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By Philo on 09-12-17
A few insights, several horse laughs, some tedium
If you attend Big Lebowski reunions, you will think this is revelatory, especially after you stop coughing from a couple fierce bong hits. Back in my dorm days, I would have thought so, of a guy this glib and clever and flowing over with pop-culture and history references, like a kaleidoscopic 360-degree puking of colorful, fuzzy peyote chunks (not that I would know; to slip into this guy's sly idiom, I never inhaled peyote) but that would be, for me, 42 years ago. It is colorful, it is flashy, it is clever in its way, it grabs images from anywhere even inside of one sentence, from cartoons to great works in poly-sci to whatever is in the guy's head this moment. It is often, IMO, anxiously dancing way, way too hard in such manner as, back in the day, to impress the freshman girls (sexist idiom of those times) in the dorm. This style, gonzo journalism, appeared in politics (once it escaped the oral-crowd-scene college outbursts of the 60s, which are referenced herein) as early as Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72. And here is a guy schlepping this old schtick well into the 21st century. But, given the manifest laughing-crying bad-trip absurdity-scariness of our political times, the fit isn't that bad. If one can wade through all the flying flotsam (and yes P.,J., I got every last one of your pop or history or whatever references, sentence by sentence), this author alongside the over-amped facility with phrasings, does have some serious insights into our times and these players, and he makes a heck of a cartoon of everybody in sight. I needed a laugh. His portrayals of Hillary particularly made me guffaw and almost spit chunks myself. The tedious part happens when he wanders, not infrequently, off into some fantasy digression and one can wonder whether he is flashing-back, like, two-thirty in the morning and the dorm chicks (slang usage of the time, sexist, whatever) have long since gone home and he's still stem-winding some sort of abstruse loopy concept. If you can follow this review, you might actually enjoy this book. I did. But I have a shared experiential background, if a shade less hippie. As for the narration: he did it himself, and he managed to vividly revive in memory those DJs in the early 70s who went to great lengths to sound like the most stoned people on earth, a sort of sly looping baritone. There's something about intonations rooted in those times -- a slice of authentic Americana. Spark up!
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By Jay on 20-12-17
The writing knocked it out of the box as always...
The writing knocked it out of the box as always... but OK actually narrating his own book... priceless!