It has been said that you either love or loathe Howard Stern, but it's quite possible to love and
loathe him after reading this autobiography. Stern sets out to offend as many people as possible (and he succeeds admirably), but two things prevent this book, and Stern, from becoming unbearable. First, he is as candid about himself as he is about the people he attacks. He describes his tortured adolescence, his physical inadequacies, and his sexual proclivities in such breathtaking detail that it's hard not to like the guy. Stern also avoids the bitterness that characterizes many of the "shock-radio" DJs who have attempted to follow in his footsteps. He can be cruel, but he generally reserves cruelty for people whose fame makes them open targets, and the way he dismantles the whole idea of "celebrity" is hilarious. Howard Stern is like the kid at school who could fart the national anthem--you can't help but laugh at what he does, even though you know you shouldn't.
And you thought you had trouble with the Madonna book. At least that was mostly the pictures. Here we've got words to worry about, and I'm talking all of them. Concepts, too. All of them. Sexual concepts you might not have even thought about. For those not familiar with the book's author, radio bad-boy Stern makes his living talking on his syndicated show about celebrities, politics, and every sort of bodily function and sexual act that crosses his mind. Stern isn't saying anything here that he hasn't already said on his syndicated show (in fact, much of the book consists of actual bits from the show). On the other hand, the FCC has already fined him a couple of hundred thousand dollars for indecency. If Stern were just playing high-school adolescent, he'd be easy to dismiss. But every once in a while, he's funny, brilliantly funny, and mostly when he's not talking about sex. He's funny, for instance, in his interview with an addled Bob Hope and in his vicious but hysterical send-up of Joan Rivers selling her home-shopping jewelry and milking her husband's suicide for all it's worth: "This is a solid-gold replica of Edgar's thumb. . . . I'm wearing right now a tiny diamond-studded coffin, the same coffin that Edgar put himself in." Okay, I think it's funny. Obviously, Stern's humor is a matter of taste. Photographs and graphics on every page enliven a text that hardly needs perking up. A partially nude Stern draped in a velvet cape graces the cover. This pushes the limits, but then, that's Howard. Ilene Cooper
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.