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My Goodness: A Cynic's Short-Lived Search for Sainthood

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  164 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Years upon years of being unspeakably nasty to icons as diverse as Jimmy Carter, Barbra Streisand, and even Mother Nature herself had taken its toll on Joe Queenan. The man all editors turned to when they needed a book, film, or tv program savaged was tired of being so mean. He wanted to be more like Susan Sarandon. Or Sting. Determined to mend his ways, Queenan embarked o ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published July 11th 2001 by Hyperion (first published 2000)
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Jack
Feb 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
Enjoyably snarky and often hilariously witty, the book pales long before the author does. One tires of his relentless, even wearying, cleverness. I say this, and I adore clever wordplay. Perhaps too much. (Just ask e few friends, although they exaggerate, and some will even lie.) (Like a rug.) See???

Queenan built a career being a professional take-down artist, writing scabrous articles for TMZ, Vanity Fair and other vehicles for vaunting America's obsessive celebrity culture. This book is about
...more
Derek
Oct 10, 2007 rated it liked it
A light read but pretty funny. It details journalist Joe Queenan's attempt to be good after a life of making lots of money writing mean things about nice people. Excerpts:

"Moses slew a man in anger, but made up for it by leading the Israelites out of Egypt. Solomon screwed everything that moved, but repented by building the Temple. Jimmy Carter single-handedly wrecked the American economy, but atoned for it by hammering nails into the roofs of low-income houses in the South Bronx. And Don Hemley
...more
Ensiform
Dec 21, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
The mildly right-wing curmudgeon writes about his attempts to practice random acts of kindness, support dozens of charities, and just generally act in a ecologically sustainable way. Obviously, he did this because he got a book out of it; whether there was any genuine impulse to be a nicer guy, or regret at attacking fatuous, self-important leftists like Alec Baldwin, I can’t tell from reading the book.

On the whole, it was vaguely amusing, especially the parts where he apologized to famous peopl
...more
Chris
Jul 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Fresh from a stint as the snarkiest bastard in America after Red Lobster, White Trash, and the Blue Lagoon, Queenan decides to make a change, and decides to follow the lessons of Jesus Christ, Buddha, and Sting, and become good. Not just good, but visably good, as he learns to do random acts of kindness, eat the right food, buy the right products, and do everything else that is as politically correct as can be. The book is funny from the start, and becomes even funnier when you know that he wrot ...more
Nancy Lewis
Dec 03, 2011 rated it did not like it
At the end of his experiment, Queenan decides that he could do more good by being mean, since he has so much influence over people. I have a feeling his karma rating has been drastically downgraded.

Most of the book is wrought with repetetive cliches. I can't tell if he's trying to be funny by over doing it, or if he really thinks that it's good writing.

He does make an important observation, though: It's damn near impossible to be good in every camp. I once heard that if you eat a banana for brea
...more
Lisa
Dec 16, 2013 rated it liked it
The first time I read this book was close to a decade ago. At the time I was sympathetic to what Queenan was going through. This time around I had the phrase 'Fool me once, shame on me.' running through my head. I'm not at all familiar with his other books (I'm thinking about find them now) but he's, first and foremost, a satirist. This book strikes me now as being a more subtle shot compared to his other works. The hypocrisy of his statements vs. his actions (purchases) woke me to the realizati ...more
Jessica
Nov 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
I consider this his best book. He tries to be good and kind and eco-friendly for a whole year, using only Tom's of Maine and Body Shop hygiene products, taking pastries to protestors in Washington D.C. And finds himself let down again and again. Tom's of Maine is actually owned by some huge conglomerate, protestors don't like his pastries, his wife objects to his slogan-covered t-shirts. Heartfelt and funny.
Anna
Nov 29, 2007 rated it did not like it
Meh. I suspect this is bears remarkable similarities to A.J. Jacob's The Year of Living Biblically, which I won't be bothering to read.

Talking about how you're such a bad, mean guy trying to be good is a one-note joke which gets old very quickly. Not recommended.
Nancy Monson
Hysterical. Just goes to show: no good deed goes unpunished . . . or unregretted. We are who we are!
Jenny
Feb 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Funny, and oh so true. So many "causes" it is hard to support them all.
Simon Sweetman
Mar 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
I always enjoy a Joe Queenan book - he's an easy/enjoyable read. And this one had some great moments.
Jrobertus
the cynical critic takes a 6 month journey to be a better person. hilarious. chapter 3, a brief history of goodness, may be the funniest essay i have ever read.
Craig Spraggon
Dec 28, 2011 rated it did not like it
Giving up after about 40 pages. hate the long - winded writing. Nothing funny so far. He's way too keen on his own opinion for me. snore
Brian
Mar 23, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those committed to change
Wherein Queenan tries to be a Good Person. It doesn't take.
Muriel
May 11, 2008 rated it liked it
My favorite cynical malcontent strikes again, great fun!
Dogette
Sep 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing
If I have to pick a favorite Queenan book, this is it.
Lynn
Feb 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Another funny book by Joe!
Melody
Oct 06, 2008 rated it did not like it
I found it brittle and not particularly funny. Too arch and self-conscious by half.
D. George
Oct 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
quite humorous.
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May 18, 2011
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Sep 17, 2008
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Joe Queenan is a humorist, critic and author from Philadelphia who graduated from Saint Joseph's University. He has written for numerous publications, such as Spy Magazine, TV Guide, Movieline, The Guardian and the New York Times Book Review. He has written eight books, including Balsamic Dreams, a scathing critique of the Baby Boomers, Red Lobster, White Trash, and the Blue Lagoon, a tour of low- ...more