Top critical review
Mostly funny but some tedium
on April 24, 2014
This is strictly for fans of Jon Glaser. Unless you're a fan of all the bands he includes in the book, you probably won't appreciate or even recognize his dry, subtle humor. In other words, this book has the potential to be boring and tedious. After a solid opening with his dead-dad-in-ZZ Top bit, which was a segment in one of his stand-up routines years back, the book falls into a lull with the song lyrics. Some of the lyrics were indeed hilarious -- for example, Bob Dylan changing "Highway 61" into an advertisement for a sub sandwich shop -- but the rest of this section takes effort to get through.
The book picks up after the song lyrics, though, and most of the supposedly true behind-the-scenes stories about the rock stars are entertaining. Without even knowing the bands very well, I laughed out loud at the stories about the Keith Richards-Mick Jagger name change, The White Stripes, The Sea and Cake, The Butthole Surfers, and most of the others. Even when I didn't laugh out loud, I was interested enough in reading the last half of the book just to see what scenarios Glaser would concoct.
Still, I know that part of my motivation to read the book and to plow through the slow, unfunny parts was that I already liked Jon Glaser's comedy before I bought the book. I don't think My Dead Dad was in ZZ Top can earn Glaser any new fans.
Regardless of comedic value, one feature about the book continually frustrated me: the length and the glossy pages. The cost of the book could've been much lower if he had placed 2-3 of the "document" facsimiles and section openers on a single page instead of devoting 1 whole page to each one. Some of the facsimiles are very short and really belong on one of the previous pages. Most sections are very short, too, and yet for each section, the book includes a blank side of a page and then a whole page devoted to the heading and a 1-2 sentence introduction. This 168-page volume only contains around 40 pages of actual text! And the glossy pages were just completely unnecessary.
I hate to say this about Jon Glaser, but I wonder if he purposely padded the book with more pages and included unnecessary features in order to jack up the cost per unit. I would've preferred more content in fewer pages.
But, hey, not many books are actually laugh worthy, and if you like Jon Glaser, you'll definitely laugh at some of the content in this book. I do see myself rereading sections of My Dead Dad several times, and I'm glad I could support him as a comedian. If he writes another book, I'll buy that, too.