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New Rules: Polite Musings from a Timid Observer Hardcover – Bargain Price, July 21, 2005
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Bill Maher is on the forefront of the new wave of comedians who have begun to influence and shape political debate through their comedy. He is best known not just for being funny, but for advocating truth over sensitivity and taking on the political establishment. Maher first came to national attention as the host of the hit ABC-TV program Politically Incorrect, where he offered a combustible mixture of irreverence and acerbic humor that helped him to garner a loyal following, as well as a reputation for being a controversial bad boy.
Bill Maher's popular new HBO television show, Real Time, has put Maher more front and center than ever before. Particularly one regular segment on the show, entitled "New Rules," has been a hit with his ever-growing legion of fans. It is the part of the show during which Maher takes serious aim, bringing all of his intelligence, incisiveness, wit, and his signature exasperation to bear on topics ranging from cell phones ("I don't need my cell phone to take pictures or access the Internet. I just need it to make a phone call. From everywhere! Not just the places it likes!") to fast food ("No McDonald's in hospitals. I'm not kidding!) to the conservative agenda ("Stop claiming it's an agenda. It's not an agenda. It's a random collection of laws that your corporate donors paid you to pass.")
His new book, the first since his bestselling When You Ride Alone You Ride with bin Laden, brings these brilliantly conceived riffs and rants to the written page. Appropriately titled New Rules, the book will collect some of the best of the rules derived from previously written material and will also contain substantial new material, including some longer form "editorials"--of course with a twist and bite that only Bill Maher can deliver.
In New Rules: Polite Musings of a Timid Observer, Bill Maher skewers celebrity, pop culture, and politics in his classic acerbic style. With a new season of Real Time with Bill Maher and an upcoming HBO Special (his sixth), Bill Maher: I'm Swiss, on deck, Maher also found the time to host Amazon.com's 10th Anniversary Concert at Seattle's Benaroya Hall. Amazon.com caught up with Maher upon his return to Los Angeles to talk about the book, the comic's night-table reading habits, the Internet, and what's wrong with the media.
Does Anybody Have a Problem with That?
True Story: A Novel
Bill Maher: I'm Swiss
Bill Maher: Victory Begins at Home
Bill Maher: Be More Cynical
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Top Customer Reviews
Such comedic salvos are pithy, creative, and irreverent. Maher's language is often salty, and everyone and everything is grist for his mill. Although decidedly anti-Bush, he takes potshots at democrats alike, and most importantly, at himself. "... Something is very wrong when the only one fired over terrorism is me." (Too many times people turned their attention toward me to find out why I suddenly laughed out loud).
It would help the reader to have already heard Maher's voice and delivery. It might give each joke more impact. Nevertheless, this man's star is on the rise, and so is his book.
"New Rules," rules!
Although Maher obviously leans to the left and isn't afraid to take shots at Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld and Co., neither does he spare the Democrats (he gives France kudos for standing up to the Bush administration, "which is more than the Democrats in Congress are doing").
Guts and honesty. Two virtues sorely lacking in this country today. Thanks Bill, for not being afraid to tell it like it is and remaining "politically incorrect."
If you're a regular "Real Time" viewer then most of this will be pretty familiar. There's some new material, but mostly this is recycled. Not to mention the fact that takes on subjects like "runaway bride" Jennifer Willbanks and Scott Peterson will be baffling by the time this hits paperback. Still, I found myself laughing again at jokes I heard on the show, so Maher's wit lasts at least that long. Also, you can read it in just a couple of hours! It's a rather slight book even when compared to other celebrity efforts, such as Jon Stewart's "America: The Book," but Maher makes a lot more sense than say, his friend (I'm not kidding!) Ann Coulter. If you're a "blue state" person trapped in a "red state," this would be pretty much essential. Of course, as an elitist New Yorker, I'm probably just "out of touch."
In other words "New Rule: A 240 page book should be 240 pages of material."