read three silly books of varying quality in the past week (two on my silent retreat, in between the three serious books i read), and one since i’ve been in detroit for the holidays (read the last one on my sweet sony reader).
this was weak. occasionally, i think the bitter folks at landoverbaptist.com can create some biting satire of evangelicalism. but most of the time — and very much so in this book — they just come off as bitter and unfunny. not that there isn’t some funny stuff in here. but it’s a 1 to 10 ratio, at best, of funny to no-so-much. i found myself just feeling sorry for the creators, which would, of course, completely piss them off and cause them to write something unfunny about me.
this book, however, is what parody is all about. anyone who flies has seen the ‘sky mall’ magazine in the seat pocket in front of you. this ‘catalog’ is a parody of that. and, dang, i laughed out loud over and over again. not a book you could leave out in your youth ministry room (be forwarned), but i sure loved it.
if you’ve never seen the mcweeney’s lists, you’re missing out. they are some of the most intelligent, side-splittingly funny stuff ever written. you can go here and read a bunch of ’em. i’ve bookmarked 10 of them from the book, which i’ll post in months to come. here’s a sample:
Vegetarian Alternatives to Bowling.
BY CHRISTOPHER HARRIS AND JOHN PAINTING
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