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Spectacularly Performed Unabridged Audio,
This review is from: Basket Case (Hardcover)
When Basket Case first came out, I read the book and enjoyed it very much. Finding myself in the mood for some humor in my audio cassette listening while I drive, I was delighted to see that Recorded Books has produced an unabridged version of the book narrated by George Wilson. His treatment of the book greatly improved how much I enjoyed it the second time. If you have neither read the book nor listened to an audio cassette version, I recommend that you listen to the audio and skip the book. You will double your laughs if you do!
Only a talented journalist could have ever concocted this story. It's filled with love for the profession and appropriate warnings against too much focus on the bottom line.
As the book opens, Jack Tagger, aged 46, explains how he came to serve as an obituary writer on the Union-Register, now owned by the publicly traded Maggad-Feist. In protest against the ham-handed policies of the new owners, Jack insulted the CEO (whom he likes to call Master Race Maggad III) at the shareholder's meeting. Maggad was afraid to fire Jack because of the potential for a law suit, so Jack was relegated to the obituary pages . . . hoping he would resign in disgust. Instead, he hangs on for dear life, hoping to make life difficult for all those around him, including his young editor, Emma. His objective is to drive her out of journalism (for her own good). The humor quickly becomes apparent as Jack reveals a morbid fascination with how old celebrities were when they died. Did you know that Jack Kerouac died at 47?
Into this mess of a frustrated career and life falls a brief notice of a death of one James Bradley Stomarti at 39. Something rings a bell, and suddenly Jack realizes that Stomarti is also known as Jimmy Stoma of the recording group, Jimmy and the Sl_t Puppies. Jack sells Emma on the idea of doing a feature on this, pointing out that the new managing editor is a Sl_t Puppies fan.
Over the course of the book, you'll learn what caused Jimmy Stoma to die, the ages at which a lot of celebrities died, and quite a bit about the newspaper business. The main theme is that good reporting will win out, and make the world a better place . . . both for the readers and for the reporters and editors.
This story has enough charm and convolutions to keep anyone amused for weeks. I recommend that you listen to the audio in small doses so you can cherish each wonderful line.
After you finish listening, think about where persistence can pay off in your life. How can you make the world a better place?