Shawna's Reviews > Closing Time

Closing Time by Joe Queenan
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's review
Dec 05, 2009

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Read in December, 2009

I was excited when I heard Joe Queenan talking about his book on NPR, I've read three of his other books and I enjoy his cranky humor, and his half-put-on smug sense of superiority as he skewers American banalities, and while there were many very humorous and poignant sections in this book, I was absolutely driven to distraction by Queenan's instance on using obscure words. I was stopped in my tracks at least twice on nearly every page, to puzzle over word meanings. I consider myself a fairly literate person. I took the GRE, and memorized my fair share of ridiculously pretentious words but come on!

Examples: "suzerainty," "caliginous," "escutcheon," "panjandrums,"
"sybaritic," "satraps," and "poltroons." He describes one person as having "Good Soldier Schweik hair" (page 54) and I searched the internet trying to figure out what that meant, and I still don't know!

I have to figure that most readers aren't going to stop, like I did, write these words down and look them up. Next time Mr. Queenan includ a glossary.
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