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A Load of Hooey

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Bob Odenkirk is a legend in the comedy-writing world, winning Emmys and acclaim for his work on Saturday Night Live, Mr. Show with Bob and David, and many other seminal TV shows. This book, his first, is a spleen-bruisingly funny omnibus that ranges from absurdist monologues (“Martin Luther King, Jr’s Worst Speech Ever”) to intentionally bad theater (“Hitler Dinner A Play”); from avant-garde fiction (“Obituary for the Creator of Madlibs”) to free-verse poetry that's funnier and more powerful than the work of Calvin Trillin, Jewel, and Robert Louis Stevenson combined.

Odenkirk's debut resembles nothing so much as a hilarious new sketch comedy show that’s exclusively available as a streaming video for your mind. As Odenkirk himself writes in “The Second Coming of Jesus and Lazarus,” it is a book “to be read aloud to yourself in the voice of Bob Newhart.”

112 pages, Hardcover

First published October 7, 2014

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About the author

Bob Odenkirk

6 books423 followers
Robert John "Bob" Odenkirk (born October 22, 1962) is an American actor, comedian, writer, director, and producer. He is best known for being the co-creator and co-star of the HBO sketch comedy series Mr. Show with Bob and David and for his role as criminal lawyer Saul Goodman on the AMC crime drama series Breaking Bad and its spin-off series Better Call Saul.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Odenkirk worked as a writer for such television shows as Saturday Night Live, Get a Life, The Ben Stiller Show and The Dennis Miller Show. In the mid-1990s, Odenkirk and David Cross created the Emmy-nominated sketch comedy program Mr. Show with Bob and David, which ran for four seasons and ultimately became a cult success.

He has directed three films: Melvin Goes to Dinner (2003), Let's Go to Prison (2006) and The Brothers Solomon (2007).

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5 stars
348 (14%)
4 stars
772 (31%)
3 stars
875 (35%)
2 stars
329 (13%)
1 star
118 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 29 of 323 reviews
Profile Image for Fred.
152 reviews1 follower
February 2, 2015
(in the spirit of "Didn't Work For Me", p.25) First of all, let me say that I'm a HUUUUUUGGEEEE fan of Barb Okiedirk. I've read every one of his books. Literally. This is his one book. So, when everyone in my "book club" said I absolutely "had to" read this "classic", I splurged on a library card and went for it. SPOILER ALERT-IT'S TERRIBLE. Page after page filled with words arranged in sentences then grouped in paragraphs. Each chapter is a different "humorous" (spelling?) story with different characters, and each one only lasts a couple of pages so you never know what's going on or what this "book" is even "about". What was Oden-jerk thinking?? He wasn't! Blah blah blah, a bunch of stuff happens and then there's a comic strip in there somewhere. BIG waste of time. I want my couple of hours back.
PS, I skipped the forward from the Finishing School lady at the beginning of the book the first time, and it turns out you're not supposed to read this book on the toilet, after all. So maybe I need to try again when I'm not on the john and attempt this "recommended" method of reading in a regular chair with good lighting. Yeah, right! The game is on! NO STARS, Odincork.
Profile Image for Mariah Roze.
1,019 reviews921 followers
August 4, 2016
My boyfriend and I started listening to this and got halfway through and stopped. It was boring and not funny :( disappointing because we love comedy books.
Profile Image for Caroline Bertaud.
Author 13 books36 followers
December 13, 2019
Fair warning: in order to fully enjoy this work, you should fit in one of the following categories:
1) You're in love with Bob Odenkirk,
2) You're a fan of Bob Odenkirk’s sense of humor,
and/or 3) You don't take things at face value and you appreciate sarcasm and satire.
Profile Image for R.
66 reviews2 followers
December 9, 2021
Interesting and funny in parts. While I actually laughed on several occasions and like the author as a writer and actor, this may not have been my cup of tea.
Profile Image for ElphaReads.
1,639 reviews27 followers
March 13, 2015
(originally reviewed at elphareads.tumblr.com )

A good book makes you laugh to yourself as you read it. A REALLY good book makes me and my husband stream tears of laughing on the bed as I read it out loud. A LOAD OF HOOEY by Bob Odenkirk is a really good book. So Bob Odenkirk is probably best known for co-creating MR. SHOW WITH BOB AND DAVID with David Cross, and his role as Saul Goodman on BREAKING BAD and BETTER CALL SAUL. All you need to know about him is that he is a very funny guy, and all you need to know about me in relation to him is that I am very much in lust with this guy because of his hilariousness. So imagine how thrilled I was when I found out he had written a book! I

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and then put it on request.

