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American Freak Show: The Completely Fabricated Stories of Our New National Treasures Hardcover – October 12, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; First Edition edition (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401323944
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401323943
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #917,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

For his first book Geist, from MSNBC's Way Too Early and Morning Joe, imagines private conversations, e-mail exchanges, Twitter feeds, speeches, and other scenarios involving top newsmakers from our time. Such luminaries as Hillary Clinton, Kate Gosselin, Tiger Woods, Levi Johnston, and "President" Sarah Palin are subjected to Geist's wooden, repetitive send-ups. As Geist tells it, most everyone-including all 20th century presidents-seem to be identical to each other, right down to their speech patterns: they are arrogant, lack self-awareness, and have a penchant for swearing. While they may, indeed, share certain qualities, individual personalities are lost on Geist. Occasional "true story" vignettes about real-life "freaks" feature much fresher and funnier content; while recounting a news story in which a man was arrested for pleasuring himself with a coin-operated car wash vacuum, Geist muses, "One assumes Whitesnake was playing on the radio." Clearly commentary, rather than storytelling, is Geist's strength, so it's a shame that narratives make up the bulk of this effort.
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About the Author

Willie Geist is host of MSNBC's Way Too Early with Willie Geist and co-host of Morning Joe and is a contributor to many NBC News programs. Geist also hosts Zeitgeist, a satirical video blog on MSNBC.com.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on October 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Geist's book begins with fictional reporting of President Palin's inaugural ceremony, held at Tampa's Ice Palace Arena during an intermission between WWE matches. The point of selecting that location was to reinforce her status as a Washington outsider. Palin also agreed to keep her message short to allow time for the rematch between Sgt. Slaughter (patriotic American) and the Iron Sheik (foreign terrorist). Palin begins with a shout-out to Arctic Cat (rewarded by free snowmobiles for the Palins) and a plug for Todd's latest DVD ("Wipeout" - snowmachine wrecks), on sale at a card table set up on the concourse.

Then its the welcoming initiation for Tiger woods at the Wilton Norman Chamberlain Sexual Addiction Institute in Southern California for celebrity sex addicts. Other members include Charlie Sheen, Richard Gere, Rev. Ted Haggard, Paris Hilton, etc. The group leader, Dr. Vanden Fanning, keeps emphasizing how their affliction is a disease, not a moral shortcoming. Photos of JFK and WJC adorn the wall.

Then its off to less interesting segments, such as tweets from Lindsay Lohan, supposedly similar in spirit to MLK's writing from a Birmingham jail decades ago (a loud cry for justice), excerpts of suggestions passed on from prior White House occupants to their successors, conversations between Gov. Spitzer and his 'girlfriend,' Levi Johnson's application essay to Berkeley, etc.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By EP on October 19, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First, let me say I am a big fan of the Morning Joe crew and enjoy Willie Geist's humorous telling of News You Can't Use. However, this book was not as funny as I expected. It was mildly amusing but perhaps too over the top - I guess I prefer finding the humor in real (yet insane) political events.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ty on October 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I really like Willie Geist, I'm an avid fan of Way Too Early and Morning Joe. But I thought this book was a little much. His sense of humor on tv I find pretty intelligent and fun to follow. This book is a collection of made up stories that are characatures of the political and pop culture figures they're based on. Ok, good idea but I just thought most of the stories were too much, meaning he took the recurring points of Sarah Palin, Obama, or GW that we see in media and just blew them out of proportion. I felt like I was just reading stories that went for cheap laughs rather than maybe something more understated and subtle, which I personally find way funnier. Honestly, my favorite part of the book was introduction that included some tidbits about his father's appreciation for pop culture and a nice little bit (a true story according to the book) about the persecuted Blago when the cameras weren't on during a Morning Joe show. The Blago stuff just rang more humorous because it wasn't too crazy but really gave you an idea of how goofy that dude is. Rather than just making fun of Palin being a hockey mom, or Obama being friends with Ayers and an elitist, or GW Bush being dumb. That being said, I still finished the book, enjoyed it though I didn't laugh out loud, and am always looking forward to the pop culture insights on Way Too Early and the back-and-forth of Morning Joe when Geist is around. Thanks for an entertaining read and it was nice to find a book that condenses all the media portrayals into one, though maybe just too much for me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I wasn't origionaly going to buy this book. But after a trip to the book store where I had a chance to skim through it before buying it I decided I would read it. The book is interesting enough to me to keep me reading it to the end. Is it so funny you cry laughing? No. There is a joke in the stories here and there where I laughed but that was it. Willie Geist's sence of humor seems to me like it does better when he is talking to you on TV rather than when you are reading it in a book. That said, I am on the fence when I try to decide if I would recomend this book. If you like Geist then go for it but if you have no idea who this author is as you sit here reading these reviews, you won't be heart broken if you miss out on this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By NatKat on February 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Willie Geist has a great sense of humor and a fantastic writing style. He sprinkles real stories throughout the book, which are so outlandish you would think that they're just another product of his talented mind. I am hoping for a sequel!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
why did I wait so long to read this? must've been busy watching him on all of his tv shows.
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Format: Paperback
Pay no attention to anyone who says differently. This book is HYSTERICAL! From Sarah Palin's Inaugural Address to the Neverland Ranch Garage Sale, this book screams. I laughed til I was sore. Excellent work.
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By Anya on June 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I love Willie Geist! So witty, clever and such a great read! I'm looking forward to the next one...and hopefully soon!
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