I may be somewhat biased as somebody who's done standup (on a far smaller scale than the protagonist, but still) and as such a lot of things spoke to...moreI may be somewhat biased as somebody who's done standup (on a far smaller scale than the protagonist, but still) and as such a lot of things spoke to me on a level that I'm not sure if they would someone who hadn't... though I would still recommend they read it.
To my mind, this book does for standup what the movie 'The Wrestler' did for professional wrestling: it takes you behind the scenes of a life a lot of people have preconceived notions about and shows you what it really is, once all the glitz and glamor is stripped away.
But at it's heart, it's a story about a man and his conflicting loves: the job he's passionate about (in spite of how cruel it can be) and the woman that he knows he'll never be able to be with if he continues on his current path: it's a very real dilemma suffered by very real characters.
I cannot imagine possibly being able to recommend this book enough. If you have ANY interest at all in the world of standup, whether as a participant or just as a fan, this is probably the most real an experience as you can get without hopping in a car, hitting the road, and working dive bars in small towns for gas money and a shitty burger. If you like a good love story, Ward Anderson may not be the next Nicholas Sparks but he does know how to make you love these characters and root for everything to work out for them... and even if you don't like either of them, give it a shot. It's that good.(less)
I like Ellen, I really do. As somebody who dabbles in comedy, I also try to read as many books by comedians as I can... but this one pissed me right o...moreI like Ellen, I really do. As somebody who dabbles in comedy, I also try to read as many books by comedians as I can... but this one pissed me right off.
This reeks of "written for the sake of writing it". 98% of it says literally nothing. There's an entire "chapter" where all she does is "make sounds for the audiobook listeners", and another (entitled "The Longest Chapter") that rants for seemingly forever about how long the chapter is and why it's important it be so long... and then the actual point it was all building up to is a two word sentence so innocuously uninteresting it makes watching a snail race sound like edge of your seat entertainment.
If I'd actually paid for this book I would feel profoundly ripped off.
There are a lot of bad books out there, but this is the first one that's actually managed to make me like a person I previously had nothing bad to say about a LOT less.
This is the book equivilent of that old Seinfeld joke: "it's about nothing"... except at least Seinfeld had it's funny moments.(less)
Without a doubt, Sam Harris is one of the best non-fiction writers I've ever read.
His works are succinct, to the point, unabashedly honest (which spea...moreWithout a doubt, Sam Harris is one of the best non-fiction writers I've ever read.
His works are succinct, to the point, unabashedly honest (which speaks to the topic of this book) and typically interspersed with a sense of humor that rivals many professional comedians. He's very well-spoke (or written, in this case) and intelligent - but entertaining at the same time, rather than falling into the trappings of monotony found in a lot of books of similar topics.
As to this particular work, I find it hard to believe it would make any money in hard copy, as it's quite surprisingly short. I was only able to justify the investment when I found the audio book on sale for four dollars and change on Audible.com, and while the position he takes is nothing new or ground breaking, I'm glad I did. As far as somewhat long-form essays on fairly obvious conclusions go, this one is quite thought provoking as it prods into the subtleties of dishonesty - when, if ever, is it okay to lie? What harm are you doing by telling a woman a dress doesn't make her look fat? What are the possible repercussions of the Santa Claus myth? Is the concept of the "surprise party" actually damaging to relationships?
If you have any interest in the topic, or are looking for a quick read, definitely check this out. I'd also advise looking up Sam Harris on Youtube. His speaking engagements and debates are also quite interesting.(less)