Friday, October 7, 2011

Book Review: Zombie. Spaceship. Wasteland. By Patton Oswalt

The Premise:
Patton Oswalt tries his hand at being a “Writer”.

The Good:
Mr. Oswalt’s strengths as a stand-up comedian best translate to the printed page when he’s making cultural and sociological observations. When he sticks to telling straightforward stories peppered with references, both popular and obscure, he is at his best, but it’s a misnomer to classify this book as “humor”. There is a lot of heart between these pages. As a first effort, this work is admirable, if severely flawed. The words worth a read:
·      Also By Patton Oswalt
·      Preface Foreword Intro
·      Ticket Booth
·      Prelude to “The Song of Ulvaak”
·      Zombie Spaceship Wasteland
·      The Victory Tour
·      Mary C. Runfola Explains Her Gifts
·      About the Type

The Bad:
For fans expecting Mr. Oswalt’s stand-up routine in printed form, or hilarious anecdotes about life on the road or Hollywood, they will be sorely disappointed.

Mr. Oswalt never seems to know what kind of book he wants to write. Is it a collection of stories? Is it more of a notebook with all sorts of humorous sketches? Is it a walk down memory lane?  

It reads as if he desperately wants to be taken seriously as a writer, but then undermines that conceit with a cast-off piece of “humor” writing. This might seem harsh, but that the book evokes any sort of emotion or thought cannot and should not be dismissed.

The Verdict:
Borrow it. Or check it out from the library. Like an Apple product, wait for version 2.0, when all the bugs are worked out.