Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Getting Cross

David Cross' I Drink for a Reason is the first book I have ever read which had more laffs in the jacket blurbs than in the text contained within. This is probably not fair to Cross, since I only made it about two-thirds of the way through the book, but I read the entire jacket. ("One of the funniest books I've ever skimmed!" - Paul Rudd. Not bad, eh?)

I liked Cross a lot on Mr. Show, although you could tell even then that he was kind of an unlikable guy, prickly and ungenerous. That persona comes through in spades in his book, in which he seems determined in every chapter to talk about how much he hates Mormons. None of that would matter, of course, if the book were funny, but it's not.

One reason that personality is so vivid is that it appears Cross dictated the whole book, right off the dome. In fact, it's tremendously sloppy - every time Cross wants to attack Whoopi Goldberg, which is often, he spells her name "Whoopie." In one chapter, A Free List of Quirks for Aspiring Independent Filmmakers, he includes the line "Legally tried to have their astrology sign changed,which went all the way to federal court." That's pretty funny, right? You can't change your astrological sign! Then, two chapters later, in one called Didja Know?, he writes "In China, it is illegal to try to change your astrology sign." Wait a second - that's the same joke! At least it's better cast here, but once would have been enough, David.

Oh, well. He's still a funny guy. Not everyone is cut out to write a book.

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