- File Size: 384 KB
- Print Length: 71 pages
- Publisher: Hutch Books (May 21, 2013)
- Publication Date: May 21, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00CXACVG6
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,522,782 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$1.99|
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Shuts and Failures Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
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Instead, you should buy this ebook because it's funny. The organizing principle/conceit/half-suppressed source of bitterness driving this book is that the New Yorker and McSweeney's rejected everything in it. But this is good work. So if you enjoy the good pieces in those publications (rather than the ones published because somebody owes somebody's agent a favor or quickie), you'll enjoy these. Or if you enjoy articulate, thoughtful stand-up comedy that mixes nerdiness, wit, and insight, you'll enjoy these. (It's not a perfect comparison, but I'm guessing many people who like Aziz Ansari will like Shuts and Failures.) If you enjoy listening to your hyperliterate but unpretentious friends having a few drinks and wondering would would happen if the Lost Generation had Twitter feuds, you'll enjoy this. If you like riffs on literature and pop culture that try to imagine living inside those fictional worlds (much like Cracked's After Hours), you'll enjoy this. If nothing else, it will validate your nagging sense that Odysseus was probably (1) a pretty lousy leader and (2) a murderous jerk.
All the pieces in it are pretty funny. I particularly enjoyed the full-on nerdy ones (e.g., SHIELD's proposed amnesty deal to Dr. Doom) and the ones where the author uses his time in the world of finance and business to make us laugh at the horrors large and small, banal and stunningly original, that those worlds have to offer. On that front, I especially liked the totally unqualified marketer's application to be a CERN particle physicist and the meeting agenda for Plato's Symposium ("Love: Theory and Practice in an Uncertain Economy"). I'm not sure which ones you'll like most, but if you made it this far into the review, the odds are good that you'll like more than a couple.
Which, since the book is only $2...
Maiello is a master of the satirical mash-up. He seizes his characters from their comfortable places in literature, film, history, or pulp and shoves them head-first into a strange and terrible netherworld called modern America. Alice has left Wonderland to marry a tax collector. Doctor Doom, nemesis of the Fantastic Four, is being eased into a comfortable retirement with stock bonuses and a generous health care plan. Ancient Greek philosophers attend a symposium on “Love: Theory and Practice In An Uncertain Economy.”
The funniest and most original pieces invite use into the jaundiced mind of the forgotten character. The four-year-daughter of the author of "Go the F--- to Sleep" critiques her father's work: "It won’t surprise you to learn that I read it when I couldn’t sleep last night...Let me just say up front that I am surprised and hurt that what I thought of as our nighttime rituals with the stories, the water, the stuffed animals and whatnot was really just a terrible burden for you."
One of the Odyssey's drowned sailors slams his boss for entangling Ithaca in a disastrous war: "Odysseus gathers tells us that the Prince of Troy stole away the wife of Menelaus and has refused to give her back. Frankly this seems to me to be none of our business but Odysseus says its a matter of national security and that the King of Troy is like Hitler. Soon, all of Ithaka is consumed by Anti-Trojan sentiment."
At times, Maiello can be a little too smart. I occasionally got lost in the blur of political, pop-cultural, and literary allusions. I've never seen "Roadhouse," so "Ten Minute Road House" didn't do much for me. "The Rebiography of Alice B. Toklas" was similarly mysterious for someone who never read the her autobiography.
But these gaps aside, Shuts and Failures delivers a comic, trenchant parade of modern America's foibles and failings. A pleasure to read. I hope the Shouts and Murmurs editor sees the light soon. (And if not, I hope that Maiello writes a sequel.)
Most recent customer reviews
'Shuts and Failures' is an anthology of short humourous pieces which, the title...Read more