Monday, May 09, 2005

I feel like a lot of my books lately have been very dark and serious (other than my initial foray into Rob Thomas territory) so I wanted something to read that I knew would make me laugh. Love All the People: Letters, Lyrics, Routines by Bill Hicks seemed to fit the bill. It was still dark (very, very dark), but funny as hell. My issues with the structure of the book resulted from the way I read it. It wasn't until I was nearly done that I realized this wasn't necessarily a book to read cover to cover without stops. Rather, I should've spaced out my reading, using it as comic relief over a number of months because it largely consists of transcripts of his various shows. Although he did a certain amount of improvisation onstage, there were bits that he did every show. I found myself wishing for some variety when reading these transcripts because those bits started to lose their impact. In one interview toward the end the reporter mentioned that bootleg tapes of his shows circulated among college students. This is what sparked my realization - I couldn't go listen to all my Old 97's bootlegs one after the other no matter how much I love that band because it would be total overkill. And I think that's exactly what happened here. As to the content itself, it's amazing and definitely sad how timely and appropriate his comments on the war and the country still feel 12 years later. He would have screamed himself hoarse these days. At least now we have The Daily Show to carry on his good work.

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