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The CEO of the Sofa Paperback – July 23, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Not content to rest on his laurels, the bestselling humorist O'Rourke (All the Trouble in the World, etc.) instead settles back on his caustic couch to offer a wide-angled worldview from his own living room, his salon of sarcasm. He introduces readers to his assistant, friends, family and smart-aleck babysitter, as he reflects on such topics as cell phones ("People are willing to interrupt anything, including hiding under the bed, to answer a cell phone"), Christmas catalogues, Instant Messaging, MP3s, Nasdaq, toddlers, TV and how the "Gettysburg Address" would have turned out if written on an iMac. On a serious note, he praises the "philosophical legerdemain" of Hunter Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He also reviews the "profound cogitations" of Hillary Clinton's 1995 It Takes a Village ("Some kinds of stupidity cannot be faked"), compares Vegas's Venetian resort to the real Venice ("Will video poker ever inspire a novella by Thomas Mann?") and contemplates the results of bias-free language ("What a piece of work is person!"). For "senior-management types," one hilarious chapter explains youth culture and current celebs, including Moby, Eminem, Carson Daly, Hilary Swank and Beck: "Beck dropped out of school after junior high so we can't blame the dot-com mess on him personally." Though his vitriolic wit is couched in humor that elicits the gamut from giggles to guffaws, O'Rourke never cushions its impact. The comedic crescendo is his centerpiece, a summary of mankind's achievements at millennium's end. This insightful (yet also funny) essay alone is worth the price of admission. (Sept.)Forecast: The 150,000 first printing is backed up with an appealing cover photo, a $150,000 promotional budget, a national ad campaign, an 18-city author tour plus online promotion. O'Rourke will undoubtedly find himself on the bestseller list again.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
O'Rourke (Eat the Rich) has come to the fore in the current school of New Journalism that put Hunter Thompson and Tom Wolfe on the literati map. Like or dislike him, one must admit that he has the power to draw the reader into his psychological inferno. His new book crackles with indignation, a lot of it centered on Democrats, liberals, and the Clintons, about whom he writes with such an infusion of malice that it amounts at times almost to rage. In addition to incinerating these evil specimens of humanity, he also does some tub-thumping on such topics as parenting children, wine tasting, Earth Day, and India. The book will prove abundantly entertaining to those who enjoy O'Rourke's attack-dog style of writing and share his views, but it will surely derange the digestion of all others. Unless something cataclysmic happens, the book is likely to find its way to best-sellerdom.
- A. J. Anderson, GSLIS, Simmons Coll., Boston
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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O'Rourke has the knack of being able to find the universal in some rather arcane scenery - like the bureaucrats in India, and has a lot of fun with wine tasting and altering the senses in general. He also likes to tee off on both of our political parties, though, being a Republican there seems to be more glee in his hammering on the Democrats (or maybe my being conservative and Republican, I get more glee from his pounding on the other guys. But I must admit to relishing his exposing the hypocrisy on the right as well.).
This book is a collection of his published articles (at least one unpublished before) that are woven (pasted - pastiched?) together as if they came out of events in O'Rourke's life rather being set up as separate articles. This device works OK and offers the P.J. the opportunity the opportunity of setting up a few more laughs.
I am sure you will enjoy some articles more than others, as I did. Again, humor is a difficult thing and sometimes you find yourself outside the point of the joke. But there are plenty enough delicious barbs that you will find yourself laughing out loud more than few times. It ends in August of 2001 so it comes from the pre-9/11 world and that shows a bit. But, hey, it is still very good stuff.
Four stars: while it is very good writing, it isn't the best O'Rourke - but it is still far better than most other satirical commentary.
His take on child rearing books as a good description of management training is spot on. His hard knocks on both Gore and Bush during the campaign are much more illuminating than what we get from the mainstream press. His acerbic review of Hillary Clinton's "It takes a village" finally puts that ill-conceived book and concept to rest. His general maturation from a young, hip conservative to a middle-aged one might make some old fans and current skeptics wince, but he has not mellowed with age.
Yes, you have to have a certain sense of irony or cynicism to enjoy O'Rourke. For those who do, it is a fun read.
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