Sunday, February 1, 2009

Areas of his expertise

The right book for just the right time - this is the key to life. For me, that time was today as I sat in the bleachers for my son's basketball practice. Amid the thunderous clamour of three dozen six year-olds, each carrying on with what seemed like amplified basketballs, Gravity's Rainbow would have been a poor companion to pass the time.

Enter John Hodgman, the PC guy from those obnoxious Mac commercials. His book The Areas of My Expertise can be read in snippets or in long draughts. Either way, you will laugh. I found myself today intermittently watching my son for a few seconds then going back to any random page in this masterpiece and laughing myself stupid.

The areas of Hodgman's expertise include hobos, the Siberian origins of urine drinking, U.S. Presidents who had hooks for hands and vengeful ninjas. And when I say he is an expert on hobos, I mean to say that he has included no less than 700 great hobo names for our reference (Joe Junkpan, Ginbucket Greg, Cleats Onionpocket).

Hodgeman has written the type of book I've always wanted to write: sprawling, illustrated, shape shifting and hilarious. Look for its sequel of course, which is just as amazing.

1 comment:

  1. The hobnobbing clans of well-to-do standing around the champagne fountains may have laughed, but when Hobo Joe Junkpan was named Treasury Secretary, they couldn't do anything about it. Their taxes went way, way up, and suddenly there were way more empty oil drums and firewood all around America.