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Zombie Spaceship Wasteland: A Book by Patton Oswalt Paperback – November 8, 2011
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“Sharp storytelling and sardonic wit.... Oswalt populates these stories with expertly drawn characters, and infuses them with a limitless supply of cultural references and deft turns of phrase.” —Boston Globe
“A thoughtful, hilarious, quasi-memoir that puts the standard-issue comedy-routine-in-book-form to shame.” —SPIN
“Patton Oswalt is one of those rare performers whose material translates into any medium without losing its sharpness—including, for the first time, print.... It is well worth it to join him on his odyssey.” —Washington Post
"A very funny book by the Funniest Man Alive." --GQ
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Top Customer Reviews
Unfortunately, the material itself isn't quite up to snuff. One of the things that I've always loved about his stand-up is how he never seems to care what people think about him. He has a frenetic in-your-face delivery style that was married to such confident stage presence. If he sticks to stand-up, we'll be talking about him in the same breath as Bill Hicks and George Carlin down the road. His book, however, has this painfully self-conscious feeling to it. His writing style isn't nearly as crisp as his stand-up delivery. Granted, it's a function of the medium, but that doesn't explain all of it away. Much of this is auto-biographical which lends an almost tedious air to some of the stories, like you're hearing them from your boring, half-drunk uncle at a holiday party.
The best way to sum up this book is this: remember his bit about how he had to take a science class in college called "physics for poets" and he ceaselessly mocked the "head-in-the-clouds" mentality of the English majors? It sounds like one of those people wrote this instead of the short, angry man who yelled at the professor about an incorrect Star Trek reference on the test. I wasn't asking for 200 pages of his caustic wit (okay, I was), but I can't fathom how none of what makes him a brilliant stand-up comedian made it into this book.
But at least it wasn't about wedding deejays...
It is not a book of jokes...but it is very funny. Patton is a very talented writer and does an excellent job of painting a picture of what was going on around him during some important and formative years of his life.
It is not a very long book. I was a bit disappointed at the short little line of dots on my Kindle. Given the quality of the content, however, I'm not disappointed in the book as a whole.
Speaking of the Kindle, the Kindle formatting of this book is...not great. I wish somebody would put a bit more effort into making sure there aren't any misplaced hard line breaks and such.
Oswalt, who is a very funny man on stage and interviews, writes a book that is not like that. This book is not like that. We get some of the autobiography in stories about the movie theatre he worked at and his experience in his first headlining gig in Canada. These are more like riffs or essays (and one comic strip about vampires) that loosely adhere to the titular theme. I did smile and laugh while I was reading them, but the book as a whole feels somewhat slapped-together. It was like he just pulled various things that were sitting on his hard drive and threw some introductory material in front of the different word files. There's just no coherency, which isn't a bad thing if you need a bathroom reader, but it is glaring on a straight read-through. The funny thing ("funny" odd) is that in spite of that criticism, the worst thing about the book is that it is too short - it isn't half bad, but it could have been half better.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An enjoyable read by one of my favorite comedians, this book is half-autobiography and half-comedy bits. Both are refreshingly funny. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Rich M.
Two stars because it helped me know why the guy always sort of bothered me. I like the part about the movie theater. Edit - Three stars because the Canada comedy club story.Published 2 months ago by Stu Camenzind
I found Oswalt neither funny nor perceptive and his weirdness merely weird. The short pieces on his jobs, before and after he became a comedian, would be of interest to his... Read morePublished 2 months ago by John A. Lefcourte
If I could sign up to listen to Patton's every thought for a year, I would. He's the consummate storyteller.Published 2 months ago by SAIMA RITCHIE
If you are a Patton Oswalt fan, READ THIS! It was like he was talking to me on stage the whole book. This guy is twisted, brilliant, blunt, and superbly imaginative! Read morePublished 3 months ago by LColby
First Patton Oswalt book that I've read. Very few ha-ha moments its it. Cleverly written but after reading 3/4 of it I gave it to somebody else who might appreciate it more.Published 6 months ago by H. M. Stabbe
Patton tells stories about his youth and his rise to the comic presence he is today. To call him a star would be a disservice - since I don't think he would describe himself that... Read morePublished 8 months ago by David Caven
If you like Patton Oswalt's comedy, you will enjoy Zombie Spaceship Wasteland. If you don't you will probably still enjoy this title. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Michael Cieslak