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But Enough About You: Essays Hardcover – May 6, 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* This collection of Buckley’s (They Eat Puppies, Don’t They?, 2012) essays perfectly showcases and draws upon his many writerly voices. Whether he is humorist, vice-presidential speechwriter, political satirist, novelist, author, editor, essayist, travel writer, critic, or eulogist (sounds like he can’t hold a job, doesn’t it?), one thing Buckley always is is entertaining. That’s at the very least, and these are among his very best efforts. Whether he is waxing sentimental over memories of Thanksgivings past, lamenting the price of cedar nuggets (you have to read it), eulogizing his longtime friend Christopher Hitchens, or practicing the art of name-dropping—which he can legitimately do with characteristic aplomb—he makes his topic worthy of his reader’s complete focus. His thoughts are pithy, trenchant, and perspicacious, and for all that, his essays are seasoned with a light dusting of self-deprecation, the secret to this book’s exceptional charm. What’s more, these assembled pieces are sublimely addicting. To paraphrase a ubiquitous snack slogan, bet you can’t read just one! --Donna Chavez

Review

[A] dizzying display of versatility. As a longtime fan of Buckley’s comic novels (10 at last count), I came away from this book with tremendous respect — yes indeed, respect — for his ability to switch (apparently seamlessly) from one form to another, the prose enlivened by his distinctive wordplay and quirky opinions. He is good company whether you’re looking for two quick pages and a smile, or want to linger over his nuanced character assessment of his former employer, Vice President George H. W. Bush. (New York Times Book Review)

[O]ne of the funniest and most insightful writers in America... The word I wrote most often in my notes as I read the book was 'hilarious.' (Book Reporter)

Witty and irreverent. (Washington Independent Review of Books)

Prone to benign mischief, a literary twinkle in the eye, Buckley nails his targets.... (Kirkus Reviews)

[Buckley] excels in parodies of newspaper corrections, travel tips for small-aircraft passengers, and the comedic dystopia of an imagined inaugural speech from President Donald Trump. (Publishers Weekly)

A geyser of comedy for three decades. (USA Today)

This collection of Buckley’s essays perfectly showcases and draws upon his many writerly voices… these are among his very best efforts…His thoughts are pithy, trenchant, and perspicacious, and for all that, his essays are seasoned with a light dusting of self-deprecation, the secret to this book’s exceptional charm…sublimely addicting. (Booklist)

Even with more than 450 pages and almost 100 essays, you’ll want more of Buckley’s astute observations of the human condition that will make you chuckle, laugh loudly or seriously consider the points made throughout the book. Read it straight through from beginning to end, or just pick it up at any point and you’ll discover what clever and invigorating writing can do for your spirit. (Acadiana Lifestyle)

Enormously readable. (Buffalo News)

The great thing about But Enough About You is that if one essay is not to your liking, surely the next one will suit you. Buckley has had such a wide range of experiences in his travels, writing career, political experience, and his circle of friends that it seems he has no end of interesting anecdotes. His life is more interesting than most, and he writes movingly and brilliantly about it… You just have to admire a writer who is as comfortable writing about a visit to Auschwitz or a tribute to Joseph Heller as he is writing about his incompetence as a ski instructor for his 7-year-old son, or a fake questionnaire for vice presidential candidates. (Reading Glutton)

[Buckley is] an esteemed humorist, traveler, and an irreverent historian. He is extremely gifted and as one goes from essay to essay, one is treated to reading his insights, friends such as authors Joseph Heller and Christopher Hitchens, dinner at the Reagan White House, flying a Cessna through Alaskan mountains, working aboard a freighter, gardening, and other topics galore… Reading Buckley, for aspiring writers, is a lesson in how to observe life and write about it in a superb fashion. (Bookviews)

I encourage you to pick up a copy of But Enough About You, if only to learn how an explosive device became a chew-toy for the First Pooch and why there is a chapter called ‘You Thieving Pile of Albino Warts.’ (Fiction Reboot)

The collection reminds us, if we need reminding, that Buckley can be seriously funny. (The Oregonian)

Buckley is consistently funny, witty, and smart. His prose entertains and informs, as he sprinkles witty bon-mots throughout. (MarkMyWords.blogspot.com)

But Enough About You is worthy of attention on several fronts, but particularly in its humor and in the affection of its portraits of certain authors. (Smoky Mountain News)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (May 6, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476749515
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476749518
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #829,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul Mastin TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Christopher Buckley long ago stepped out of the shadow of his father, the legendary William F. Buckley. He has certainly earned his place as a brilliant writer on his own merits. Besides his tremendously entertaining and humorous political novels, Christopher Buckley has written copiously for magazines such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Forbes FYI, and others. Many of his magazine pieces have been collected in a newly published collection, But Enough About You: Essays.