A LOAD OF HOOEY is a collection of random musings, skits, poems, and anecdotes from Bob Odenkirk. From a long soliloquy about Christmas to a ‘free speech’ that the reader can use for ‘any occasion’ to supposed unabridged quotes from some of the greatest minds of all time, Odenkirk strings them all together (and more) and puts them in a neat little package.

And that neat little package is, like I said, very funny for the most part. While there were a couple of clunkers (they can’t all be winners), overall I was laughing in varying degrees as I made my way through this book. It’s mostly incredibly absurd, sometimes absolutely biting, and other times downright whimsical. My utter favorites were the ‘free speech’ essay, the obituary for the creator of mad libs (yes, it does get as absurd as you would imagine), and the expanded quotes that were interspersed throughout the book. And like I said, I had to read a few of the parts out loud for my husband, because I knew this humor was right up his alley. I think that it might come off a little odd to people, but honestly as a fan of MONTY PYTHON I found it absolutely delightful and perfectly madcap. Plus it was a very fast read, and it was a pretty good light read after a heavy book like HOW IT WENT DOWN.

Bob Odenkirk. Dig that guy. I also found out that he co-wrote the Matt Foley Motivational Speaker skit for SNL, so HEY, if that doesn’t get the rest of you I don’t know what will. Go read this book.
Profile Image for Wesley.
250 reviews15 followers
June 19, 2017
My Rating: 4 Saul Goodmans (It's all good, man)
Audio sktch comedy. funny stuff.
105 reviews
May 29, 2018
3.5☆ quick read, pretty funny stuff. If you like absurdity there's plenty to enjoy. I laughed out loud at one part about chocolate cake. This book was published in 2014, but I couldn't help thinking of "the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake you've ever seen."
Profile Image for Mike.
82 reviews1 follower
March 31, 2018
Bob Odenkirk was born to write comedy. He is, in my opinion, one of the best comedy writers who ever lived. This book is just more proof of this. The short essays and stories in this book are so silly and outlandish, I was audibly laughing through most of it. However, I must highly highly highly recommend you go with the audiobook on this one. Not only does Bob read this book, but he also gets some of his comedian friends from Mr. Show, like Paul F Tompkins and David Cross, to read as well. It warmed my heart hearing these guys work together again. Read this book! It’s great!
Profile Image for Allen.
333 reviews11 followers
January 17, 2022
This was a very quick read. No, I did not read it on the toilet. The book clearly states not to do that. There are very funny quotes, and sorta funny babbling. There is a speech anyone can and should use.

Anyway I give this tiny book 2 stars as I chuckled a few times.

I suggest waiting until his next book out March 2022 and reading that, unless someone leaves this book in a bathroom and you have nothing else to read.
Profile Image for Leah Weyandt.
81 reviews2 followers
January 9, 2021
All silliness and a well-needed diversion in these difficult times.

“I thought the bush was on fire, but in a moment I heard a rustling, then a bright light pierced the sky above and a soft wind fluttered as though the universe had whiffled a fart right in my face—a gentle poot, pleasant of smell, a waffle of heaven’s intestinal deliverance.”
Profile Image for Lauren.
19 reviews
January 28, 2015
Quick, easy book I actually laughed out loud while reading. Which really, hardly ever happens, especially when a book claims to be funny.
Profile Image for Jordan Wright.
19 reviews1 follower
February 4, 2021
This book contains an extremely specific style of comedy that isn’t for everyone. It’s maybe the funniest thing I’ve ever read.
Profile Image for Anne.
551 reviews7 followers
January 2, 2018
This isn't the sort of book I would typically gravitate to, but I received it as a gift. I found the stories to be somewhat repetitive, but I laughed out loud regularly, which is, I think, the point.
Profile Image for C.
398 reviews36 followers
February 13, 2018
A few chuckles, but mostly quite painful. It’s a shame, because I loved Odenkirk’s work in ‘Breaking Bad’.
Profile Image for Rich.
154 reviews9 followers
December 7, 2015
"The bottom ab on the left is harder to explain, but I believe that this ab is simply self-aware. It quivers with tension at all times, even more so when I am supposed to be relaxing, and I believe it is searching for a sense of purpose for itself and no answer is forthcoming. Nothing works this ab like a vacation. The aimless uncertainty, the absence of all deadlines, tightens and sculpts like nothing else. After ten days in Hawaii, this ab looks amazing." -111

The Second Meeting of Jesus and Lazarus: "What's that? If I believe in you I will live forever? So, then I won't die?
Oh, so you're saying 'figuratively' I will live...in some heaven somewhere? What's that like? What happens there?
So it's a sort of limbo place where everyone sings your praises all day and night? Hmm...yeah, well, no, I get why YOU think it's a pretty great place. It sounds...
My dead relatives will be there? Are you trying to make it sound LESS attractive?" -125
Profile Image for John Marszalkowski.
Author 3 books94 followers
March 22, 2019
I love it.

