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I Drink for a Reason Hardcover – August 31, 2009

3.3 out of 5 stars 96 customer reviews

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"I Had a Nice Time and Other Lies..."
The new book from the New York Times bestselling authors of "Nice Is Just a Place in France." Learn more | Kindle book

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Cross, a comedian best known for his role on TV's Arrested Development, is one of the few comedians working today with an easily identifiable comic voice, and his authorial debut ensures that his voice is heard on every page. Mixing bitterness and absurdity, the result is often piercing sarcasm, beginning with the preface (in which Cross imagines life as a famous author) and opener "Don't Abandon Your Baby"; though he may send up easy targets, Cross consistently hits his mark without sounding like a hack. Though largely irreverent, he often seems genuinely angry (even hurt) when responding to negative reviews or misquotes. Much of the book is devoted to getting even with his detractors, but they aren't all as good as the Pitchfork.com-skewering "Top Ten CDs to Listen to While Listening to Other CDs"; his response to a blogger who accused him of bigotry is strangely joke-free. Cross reserves his greatest vitriol for fellow entertainers Larry the Cable Guy and Jim Belushi, whom he accuses of, respectively, exploiting and outright disdaining their audiences. Though he admits inviting the charge of elitism with some of his material, Cross avoids condescending to his demographic while knocking out a steady stream of laugh-out-loud quips.
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Review

"One of the funniest books I've ever skimmed!"
--Paul Rudd

"David has composed a fascinating list of the most obscure names in Atlanta baseball history, and filled the spaces between with some stuff. I don't always agree with him, but he always makes me think and smile and, unlike our conversations, in this book I actually can get a word in edgewise."
--Keith Olbermann

"A relentlessly funny insight into what makes David Cross honest and brutal, but above all, hilarious...pant-wettingly brilliant."
--Simon Pegg

"It is inappropriate for me to write a 'blurb' for Mr. David Cross, as he is rightly a legend--utterly fearless, absolutely brilliant, and a longtime inspiration to me. My endorsement would be like the weed endorsing the sun, which is to say: I live in the dirt and require David Cross (plus water) to live. But I can grow right through sidewalks, so that's something."
--John Hodgman, Daily Show "Resident Expert" and New York Times bestselling author of The Areas Of My Expertise

"A few more books like this one, and we may have to get David to pull a Sen. Al Franken."
--Markos Moulitsas, founder of Daily Kos

"This book is a literary 'Development' from David that I found truly 'Arresting'. I 'dev'oured every word and had to take 'a rest' after reading as I realized this book was 'ment' [sic] to be a comedy classic. This 'Arresting' comedian has 'Developed' into an amazing and insightful writer."
--Mitchell Hurwitz, producer, Golden Girls

"...me again. I'm sorry, but there's something about David's wit and hilarious self-revelation that makes me want to jacket-blurb all over this thing. David's writing in this 'audio-book for the eyes' is every bit as funny, honest, and observant as the man himself-and, oddly, twice as smart. It's surprising and funny dot dot dot a triumph! Oh, and David that 'dot dot dot' shouldn't be spelled out as words. It's just meant to imply I said a lot of other stuff too. Oh and obviously what I'm saying right now also isn't part of the blurb."
--Mitchell "Arrested Development" Hurwitz, co-creator, The Ellen Show

"Absurdist naysaying deepened by occasional blurts of actual emotion."
--Sarah Vowell, New York Times bestselling author of Assassination Vacation and The Wordy Shipmates

"David Cross is the Bruce Banner of our time, and this book is his big green monster. His energy is so intoxicating and uplifting that in some cultures his discarded bodily fluids are sold on the black market as an Irish coffee substitute. This is a great book."
--Maynard Keenan, lead singer of Tool and A Perfect Circle
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Read an Excerpt
Read the first chapter of David Cross' I Drink for a Reason [PDF].

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1 edition (August 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446579483
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446579483
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,060,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've long been a fan of all that is David Cross. If you were to ask me who my favorite comedian is, my immediate and unqualified response would be "David Cross." I own pretty much all of the Mr. Show-related material which has been released, all of David's comedy albums & DVDs, and I've seen David's stand-up act live (which was amazing). So you can imagine that I've been quite excited about the release of this book.