The essays and articles herein run the gamut, include travel pieces, reviews and criticism, memoir, and goofy stuff he must have written just because he thought it would be fun. In the latter category, we find histories of the bug zapper, hotel alarm clock, hotel minibar, and the lobster bib, among other things. These pieces are intelligently funny, but got a bit tiresome. They were my least favorite part of the book, yet I know I would have appreciated them much more in the original context, as the silly humor piece in an otherwise straightforward magazine.

OK, I'm done being critical. This really is a great collection of essays. The great thing about But Enough About You is that if one essay is not to your liking, surely the next one will suit you. Buckley has had such a wide range of experiences, in his travels, writing career, political experience, and his circle of friends, that it seems he has no end of interesting anecdotes. His life is more interesting than most, and he writes movingly and brilliantly about it. (And, I would add, humbly. Even though he moves in elite circles, he does not come across as elitist.
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Format: Hardcover
He doesn’t like the term “humorist,” but, as he tells us in the Preface to BUT ENOUGH ABOUT YOU, his entertaining new collection of essays, Christopher Buckley rejects second-class status on behalf of artists who are in “the business of trying to make people laugh.” As well he should. It’s not news that humor is one of the hardest forms of entertainment to master. In IMAGES: My Life in Film, Ingmar Bergman wrote with admiration of artists who had a talent for comedy. “I brooded a good deal over how others could so easily make people laugh,” Bergman wrote. “Even if my life had depended on it, I couldn’t figure out how they did it.”

Buckley had already figured it out when he wrote his first novel, THE WHITE HOUSE MESS, and, for 30 years, has been one of the funniest and most insightful writers in America. He is best known for his novels, but the 89 essays in this collection show his skills in the short form.

The essays have been grouped into nine categories. The first, “But Enough About You,” are all about him: the time he spent after boarding school as a “deck boy aboard a Norwegian tramp freighter,” where his job was “to prevent the stevedores from stealing, a function I performed with spectacular lack of efficiency;" the surprise of discovering that someone had paper-clipped top-secret nuclear launch procedures to the back of a speech he had written for his boss, Vice-President Bush. The “But Seriously” section contains some of his more outlandish comic pieces, including fake Supreme Court decisions and “A Short History of the Bug Zapper,” which describes a nitroglycerin-based product that, in addition to zapping the bugs, “blows up a lieutenant colonel and two brevet majors who mistakenly dip their spoons into it, seeking to sweeten their coffee.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am not a big fan of his father's politics, but he was a man with a dry sense of humor antwod a interesting view of the world. His son is no less and could be the better of the two. I laughed outloud and promptly gave the book to my son, who is a fan of his father's politics and he laughed too -- what can I say -- I will find more of his books.
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Do you want to laugh? Do you want to laugh out loud? Well, then, But Enough About You, a collection of essays by Christopher Buckley, is just the book. What a witty title, what a clever book as well. Christopher Buckley is the son of the late conservative icon William Buckley, and that is a burden and a gift at the same time—a gift because of what his dad could teach him and who his dad knew, and a burden because he would always be compared unfairly to his famous father. Well, Christopher, who wrote the fabulous novel upon which the screenplay for the movie Thank You For Smoking was based, can stand on his own as a critic of the culture these days and as a fierce political satirist (that word satirist plays a prominent and amusing role in the beginning of this book).

Although I have not read all the essays yet, I just had to alert readers to pick up this wise and thoughtful and hilariously funny book. The patrons at the breakfast place the other day must have thought I was going bonkers because I was laughing loudly while reading Buckley’s essay about the Amtrak Acela train’s quiet car. That essay was especially meaningful to me because I used to take that train quite a bit, and I had the same sinister feelings he had.

Get this book. It will make you laugh uproariously and it will also make you think. But take my advice and don’t read it in a restaurant. That’s all I have to say because I must get back to reading the next essay.
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