I like how short each chapter is. I like that each chapter is entirely independent. I like that it's funny.
Like✖️3 = Love

How funny, you ask?
Well, I'm going to say it's 4/5 on the laugh-o-meter. It was laugh-out-loud funny when I was at home. However, when I was reading part of it on an airplane, I was able to impose my will to hold in laughs with no sign of chuckling. But I was laughing on the inside. So it's "laugh-out-loud funny," but not "uncontrollable-laughter funny." The temperature is just right.

This book is like a constantly funny version of the types of books I write. Mine, occasionally funny and often true. His, constantly funny and likely entirely fiction. I think I just really like extremely short essays.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys being entertained and especially people who don't enjoy reading traditional novels.
Profile Image for Michael.
155 reviews2 followers
November 6, 2014
This quick read is a combination of witty pieces that remind me of the writings of folks like Woody Allen and Groucho Marx, as there is a little Mr. Show edginess but a lot more whimsical, silly and funny writing. Unsurprisingly, some of the pieces are more in a sketch form -- there is a piece about Paul McCartney playing "Blackbird" for his fellow Beatles for the first time that had me laughing out loud many times. Indeed, Odenkirk's batting average is pretty high. There are a few just okay pieces, but more of them are on par with Lazarus's lesser known second meeting with Jesus and obituary for the man who invented Mad Libs (the concept is obvious, but the execution perfect). I'd be curious is Odenkirk could carry off something more long form.
Profile Image for Bonnie G..
1,293 reviews188 followers
December 23, 2021
Listened to this on a long car ride with my teen. We are both big Odenkirk fans. There were some flashes of brilliance here, but mostly this was just a series of ideas that had not yet been polished or edited. The whole audiobook is less than 3 hours long, and we got a few laughs, but I can't say I am urging anyone to read this.
Profile Image for Susan Howson.
681 reviews28 followers
December 29, 2020
The parts that are funny are very funny and some parts have to be imagined in an extremely clear way because really they are Mr Show sketches.

And also there’s some “wow gay people and trans people aren’t they something else??” that feels a little dated. GenX, you know?
Profile Image for Rachelle.
334 reviews74 followers
August 21, 2021
Winston Churchill-
If you're going through hell, keep going
Bob Odenkirk-
But please stop screaming, it's bad for morale..

This one is odd for sure, but I completely loved every second of it! Odenkirk is a favorite and this one is great for good belly laughs.
Profile Image for Sarah.
791 reviews10 followers
February 28, 2015
Very funny, entertaining, and short audiobook. My favorite piece is the prisoners voting to perform Shakespeare in the Park.
Profile Image for Alex Vaughn.
53 reviews8 followers
July 23, 2021
Bob Odenkirk is one if not the best comedy writer for sketch comedy, and this book showed he is really good at writing stories too as you will see in this book. You will laugh so much the whole time
Profile Image for Dan Fuchs.
36 reviews2 followers
March 20, 2020
In choosing this (audio)book, I purposely looked for something light, as my last two books were "The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead and "Night" by Elie Wiesel, a novel about American Slavery and a memoir about the Holocaust, respectively.

So I needed something light and airy, and this was perfect. Makes a really good audiobook, too, with the voices of Odenkirk, David Cross, Paul F. Tompkins, and others. It reminded me of an early book by Woody Allen that was on my parents' shelves in my childhood home, "Without Feathers." Lots of funny ideas, played out to absurdist dimensions. My favorite was one called "Obit for the Creator of Mad Libs."


“OBIT FOR THE CREATOR OF MAD LIBS On Tuesday, in Canton, Connecticut, a town famous for the stickiness of its boogers, a stinky old man died of a good disease at his home at 345 Rotten Lane. Mr. Preston Wirtz, whose parents, Ida and Goober, ran a small jelly farm, died in his yellowish toilet. Mr. Wirtz was hated in Uzbekistan for the series of wordplay books he created for slippery children, books known far and wide as “Mad Libs,” beloved by hairy grumps and farty grampas alike. These books were never appreciated by tall elves, selling over two per year for one decade. When asked to describe Mr. Wirtz, his jealous wife, wearing nothing but an egg carton and flip-flops, called him “in a nutshell, the most sour-smelling, bacon-licking, pimple-footed crab-apple I have ever known. I will never always miss him and his broken underwear.” Then she cried herself to sleep in her fart-house.”

