11 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Depressingly unfunny attack on your heroes.,
This review is from: Can't Be Arsed (Hardcover)While the premise of this book is interesting, a riposte on all the numerous books/television shows entitled '101 things to do/see before you die', the author unfortunately descends into complete cultural nihilism: a hatred of just about any cultural experience, geographical location and well-intentioned deed which has been labelled 'great' at one time or another. A plethora of books such as this have been released since the hit television series Grumpy Old Men but this book does not even have the common decency to be remotely funny or informative while doing its demolition job.
Richard Wilson's reason for not visiting the Great Wall of China seem to rest solely with a dislike of the Chinese who 'force women to have abortions', 'drive tanks over students', 'shoot monks', 'execute prisoners in mobile lethal-injection vans' while eating tigers! His advice, in place of a visit to Athens, is to purchase Jason and Argonauts on DVD. The Pyramids, Grand Canyon, Machu Picchu, Australia, Thailand and Prague are all dismissed for various reasons as not being worth visiting, although, it is a good job he does advice against travelling to those destinations as 'it's a waste of time learning an European language' being that 'in a few years even the French will have learned sufficient English.'
It is the cultural section which will make most people want to throw this book across the room. Sgt Pepper contains 'only three good tracks' we are told, Dark Side of the Moon consists mostly of 'long instrumental passages, sustained chords and boring sound effects' whereas Thriller is merely dismissed as 'disco-music.' Apparently Bob Dylan, who the author holds in particular disdain, introduced John Lennon to drugs subsequently making this rock n' roller produce 'feeble copies of his' earlier work. Indeed, the Beatles back-catalogue post-1964 is of 'variable quality`. Electric Ladyland (similarly containing only three good songs apparently), Exile on Main Street, Pet Sounds and Nevermind all come under equal sustained attack. Plenty of people have criticised albums like Sgt Pepper before - not my favourite Beatles album either - but this is not even good musical criticism: for example, the author claims Dylan meant 'stoned, y'know, like on drugs tee-hee' on Rainy Day Women thereby ignoring the third person plural in the verses.
Things which are lengthy such as the Searchers, Gone with the Wind and War in Peace seem to particularly irk the author who must have the attention span of a toddler. The fact that maybe - hopefully - this book is one big failed attempt in irony is perhaps revealed in his criticism of Charles Dickens, an author 'better on the telly' whose 'other books e.g. Great Expectations have no songs' as with the musical Oliver!
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Initial post: 16 Nov 2010 11:57:18 GMT
Last edited by the author on 16 Nov 2010 11:58:15 GMT
Ooh dear. Sense of humour failure. In the words of Sean Lock, the book is 'Not just funny, but right".
In reply to an earlier post on 18 Nov 2010 08:35:42 GMT
If you say so. I happen to quite like Athens, the Beatles and Dickens so merely found the book unfunny and wrong.
In reply to an earlier post on 16 Dec 2011 10:36:27 GMT
I'm sure the Beatles and Dickens can look after themselves. Humour is not necessarily a series of statements of fact or opinion (Unless you're from certain parts of America or a fully signed up member of the PC Delusion). Presumably you don't 'get' Christopher Hitchens either? (RIP)
In reply to an earlier post on 24 Nov 2012 18:09:12 GMT
Hitchens? No, not really. A reulsive man.
Posted on 9 Jul 2013 14:45:55 BDT
S. Morris says:
I fear you have completely missed the point of this book. its meant to be dismissive to things that are deemed "important" the clue is in the title, thats where the humour resides, in the fact that obviously the author does not feel this way but is taking on the persona of someone closed minded, someone who doesnt take in others viewers and has a fixed outlook on life, someone who might write a ranting amazon review completely missing the point of the subject at hand........
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