This is a heavily-edited collection of O'Rourke's columns over the last five or so years; the conceit is that he's pontificating to the various folks who happen to pass through his house, and they get to make smart-aleck remarks back at him. It works fairly well, and the material is typical P.J.: serious subjects treated humorously, irreverently and sometimes profanely--but only after considerable thought. He's undeniably flippant, but it's still Humor from Knowledge rather than Humor from Ignorance. It's funny, thought-provoking, and occasionally chilling, as when he says, "Smoking crack is a way for people who couldn't afford college to study the works of Charles Darwin."
The only discordant note isn't really O'Rourke's fault. The essays span the end of Clinton's presidency and the beginning of Bush's, but the book was published prior to 9/11/2001. As a result, he spends a certain amount of time fulminating about topics that no longer seem quite so important, and ignoring others that now seem crucial.
But anyway, I liked it.Posted by Will Duquette at September 23, 2002 08:40 PM