Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “My Custom Van: And 50 Other Mind-Blowing Essays that Will Blow Your Mind All Over Your Face” as Want to Read:
My Custom Van: And 50 Other Mind-Blowing Essays that Will Blow Your Mind All Over Your Face
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

My Custom Van: And 50 Other Mind-Blowing Essays that Will Blow Your Mind All Over Your Face

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  2,409 ratings  ·  284 reviews
Get ready for the read of your life. Never before has a single book combined awesome vans, unicorns, Billy Joel, and erotic fiction in such a potent combination. A writing tour de force? Perhaps. A reading experience that will sear itself into your consciousness like a red-hot branding iron? Without question.

Comedian and basic cable superstar Michael Ian Black unleashes
ebook, 224 pages
Published July 15th 2008 by Gallery Books (first published 2008)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about My Custom Van, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about My Custom Van

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
I bought my husband this book for Father's Day and of course I read it before I gave it to him... It was really funny and a great gift! Everyone will find it enjoyable and humorous :) There are some people who may not really appreciate Michael Ian Black's humor though, and those people are Christians, practicing or not practicing, people who are easily offended, and possibly people who are not easily offended but are open to being offended, people who are either for or against abortion, people w ...more
Michael Ian Black is a guy I know mostly from Sierra Mist commercials and his little quips on VH1's "I Love Pretty Much Everything" shows.

So why on earth did I buy his book? Remainder catalogue, baby.

Overall, this is a pretty good collection of comic essays. In fact, it's sharper and funnier than some I've read by more established (and wealthier) comedians. Just reading the table of contents was enough to provoke a smile. You probably don't even need to read the actual essays. The titles and a
The book was funny, but I did not experience my mind blowing all over my face as was promised by the cover. I think Black tries a little too hard in some of the 'essays'. If someone gives this to you as a gift, read and enjoy, but you don't necessarily need to purchase your own copy.
This is a pretty funny book, but I found that I had to read the essays in shifts. I really enjoyed - sometimes really laughed at - his observations, but I just couldn't read more than a few essays in one sitting without losing a little appreciation for the humor. It's not even that the humor is so much repetitive; it's more that (for the most part) each piece is a work unto itself that has nothing to do with what came before or after it. I think that it might be the really absurdist nature of th ...more
Aug 26, 2008 Emily rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with a sense of humor
Recommended to Emily by: Matt Kuhn
I have been a huge Michael Ian Black fan for a while (minus that weird show he did with those two other guys on VH1). This book does not disappoint if you like complete nonsense humor delivered with unwavering seriousness. For me this was a much-needed, easy breath of fresh air in between One Hundred Years of Solitude and The Feminine Mystique.
Jeremy Zerbe
You probably know Michael Ian Black from any of the numerous "I Love the [Something:]" shows on VH1, or as an integral part of comedy troupes The State and Stella. I didn't, however, know him as a stand-up comic on his own (his album, I Am A Wonderful Man, is quite fantastic), or an essayist. Well... "essayist" might be a rather misleading term. Yes, his book, My Custom Van, is filled with essays, but it won't be found on shelves anywhere near the works of John Gardner or Noam Chomsky.

Not that I
Oct 17, 2008 Angela rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: preteens looking for "dirty" books
I hesiated giving this book one star, fearing that some imaginary reader would see this review and snort derisively: "She's such a prude." And I'm not. And least, I don't think I am.


Point is, I don't think of myself as particularly uptight about a lot of things. I may have been known to use a four-letter word or two (or two hundred...) in my life. I'm all for open-mindedness. It takes a quite a bit to offend me.

And I wasn't OFFENDED by the book--I was ANNOYED. It wasn't the constant use of
This book of essays was incredibly funny. I have been a fan of Michael Ian Black's comedy for a while, so I was anticipating the tidal wave of inappropriate jokes and comments that seemed as if they were just past the line. If you are someone who gets offended by foul language, this book is definitely not for you.
I received this book as a christmas present a few years ago (from two different people, actually) and was so excited to read it. From the front cover to the very last page, this book w
When I first started this book, I had some trouble getting into it. I could only read 2 or 3 of the 4-page humorous essays at a time. But as the pages were turned, something clicked, and I couldn't read more than a few sentences without cracking a smile. And I couldn't read more than a page without laughing out loud (and I couldn't do this without feeling ashamed on a very real level, especially while riding the subway). To test whether this was material that only I could find funny, I had my mo ...more
I laughed out loud numerous times while reading this book, but ultimately have to agree with all the people who've said that the humor starts seeming repetitious after a while. Still, there aren't too many books of humor that are actually humorous, hence the four star rating. Here's the first paragraph from one of my favorites, "An Open Letter to the Hairstylist Who Somehow Convinced Me to Get a Perm When I Was in Sixth Grade":

Dear Geoffrey of Geoffrey's Hair Creations,

You son of a bitch. I d
I've been a fan of MIB ever since his days on MTV's The State. I enjoyed Vive La Variety and his runs on I Love the.... I loved the television show Stella. So I had high expectations for My Custom Van. As with much comedy writing, it was funny, but not as funny as I wanted it to be. For some reason, the essay form often doesn't make me laugh as much as I hope or think it should. I enjoy David Sedaris and laugh at his audiobooks, but I rarely laugh at the print versions of his books.