Boy, was I ever disappointed. There are definitely some laugh-out-loud moments in this book (and an unexpected mention of an old friend during the "free list of quirks"), but on the whole it's an uneven work which was very, VERY poorly edited. When I'm paying good money for a professionally-produced book, I expect it to be professionally edited, not filled with the kinds of grammatical mix-ups and misspellings you'd expect from a high-school dropout's job application at McDonald's (page 87: "Mormans," for instance. They apparently didn't even run a spellchecker on this thing before shipping it off to the printer). I'm sure that some people will be quick to point out numerous grammatical errors I've made in my review, but as I'm not producing this in any sort of professional capacity, they can bite my shiny leather grammar Nazi goosesteppers.

I can't say that I hated this book, because I didn't, but overall it proved to be extremely unsatisfying on several levels.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There is a long tradition of comedy being rooted in anger and a long history of comics who do well with sets that play like primal scream therapy. The humor that arises is usually gut-wrenchingly funny, because a good portion of the audience can relate. They're frustrated by the same things as the man or woman on stage.

What happens when the comedian hates every thing and every one and tells you so with anger, contempt, and a sense of superiority? How long can you spend in a atmosphere of rage and condescension? Even if you can see that the person is genuinely intelligent and creative, and happens to generally agree with you on a number of issues, how long before you want to escape?

David Cross is brilliant in many ways, but reading his book was a slog. I like pointed humor, but his dislike of mostly everything he encounters and repetition of his top dislikes made this an almost joyless affair. There were times I chuckled or appreciated a turn of phrase, but mostly I just wondered what he actually liked and if I could make it through to the end.

Instead of taking on a topic or dislike, riffing on it, and moving on, he kept going back to the well with his comments often not even being humorous, but just bitter. The funny thing is that at one or two points he acknowledges that people see him as condescending and superior.

Were there good moments? Yeah. He did a piece on Larry the Cable Guy and showed him for a snake oil salesman. There are lines when he skewers people or institutions that are astute and brilliant, but I found myself having to take breaks from this to read things that where the author likes people, and has the occasional positive.

Cross is a smart guy and funny in shows and skits, but this book doesn't make him seem the least bit likable. Even for someone familiar with Cross and a fan of Mr. Show and Arrested Development, this was not a good read.
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By thames on November 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wow, tough crowd. This book doesn't suck so much folks. No, it is not a timeless masterpiece. That would be Cross's performance as Happy Time Harry and Bert Banana. Nothing will top that. EVER. The negative reviews reflect a very, very high standard these thoughtful and devoted fans have for their comic hero. They make good points. I'd agree the audio version is actually a good way to go cause the material just sounds funnier being read aloud by the comic that wrote them and Cross's voice for some reason is funny to me. Lots of funny parts in this book, but I'd say the open letter to Larry the Cable Guy and the pieces like on Mary J. Blige's public statement that "God Wants Me To Bling" are worth the purchase of the book, especially if you're a fan of David Cross.
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Format: Hardcover
David Cross is my favorite comedian. I paid $50 to see him tonight in Los Angeles. And as a big fan, I was excited about the book and purchased it right away. To my surprise, the book is full of dull musings that rarely last longer than 3 pages. He obviously phoned this one in. I am irritated I spent the hardcover price on something so lifeless and simply unfunny. David is too smart to not know that what he turned in was bad, and that's what is the most annoying part. Maybe he was screwed by his publisher. Who knows. David, what gives?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of David Cross' standup. He consistently makes me laugh out loud and I was looking for similar from this book. I bought it to read on a vacation and was disappointed. It is amusing, but I only laughed out loud once. I think there are two issues: 1. The material is not as good as what I have heard in his standup. 2. His comedy does not translate to the written word. Inflection and delivery are critical and without those this material did not meet my expectations. I would recommend buying one of his cd's over getting this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You have to understand that this book isn't written by Tobias Funke or a tv/movie Personna that David portrays. It's written by David Cross.
A hilarious collection of essays/rants that cover too many topics to list.
Not sugar coated , not p/c (why fake being p/c when most people aren't anyway?)and not for everyone.
All in all, good stuff.
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