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The New PJ O'Rourke: not as fun as he used to be
on 9 February 2012
Back in the late 80's PJ wrote Parliament of Whores, one of the best and funniest books on politics I have ever had the pleasure of reading. He followed that up in 2010 with Don't Vote!, , largely a rewrite of Parliament, which was funny enough but not as good as its predecessor. Also in the late 80's, PJ wrote Holidays in Hell, one of the best and funniest books on world politics I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Then in 2011 he wrote Holidays in Heck as a ... well, not a sequel, not a rewrite, and not nearly as good as its predecessor. At this rate, if PJ rewrites his Bachelor Home Companion as "The Married Man's Home Companion" in 2012, I may just shed a tear, and not one of joy.
The young(ish) PJ was full of sound and fury, which in many cases did in fact signify nothing, but in other cases most definitely did not. The more mature PJ can still turn a great phrase, but only one at a time, not a whole string of pointed hilarity leading up to a devastating remark. While Holidays in Hell was the furthest thing from a travel memoir, Heck is pretty much that, just for grumpy old men (of which I am, or will shortly become, one).
This later PJ is still funny (in places), informative, and enjoyable enough. But dammit, I don't read PJ because he is "enjoyable enough".
Look, its alright, its not great, and as far as it goes, good enough. If you like PJ, it's worth a read. If you haven't read PJ O'Rourke before, don't start here: go get Republican Party Reptile, or Parliament of Whores, or Holidays in Hell, and read on from there. With a little luck you'll make it to this soon enough.