Most helpful critical review
2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Amazon, you've let me down.
on March 29, 2008
I bought this book from after amazon recommended it to me, and for the first time I can honestly say, "Amazon, you've let me down."
While some of the stories in Mentally Incontinent are interesting and funny, the writing is just bad. Writing like this could benefit from a few rounds in a college workshop environment and a good working over by a professional editor. Instead of telling stories with rich visual images that immerse the reader in the scene, Joe spends a lot of time directly addressing readers, running off on tangents, and writing about being a writer.
For example, in "Late Night Adventures at Kroger", he spends 2 full pages setting up the story, and only one page describing the action that SHOULD be the most interesting part. The entire description of the very exciting scene is captured by, "The next four seconds were probably the most intense 4 seconds I have experienced in my entire life. I can honestly say I know what it feels like to be in Bullet Time slow motion now. I can't really tell you exactly what happened, however, because honestly I have no clue - It was all one big intense blur." ARE YOU SERIOUS? I just read all that exposition and that's the climax you give me? If you're watching it unfold in bullet time, shouldn't you be able to describe it in intimate detail? Isn't that the benefit of slow motion? And look at the mistakes (I made sure I quoted it verbatim). Imagine an entire book like that.
That's the great thing about writers like David Sedaris and Tucker Max - they can tell stories that are boring, innocuous examples of banality and make them wholly interesting.
It's HOW you tell the story, Joe, not just what the story is about.
Save your money for another David Sedaris book.