... so, if you aren't satisfied with this very thin polemic on the very worthy subject of the complex of free markets and climate change... but really want to see what a true master can do with this sort of speculative form, then it's time for you to pick up some Olaf Stapledon. ...more
Ms. Pagels has always been both a great inspiration and a fun read for me. Her earlier books "The Gnostic Gospels" and "The Origin of Satan" both profMs. Pagels has always been both a great inspiration and a fun read for me. Her earlier books "The Gnostic Gospels" and "The Origin of Satan" both profoundly influenced my spiritual ideas and actually strengthened that aspect of my being that I choose to call "Faith".
Her works show the canonical and non-canonical early religious texts to be human quests for the divine and the ineffable (very much like my own spiritual questions and reflections) and to not only be human endeavors, but by virtue of that exploration of the most essential humanity, to actually reveal themselves to be more fully universally transcendent.
A slight disappointment for me was that the title was a tad deceiving. I thought that it would be more of an exploration into the sources and composition of the Genesis story.That quibble was quickly forgotten, however when I became enthralled with the actual thesis of the book.
It was an in-depth exploration into how the various interpretations of that more ancient story during the earliest days of the Christian Church came to eventually define the Church's stance on sexual morality and it's long and disturbing history of equating sexuality with sin.
You've got to read it if only to get the bizarre rationale that St. Augustine had to advance the eventually codified doctrine of Original Sin. I don't want to spoil it for you...... other than.... oh, I've got to tell you this..... other than to say that Augustine pretty much defined semen as pure, unsullied, fluid sin.
I loved the characters, and the setting. Very faithful rendering of a community in the Southern Appalachians.
I guess my primary negative criticism woI loved the characters, and the setting. Very faithful rendering of a community in the Southern Appalachians.
I guess my primary negative criticism would be that it tied up too many threads too hastily, and I can't let the two primary protagonists, the sheriff and the preacher's wife, off the hook for being more than criminally negligent towards the two teenage children that they were legally obligated to protect. Also, the story of the mass murdered family, and the story of the two old friends fighting the pollution battle with the paper-mill were so separated that they really didn't ultimately feel like they needed to be in the same book.
But, the characters and settings are so well drawn that I would recommend the book to anyone who's interested in the culture of the Southern Appalachians, and to anyone who's looking to get to know some very interesting, real, and idiosyncratic characters.
Because of the plotting problems, I'm going to call this an entertaining but ultimately unsatisfactorily resolved shaggy dog story. ...more