My Custom Van
Once again I feel it is difficult to find a book by a stand-up comedian to be that funny. I am a fan of Black and loved his stuff on The State, and I would probably love his stand-up but it is just tough for his material to have the same impact in a book. There were a couple points where I saw a title to one of his essays that would get me excited but then the material itself I just didn't find that funny. I enjoyed his take on the Chicken Dating Service and the opposing takes of the football co ...more
I was gonna give it one star as a joke, but I just couldn't. This collection of essays by Black brought a smile, and some big laughs to my face. He sure isn't politically correct. He sure isn't clean. He's hilarious as hell. Some of my favorites include: the unicorn break-up, his joining a jug band, some of his erotic fiction, and the drawbacks of getting a perm at the age of 12. I also learned a lot about how to party from this book. Thank you Michael Ian Black. You so richly deserve that impor ...more
Amanda Fack
My favorite book read this year- although apparently is is 7 years old! I particularly liked the essay "How I might address my players at halftime if I were a self-loathing football coach in a game where we were losing 49-3."
Anna Flahart
this is a weird book in that parts of it made me want to vomit, like the dog shit essay, parts of it were just genuinely funny like the infinite monkey probability essay, and parts of it touched my heart in a weird sort of way like the jug band essay or the scented candle shoppe essay. yeah, i am that weird. i think he resorted to some low humor, but that was the point. this definitely wasn't all the things i had expected from this book and that was a nice surprise.
It would seem that I am Michael Ian Black's target audience -- between the reference to The Yiddish Policeman's Union and an entire essay dedicated to David Sedaris (and why he should just go ahead and suck it), it is clear that he and I are meant to be together. For ever and always.

Call me, Michael, and I will answer "Ahoy," as a sign to you that I did, in fact, read your book. I did not, however, buy it, but there's no reason to bring commerce into this.
Michael Ian Black (very famous) is funny. We all know that. He can write funny too, although there are a few essays in here that make you think, "What the heck is he talking about?". But that's M.I.B. If you've ever read his stuff on the McSweeney's website, there are a couple of rehashes in here (like the great Billy Joel piece). But they are funny, for sure. Take that, David Spedaris, living in France, thinking you're so cool!
This book, like many books by comedians, is a fast and enjoyable read. With that, there is always the caveat of humor being very subjective, but I always find that if you enjoy someone's work in other formats, you will probably enjoy his or her book. While MIB is by no means a favorite comedian of mine, I've enjoyed many of the things he's been in like Stella, The State, The Baxter, and of course Wet Hot American Summer.

Many of these little essays or chapters have a relatively constant persona.
Although its definetly not going to win a Pulitzer Prize or anything this book will make you laugh out loud. How could you not laugh when reading letters to a "not that cute" squirrel, the results of an experiment involving typing monkeys, and a tragic goodbye to a magic unicorn. When your finished reading it come on over for a taco party. I'll bring the Kentucky sparklers.
Sean Kegler
If you are a fan of Michael Ian Black's sketch comedy you will love My Custom Van. Each essay can be visualized while reading as some crazy scene from The State or Stella. I loved this book and I laughed out loud on more than one occassion and even annoyed my girlfriend while reading passages to her as she tried to cook.
Leenda dela Luna
I thought it was boring.
But I wonder if it's like my reaction to David Sedaris. I can't stand reading David Sedaris' books. But I love hearing him read his books. This might be the same.
The only thing mind-blowing about these essays is the way it rather makes you want to blow your brains out while reading it. Sadly unfunny.
This is a very funny book. I laughed frequently. He is bizarre, and not afraid of profanity. We are soulmates.
This is a collection of comedic essays with a wide range in topics from fictional romances to bad just didn't really make me laugh. Like a lot of people i came across michael ian black on the VH1 "i love the decades" series and i thought he was hilarious so I was happy to read this book. It just...wasn't good though. I did laugh a few times quite hard in fact (the romance essays are hilarious) but i spent most of the time just slightly amused or at times actually bored. Not worth t ...more
"He won't really go there, will he? Looks like he will. Holy Cow. He went there and just kept going...wait. Did he just write what I think he wrote? I mean, yes, it's there in print, but still. It's hard to believe he would go that far."

