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Weird Al: The Book Hardcover – September 25, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; 1 edition (September 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419704354
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419704352
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Based in Chicago, Illinois, Nathan Rabin is a film and music critic and the head writer for The Onion’s A.V. Club. Al Yankovic lives with his wife and daughter in Los Angeles.


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Great book with many beautiful pictures!
Kristi Ohler
It kept me interested until the very end and I even learned some things about Al I never knew before.
Sara D. Alperin
This book is a must have for any self-respecting Weird Al fan.
Christie V

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 47 people found the following review helpful By GLG on September 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Weird Al has had a very long and interesting career, longer than 95% of the people he's parodied over the years, so it only stands to reason that he's have a fairly interesting story to tell. This book isn't that, and if you buy this on a whim hoping to find that, then don't bother. To begin you'll need to separate the books into two parts, the written portion, and the visual portion. The visual portion is top notch, featuring many rare and previously unseen photos spanning Al's career over four decades. The written content however is where this book falls flat. It reads more like a snapshot or synopsis of his career, something you'd expect to see on VH1 or E!, not in a book. It's almost written like a Wikipedia entry, short on details, and heavy on extended metaphors and descriptive paragraphs that add nothing to the book, and only serve to pad out the pages. Now granted, I won't say I didn't learn anything from reading this book, even as a long time Al fan there is a lot of new information here, but there is also a lot that is rehashed. It almost seems as though the written portion was cobbled together from common knowledge, publicly available resources, and maybe a handful of notes provided by Al. This is disappointing, because I know someone who's had as long and distinguished a career as Al has must have more stories to share, more insight to give, and a better and more personal story to tell. Unfortunately Al is blunt about the fact that he has no interest at all in writing an autobiography, so this book may be the closest thing we ever get. So for what it is it's fine, very good even, but I can't help but wonder what could have been.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By James N Simpson on November 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Weird Al The Book, unfortunately probably will appeal more to those who are not huge "Weird Al" fans and maybe who just appreciated his music from time to time who want something interesting to read. For huge fans who have bought everything he ever released, and even a t-shirt or two, gone to his concerts and followed him on his website weirdaldotcom and more recently as fans on various social media, there's really not much new here. In fact the book reads as if Nathan Rabin (this isn't an autobiography, Weird Al tells us in the introduction he never has had any interest in writing one), has just surfed a lot of websites, and researched printed articles from over the years and compiled that information. It doesn't seem as if he had too many in depth interviews with the man himself. Al, and to a large extent, his drummer Jon Schwartz, have obviously been involved in adding a lot of photographic imagery, fan art, twitter captions, scanned letters as well as little I'll call them word bites, by Al every now and then such as Little Known Facts About Me or Last Will and Testament, that are very funny. But the body of the book itself just for the most part reads like a career achievement commentary, an albumography if you will, with the odd interruption when Al's career took another path for a while such as making the movie UHF, Weird Al show and the like, although we don't go into much depth at all with those and there's no behind the scenes stuff at all. But even if we except Weird Al The Book as simply that, there's gaping holes, for example Rabin never mentions Al's children's audiobook project with Wendy Carlos (there's a picture of it in the Discography at the back), even though it was nominated for a Grammy.Read more ›
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Donovan X on September 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Al did us all a favor by hiring Nathan Rabin to "do the heavy lifting" and write the bulk of this book. The general prose is a well done narrative of the the Weird Al rise to fame. Despite his apt writing ability, that alone would have made for yet another so,so celebrity biography worthy of 3 stars. Al embellishes heavily with wit and, well, weirdness that fans and by-standers can both appreciate; in captions to the many great pictures or little blurbs placed randomly throughout. His classic humor coupled with the many, many great pictures gets 5 stars from this long time fan. I also appreciate his obvious gratitude to the godfather of "weird" music, Dr. Demento. So a rating of 4 stars overall. If you just want a quick Al biography, look it up on the web. If you want great Weird Al photos and humor, definitely consider this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By aaron on October 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the book of a lifetime. I never knew that I could learn so much about my favorite person ever - then I got this book. Fabulous pictures and trivia also scattered around the pages.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mason Koen on April 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Even for a hardcore enthusiast of Al, you're sure to find something you've never seen or known from this book. The pictures are great and eclectic; my personal favorite part were the concert pictures (if you haven't been to a show, go!). There are entries for many of Al's endeavors and details that are very intimate with Al's experiences (although you won't be getting a glimpse of all those sordid relationships that everyone in Hollywood collectively shares). One of my favorite things about the book was that it was almost entirely written by a fan! Al played a few roles in this book's words, but largely the book is told carefully by Nathan Rabin, with a keen sensibility for Al-related trivia. Overall, I'm very happy about buying this fantastic addition to my bookshelf and Weird Al collection.
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