- Hardcover: 128 pages
- Publisher: Dutton Adult; First Edition edition (April 29, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 052594673X
- ISBN-13: 978-0525946731
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 7.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 73 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #570,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Oh, the Things I Know! A Guide to Success, or, Failing That, Happiness Hardcover – April 29, 2002
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From Library Journal
Fans of Franken's brilliant political satire (Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot) will be disappointed with his latest book. Oh, the Things I Know, while humorous in places, does not live up to the biting acerbity of Franken's political wit. It also pales in comparison with his earlier "self-help" persona, Stuart Smalley of Saturday Night Live fame. In this audio the author offers guidance, of a sort, through many of life's travails. Throughout, Franken appears to put aside what he is best at, humor, and tries to turn out a chapter or two of what Oprah is best at, concern and helpful advice for daily living. Those of us who have laughed out loud while reading his earlier books will be dissatisfied with this slim attempt at humor. Most libraries would be better served with any of Franken's other works.
Theresa Connors, Arkansas Tech Univ., Russellville
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
With a nod to Dr. Seuss and his popular tome for graduates of all ages, Franken offers his own advice guide, which covers pretty much anything anyone wants to understand about life. The aptly named chapters include "Oh, the Mistakes You'll Keep Repeating," "Oh, the Weight You Will Gain," and "Oh, the Orgasms You'll Fake (For the Ladies)." Franken tries to be nurturing, yet he can't avoid being blunt: "Someone once said it is just as easy to fall in love with a rich person as with a poor one. Actually that's not true. It's easier to fall in love with a rich person. But to get them to love you back, that's harder." And when remarking on Babe Paley's comment, "You can't be too thin or too rich," Franken adds, "Nobody loves a fat, poor person." Nor does he shy away from debunking myths. What doesn't kill you will make you stronger? Franken had a friend who went in for back surgery, which made him stronger for a while, until the blood clot that formed in his leg during surgery collapsed his lung, making him weaker. This laugh-aloud take on advice books--it is dedicated simply "For Oprah"--is Stuart Smiley with an edge. Reviewer's advice: don't read it while sitting alone on a bus. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
Franken had the clever idea to write a parody of advice books, but unfortunately, the cleverness wears off after about 20 pages, in other words, there is enough here for a Bill Murray skit but not a full-length film. Franken is funny, and puts some clever comedic moments into this, but I got the idea that he was writing it as fast as I was reading it.
What works well here is his chapter summaries. Early on in the book, he provides Maria Shriver/Oprah Winfrey type summaries with action items, journals, and topics for monthly discussion with one's mentor. As the book progresses, the summaries degenerate into excuses for why the chapter was not very good, new information that Franken forgot to put in the chapter, and material totally unrelated to the chapter. Franken is a natural comic genius, and adds some other nice touches, such as references to non-existent chapters (he later explains that the editor deleted his books 4-7 from the manuscript, leaving us with only books 1-3), his cut-outs of handy information such as the country codes for dialing every nation, and his reasons for ranking religions into a Top Ten list.
But in the end, this is a jumble of un-related rants and random thoughts. There is no story to this and it does not hold one's interest, even for a fan like me. One is almost concerned for the well-being of the Franken family, if this is what the mighty have fallen to.