Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Book-A-Day #192 (1/24): I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This! by Bob Newhart

I read a bunch of the deluge of comedian's books in the mid-90s, so I felt morally obligated to read this one, especially since my company was doing it and I could get a copy for free. (Well, "morally obligated" is awfully strong. How does "it sounded like a short, funny book" strike you?)

This is clearly an as-told-to book; Josh Young is credited in the acknowledgements as "who gave structure to my 'Stew'". (For those of you out of the publishing loop, words like that in the acknowledgements exist to explain to the in-clued who actually wrote the words in the book. I bet Newhart talked to Young, and Young taped it all and boiled it down; that seems to be the usual process.)

This is clearly a memoir: it's loosely structured, skips about in time, and very surface-y. It's really a collection of anecdotes and bits of routines -- the written equivalent of watching Newhart on various talk-show couches for three or four hours. Of course, who expects anything more than that from a comedian's book?

It was pleasant and I got it done in one day. At this point in book-a-day, that's all I'm looking for. Tomorrow: a collection of jam-jar labels, or something equally mentally demanding.

The Fabulous Book-A-Day Index!

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