― Bob Odenkirk, A Load of Hooey
Profile Image for Tina (KIMONO Books).
256 reviews23 followers
October 5, 2018
Worum geht’s?

In diesem Buch gibt Bob Odenkirk, wohl am bekanntesten als Anwalt Saul Goodman in den Serien „Breaking Bad“ und „Better Call Saul“, Kurzgeschichten und Gedichte zum Besten. Vom Plädoyer gegen das Bücherlesen auf der Toilette über eine möglicherweise stattgefundene Begegnung mit Gott bis hin zur schlechtesten Rede, die Martin Luther King Jr. jemals gehalten hat, werden Leser und Leserin kopfüber in einen Humor gestürzt, den es auf unserer Seite des Atlantiks noch viel zu selten gibt. Sinn hat das ganze nicht, das gibt der Autor selbst zu, und soll es auch nicht haben. Außer vielleicht, Dinge und Menschen auf die Schippe zu nehmen, bei denen es man sich eigentlich nie traut und… wildes Gelächter.

Wie hat es mir gefallen?

Im Stile des Kapitels „Hat mich nicht überzeugt“ aus Bobs Buch beginne ich mal mit den Worten: Ich bin ein RIESIGER Fan von Bob und seiner Arbeit, aber dass er ein Buch geschrieben hat, ging voll an mir vorbei! Im Ernst, ich liebe Bob Odenkirk und die Rollen, denen er Leben einhaucht. Nun ein Buch von ihm zu lesen, war wohl das Riskanteste, was ich dieses Jahr getan habe — Götzenverehrung und so. 😀 Der Klappentext lockt, das Cover ebenso, und hach, dieser grüne Seitenschnitt! Doch leider, leider konnte ich mich überhaupt gar nicht mit Bobs Humor identifizieren. Natürlich, an ein paar Stellen habe ich geschmunzelt, doch von den Abschnitten „Berühmte Zitate, ungekürzte Fassung“ (bei denen darum geht, bekannte Zitate humorvoll zu erweitern und zu zeigen, dass das eigentliche Zitat aus dem Kontext gerissen wurde), bei denen gefühlt jedes Zitat um ein „Ach, auch egal“ erweitert wurde, bis hin zu Theaterstücken über Hitler oder professioneller Tattoo-Motiv-Beratung war mir irgendwie viel zu wenig „hihi“. Das „wilde Gelächter“, das mir auf dem Klappentext versprochen wurde, habe ich schmerzlich vermisst. Eingestreut zwischen die Texte sind Cartoons, die irgendwie nichts mit dem Text zu tun haben, sowie ein merkwürdiger, mehrseitiger Comic.

"Der mittlere Bauchmuskel auf der linken Seite […] heißt Terrence. Es ist ein Respekt gebietender Muskel. Er spannt sich jedes Mal, wenn ich einen Artikel über die Erderwärmung lese."

Jedoch muss ich sagen, dass die Sprache und der Schreibstil mir sehr gefallen haben und ich bei der Lektüre von „Jede Menge Mumpitz“ auch Bobs Stimme (bzw. die des Synchronsprechers) im Kopf hatte. (Vielleicht gibt es das Ganze ja demnächst als Hörbuch, gesprochen vom Autor?) Die 174 Seiten waren hin und wieder mit etwas persönlicheren Geschichten gespickt, die mir am meisten gefallen haben und die wohl auch teilweise im New Yorker als Kolumne erschienen sind. Diese etwas weniger albernen Kurzgeschichten waren vom Stil und auch vom Humor her irgendwie etwas komplett anderes, und davon würde ich sehr gerne mehr lesen! Highlights waren „Louvre-Audiotour für Hauseigentümer“, „Mein Waschbrettbauch“ und „Zukunftsvision“. In letzterer Kurzgeschichte gibt es auf der Welt nur noch glutenfreie Lebensmittel und die Menschen leben ein sorgenfreies Leben, da sie nicht mehr umständlich überall nach den Inhaltsstoffen fragen müssen.

„Jede Menge Mumpitz“ ist ein buntes Potpourri und auch, wenn es nicht meinem Humor entspricht, muss man festhalten, dass Bob Odenkirk nicht nur seichte Witzchen vom Stapel lässt, sondern politische Themen sowie Alltägliches mit einer Prise Humor aufarbeitet. Wer Bob mag und sich an ein humoristisches Buch herantrauen möchte, dem kann ich es empfehlen, aber mit diesem Buch habe ich wieder einmal festgestellt, dass Humor nicht universal funktioniert und jeder hier doch seinen eigenen Geschmack mitbringt.
Displaying 1 - 29 of 323 reviews

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