Search planetdan:

I can read, you know.

Sunday, August 22, 2004 :::

Checkpoint by Nicholson Baker

Why I read it: because it had an eyecatching cover.

What I think about it: Lame. I bought this book as an impulse purchase while I was at Border's books, simply because the cover caught my eye, and the jacket said something about two men discussing an assassination that could "change the course of history." Plus I vaguely recognized the author. Turns about it's a lame anti-war diatribe, written in the form of a one-act play, with two characters: one a man bent on assassinating George W. Bush for war crimes and for generally being a jackass, and one man who is trying to talk him out of it. That's right, it's topical, political rhetoric, unconvincingly written and poorly conceived. But what's worse is that there is nothing new here that you haven't overheard on the bus, listened to on talk radio, or read on a million weblogs by now. Sure, I hate Bush, too. I think he and his administration are practically evil incarnate, but the fact that I was duped into spending $15 to listen to some self-important intellectual tell me that war and abortion are wrong and that Bush is a bad man really pisses me off. I can get that a million times a day on TV for free, and even then I am always wondering, "Why do these people think I care about their opinions on the war or the president? I can make up my own damned mind, thank you very much." Granted, this is because I am sick and cynical and jaded about all things political lately. But seriously, at this point if you are Pro-Bush, then you are deep in denial about the state of the world, the nature of war, and the motivations of your president. There. It's that simple. Was that worth $15? Nope.

Learn more about it.

::: posted by dan at 11:42 PM :: #

Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris

Why I read it: Because David Sedaris is always funny, without exception.

What I think about it: What is so frustrating about David Sedaris' work is that every single line of every single story in the entire book is so cleverly written and perfectly worded that you want to remember it all by heart. It isn't the stories he tells that are so fascinating, but rather the way he tells them. I get pissed off that I am unable to quote my favorite parts, because there are just too damn many to remember. Instead I'm forced to say "Oh, there's this really funny story about his brother getting married and dogs eating each other's poo," which doesn't sound funny the way I describe it, but trust me, it is. And then there is the way that he avoids lame melodrama and histrionics without ever diminishing the emotional effects of the stories, which are sometimes very sincere. Take for example how he confesses that he had no idea at the time that his father was kicking him out of the house because he was gay. He just thought he was a lazy bum, and that was reason enough. A lesser author would've milked that particular family ostracism for all it was worth. But not David, he's got too many other issues to deal with, and too many funnier stories to tell.

Learn more about it.

::: posted by dan at 6:41 PM :: #


planetdan home
planetdan blog
dan's pics
fun junk

recent reviews
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Sa...
Possible Side Effects by Augusten Burroughs
Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryso...
Sickened by Julie Gregory
My Friend Leonard by James Frey
Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

sista c
b stacy b


03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004
04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004
06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004
07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004
08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004
09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004
11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004
01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005
06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005
10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005
01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006
07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006
08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007

some ads