In his first book, actor-comedian David Cross presents essays, letters, articles, music,
a PDF photo montage, and lots of lists expounding on his pet peeves.† In addition to the
authorís narration, musical bits ("Les Savy Fav," "Yo La Tengo") and guest voices (Jon
Benjamin, Robot Voice, Kristin Schaal) add to the mix, although Crossís distinctly comical
voice would have been sufficient.
The book pokes fun mainly at the unenlightened and uneducated.† By extension, the authorís
vast vocabulary and wordy diatribes appeal to likeminded listeners who can absorb long-winded
sentences that detour through various rabbit holes before returning to his original point.†
Although the seemingly random compilation may annoy some fans of Crossís more structured
standup routines and roles in movies (Battle For Terra) and television (Arrested
Development), others will surely take delight in not knowing what will happen next in
this six-and-a-half hour audio book.
The many lists included in this work (reasons not to abandon your baby, names of new
products, etc.) may work better in written book form, as weíre not given enough time to
think them through before the next item is mentioned.† The letters and essays, however,
fare better in audio book form, as Cross gives them the originally intended intonation,
dialect, and emphasis that can only be appreciated by hearing his voice. Even when the
writing fails to amuse, his delivery continues to entertain.
The self-conscious criticism of audio book listeners being lazier than book readers
seems amusing at first, but after several reminders loses some of its humor—unless
the listener remembers that everything Cross says is intended to be funny.† In fact, many
of his rants about politics, religion, sexuality, celebrities, and the entertainment
industry cross back and forth between lighthearted fiction and angry nonfiction without
much clarification about which is which.† Itís up to the listener to wade through the
dense comedic fog to determine how much truth is in his jest—or to merely appreciate
the humor as part of his comedy shtick.