The above is a selection from the internal dialogue of someone who has a sense of propriety and reads My Custom Van ...And 50 Other Mind-Blowing Essays That Will Blow Your Mind All over Your Face by Michael Ian Black.

Since I don't have much of a conscience when i
Kards Unlimited
Chris' Pick!

Star of hit television shows such as Stella and those Sierra Mist commercials, Michael Ian Black, wrote a funny book. That funny book is ‘My Custom Van’ and if you enjoy funny things you will enjoy this book, because it is funny and funny things are funny. That may have sounded redundant to the intellectuals reading this, but it wasn’t, trust me. Black beats his humor into you, laughs at you for not laughing, then beats some more. If you have any sense at all, you will laugh, and you
Amber Cooney
Suffice to say I DON’T GET IT.

I am so incredibly grateful I read Black’s second novel first. Otherwise, I NEVER would’ve given his penmanship a second chance.

Not only was “My Custom Van” utterly not funny, it made no sense to me whatsoever. The book is a collection of arrogant, strange short-stories and anecdotes with no unifying theme or tone. Some are bitter commentaries on past relationships or letters to Celine Dion’s husband, while others focus on hypothetical situations, like a sales job
Christina Rau
Because he's a really big celebrity, I'm talkin' huge, Michael Ian Black wrote a book. Because he's like the hugest celebrity, I'm talkin' humongous, a real publishing company published his book. Because he's the most needed, wanted, loved celebrity in all the land, space, and time, his books is in high demand--long wait at the library and everything.

Two points here.

1. Michael Ian Black is a celebrity because he constantly points it out in his book. In that ironic sarcastic kind of way. That mak
My Custom Van and 50 other Mind-Blowing Essays That Will Blow Your Mind All Over Your Face came to my attention when a patron at the library checked it out. In the tradition of David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs, this book is a series of humorous essays written by Michael Ian Black--an actor you might know from MTV's "I Love the . . . " series or, like me, from his hilarious character on the TV show "Ed."

Either way, I thought Black was funny and decided to give the book a gander myself. Althou
There is nothing notable or interesting about when I finished this book.

Michael Ian Black is a comedian best known for being a talking head commenting on pop culture during VH1 celebrations of various decades. He's also an actor who has been in movies and television shows like The Ten, Wet Hot American Summer and Ed. This is your standard "book by a comedian" whose title describes the format: essays (52, in this case, since I bought the paperback version) that will blow your mind all over your f
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Taco Party 1 12 Sep 29, 2011 01:04PM  
... 1 13 Sep 25, 2009 06:02PM  
  • Mr. Funny Pants
  • Claw Your Way to the Top: How to Become the Head of a Major Corporation in Roughly a Week
  • You're a Horrible Person, But I Like You: The Believer Book of Advice
  • Dracula is a Racist: A Totally Factual Guide to Vampires
  • State by State with the State: An Uninformed, Poorly Researched Guide to the US
  • And Here's the Kicker: Conversations with 21 Top Humor Writers on their Craft and the Industry
  • A Practical Guide to Racism
  • Mortified 2: Love is a Battlefield
  • Into Hot Air: Mounting Mount Everest
  • No Cure for Cancer
  • America, You Sexy Bitch
  • Pure Drivel
  • When You Ride Alone You Ride With Bin Laden: What the Government Should Be Telling Us to Help Fight the War on Terrorism
  • My Dead Dad Was in ZZ Top: 100% Real*, Never-Before-Seen Documents from the World of Rock and Roll
  • What I'd Say to the Martians and Other Veiled Threats
  • Writing Movies for Fun and Profit: How We Made a Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can, Too!
  • The Daily Show and Philosophy: Moments of Zen in the Art of Fake News
  • I'm Kind of a Big Deal: And Other Delusions of Adequacy
Michael Ian Black (very famous) is a popular comedian who began his career with The State, a sketch comedy troupe he co-founded at New York University in 1988, which went on to have a successful run on MTV. He then co-created the Comedy Central television series "Viva Variety," a fake European variety show. From there, he appeared on several television show before landing the role of Phil Stubbs, ...more
More about Michael Ian Black...
You're Not Doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death, and Other Humiliations I'm Bored Chicken Cheeks A Pig Parade Is a Terrible Idea Naked!

Share This Book

“The truth is I feel bad about calling you a whore. I don't know anything about your personal life; my judgment was based on nothing more than a general whorish vibe you give off.

You look like you'd screw any squirrel that came your way. You look like you'd even screw the knothole in that tree where you live. But this is all speculation on my part, based on nothing more than your aforementioned whorish vibe and sleazy demeanor. Maybe I'm wrong about you. If so, I apologize.

But I really don't think I am.”
“If they have to drag some of you fucking fuckers out of here in body bags, I will be so fucking stoked.” 8 likes
More quotes…