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Queenan sets out to find music, movies, books, and TV that transcend awful, and the most remarkable thing about this book is that one never doubts for a moment that he actually subjected himself to all of the horrors he describes (including the literary efforts of Joan Collins). In an era where references to Burt Reynolds movies are used as hipster currency by people who have never endured Cannonball Run II, Queenan mocks nothing without experiencing it first. His odyssey throws up a few surprises--including the discovery that Barry Manilow is actually pretty good, and that most of the junk that clogs the arteries of popular culture never reaches the stratospheric level of badness achieved by someone like Michael Bolton. This leads Queenan to coin the term scheissenbedauern ("shit regret") to describe "the disappointment one feels when exposed to something that is not nearly as bad as one hoped it would be."
But generally, the answer to the question posed at the beginning of the book is "Really, really bad." Making fun of bad middlebrow entertainment may seem like a no-brainer, but when a writer as sharp as Queenan gets his claws into something like the collected works of Billy Joel, the results are hilarious. Like Jonathan Swift with a remote control, he gleefully shoots every fish in the pop-culture barrel. --Simon Leake --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This is the funniest book I have ever read. Period. (Prepare to laugh out loud at this irreverent critique of bad music, bad theater, bad restaurants, and bad movies.)Published 11 months ago by John Trimmer
Oh, it's funny to read the send-downs of this book -- and you have a right to do so, just as Queenan has a right to skewer bad American culture. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Timothy R. Sullivan
I understand that Joe Queenan is not to everyone's taste, but I really enjoy him. In this book, Queenan subjects himself to popular culture (he proudly calls himself a snob),... Read morePublished on November 4, 2013 by James Kelly
This can be off-putting if you are not a somewhat cynical person. The rants go on and on. And I do mean rants. You start to wonder if the author is fond of anything in this world?Published on October 2, 2013 by tony andrade
This book is not bashful about insulting what many consider to be our cultural icons of the last 60 years. Read morePublished on February 11, 2013 by mobiusklien
I loved his premise of the book but 99% of the book is about things that suck and after 99 pages you get his point and with 1 laugh in the book it's not worth taking the clever... Read morePublished on December 27, 2012 by James Martin
Why would we need an actual book to tell us that the works reviewed by Joe Queenan are atrocious? Does he think that the audience to which he may appeal are these culturally... Read morePublished on October 1, 2012 by Bon Scott
The wonderfully acerbic Queenan turns his guns on the dreck that is American culture. From Cats to Yentl to Robert James Waller to Michael Bolton to Branson, the Master of... Read morePublished on July 14, 2012 by Amazon Customer
If You're Talking To Me, Your Career Must Be In Trouble, Joe Queenan; Hyperion (DK); also, Red Lobster, White Trash, Blue Lagoon (Hyperion 1998) & My Goodness (Hyperion 2000)... Read morePublished on September 24, 2010 by Donald P. Reed