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Oh, the Things I Know! Paperback – March 25, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (March 25, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452284503
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452284500
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #294,370 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Fans of Franken's brilliant political satire (Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot) will be disappointed with his latest book. Oh, the Things I Know, while humorous in places, does not live up to the biting acerbity of Franken's political wit. It also pales in comparison with his earlier "self-help" persona, Stuart Smalley of Saturday Night Live fame. In this audio the author offers guidance, of a sort, through many of life's travails. Throughout, Franken appears to put aside what he is best at, humor, and tries to turn out a chapter or two of what Oprah is best at, concern and helpful advice for daily living. Those of us who have laughed out loud while reading his earlier books will be dissatisfied with this slim attempt at humor. Most libraries would be better served with any of Franken's other works.
Theresa Connors, Arkansas Tech Univ., Russellville
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

With a nod to Dr. Seuss and his popular tome for graduates of all ages, Franken offers his own advice guide, which covers pretty much anything anyone wants to understand about life. The aptly named chapters include "Oh, the Mistakes You'll Keep Repeating," "Oh, the Weight You Will Gain," and "Oh, the Orgasms You'll Fake (For the Ladies)." Franken tries to be nurturing, yet he can't avoid being blunt: "Someone once said it is just as easy to fall in love with a rich person as with a poor one. Actually that's not true. It's easier to fall in love with a rich person. But to get them to love you back, that's harder." And when remarking on Babe Paley's comment, "You can't be too thin or too rich," Franken adds, "Nobody loves a fat, poor person." Nor does he shy away from debunking myths. What doesn't kill you will make you stronger? Franken had a friend who went in for back surgery, which made him stronger for a while, until the blood clot that formed in his leg during surgery collapsed his lung, making him weaker. This laugh-aloud take on advice books--it is dedicated simply "For Oprah"--is Stuart Smiley with an edge. Reviewer's advice: don't read it while sitting alone on a bus. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

This book made me laugh out loud several times.
Michael J. Mazza
Of one wealthy grande dame who claimed it was impossible to be too rich or too thin, that she wouldn't think that after she got OVARIAN CANCER!
Jean E. Pouliot
I liked this book better than his most popular book, Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot.
Joel L. Gandelman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Barbara A. Bolek on May 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Al Franken...you really need to give all the proceeds of this book to your wife...and maybe that will begin to make up for all the fun we're having at her expense! Franken, author of one of my most favorite titled books of all time, "Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat Idiot", scores another winner with this little book.
With his sharp wit and conversational style (you can almost hear him speaking these words while you read them), he leads us through the too-often-times hellacious rollercoaster ride of life. He starts with college graduation and goes forward, till the bitter end of life and beyond. It's quite a journey through most of life's misadventures.
The title, is done in Dr. Seussian style and that style is repeated throughout the contents. Examples include chapters titled: "Oh, you shouldn't skip the introduction"; "Oh, the drugs you will take"; "Oh, the orgasms you will fake".
In the drug chapter, he advises people to use drugs responsibly, and that he would be a hypocrite to say not to use them at all, as he is high on drugs right now "prescription drugs, but drugs nonetheless". I can believe that one, but I can't believe his statement in "Oh pick a religion, any religion", that "he has absolutely no idea what he will write next". Franken knows what he wants to say and how to say it.
There's a whole lot of practical advice -- ok, maybe not so practical. Some examples include: every marriage has a "stomach-turning" phase you need to get yourself through. Or, how about, "try to view your stay in a nursing home as merely temporary, because in one way or another, it is". There's some advice for men: resist the temptation to cheat on your wife, and try instead to make sex with her reasonably diverting, by thinking about a younger, more attractive woman.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Horrible. And I am a fan of Al Franken. This was nothing more than a stream of conciousness gone ary. Waste of paper, ink and my cash. Al come on, you have such amazing talents, this was not one of them
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By "hololi" on August 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The title should be "Oh, the things you will read, but shouldn't have."
This book is in the same league as Steve Martin's "Pure Drivel." There were a few passages that provided some insite into the workings of Al Franken's pysche, however they went away quickly and we were left with stories of his Enron investment's and subsequent need for fund raising activities, such as authoring books.
If you love Al, borrow the book. If not, don't bother.
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30 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on May 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
"Oh, the Things I Know!", by Al Franken, bears the subtitle: "A Guide to Success, Or, Failing That, Happiness." This book is a hilarious parody of the genre of book that offers the reader advice for good living. In the course of the text Franken particularly singles out two contributors to the genre--Anna Quindlen and Maria Shriver--for mockery.
Franken covers a wide range of life experiences: sex, drugs, religion, marriage, parenthood, finances, volunteerism, etc. Along the way he pokes fun at many targets: commencement addresses, Oprah's Book Club, the Enron scandal, etc. Both brainy and playfully vulgar, he's not afraid to hit below the belt--or go for the jugular. His prose style is mischievous and engaging, yet drips with sarcasm.
The chapters have such amusing titles as "Oh, the Weight You Will Gain!" and "Oh, the People You'll Sue!" This book made me laugh out loud several times. In fact, at one point I laughed so hard I nearly fell down and injured myself. And that's probably the best praise one can give to a book like this.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Not worth the 2 hours it takes to read. It's about as important as an Al Franken spot on Letterman, an entertaining enough interview but well, that's free. This is far inferior to the Ben Stiller/Janeane Garafolo book of a similar vein. Methinks the dullest folks from Franken's generation who now also have kids and too-high budgets may like this drivel. Anyone could write this, it's water-cooler chit chat at it's worst.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin Pawlik on December 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
It takes a dedicated Al Franken fan to enjoy this book. For those of us who merely enjoy (or tolerate) Franken's humor, this book is basically just a slapdown of random, useless thoughts designed only to consume an hour of your reading time and a few of your hard earned $$. Twenty-nine five page chapters give the bookstore thumber ample opportunity to quickly find a snippet of apparent wisdom and interest, which upon reading is swiftly disposed of to make room for the next abbreviated chapter. Several chapters contain nothing but the kind of filler used by a grade-school journal writer to increase his word count (3 pages of areas codes - c'mon, that's 2% of the total book!). Franken can't even use his own jokes, and resurrects Buddy Hackett's. Does that alone tell you what you need to know?
For serious and substantial laughs, stick with PJ O'Rourke and Michael Moore.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "moonsongwolf" on April 25, 2003
Format: Hardcover
If you really feel the need to read this rather bland work, I'd suggest just borrowing a copy from the library. While Al Franken's previous works are among my favorites in humor, I couldn't even bring myself to finish the second half of this book.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By "veggiewrap001" on August 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
After reading Al's book on Rush I was ready to read anything Al Franken wrote. Wow, was that a mistake. Oh the things i know! makes me think Al wrote the book in his sleep. Not only is it not funny, it's not clever either. Al fills his book with bad advice and tries to pass it off as him being humorous. Sure, there's the occasional funny part- the politics chapter- the religion chapter- but overall this Al book is simply dumb and unhumorous. It is a shame Al used his big name to get away with publishing such crap.
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