Like many of you reading this, I'm a big fan of OSer Cranky Cuss. Not only do I enjoy his writing; having met him in person recently, I can attest that he's a genuinely witty, nice guy.
So when I heard he was publishing a book, my first reaction was utter excitement. When I found out what the book was about, though, I was in a bit of a pickle.
There's nothing inherently wrong with this, of course, unless you're just not that into politics. Let me put it this way: I can tell you Edgar Allan Poe's birthdate, but not the date the President will be elected. I can name every person on Jersey Shore, but I have no idea who the Speaker of the House is. I'm even only about 95% sure Joe Biden is our Vice President, and not a football player. I mean, doesn't "Joe Biden" sound like a football player name?
So how could a person like me appreciate Cranky's book?
Still, my respect for the guy and confidence in his writing abilities made me take the plunge, and I bought a copy. I was on a visit to the U.S. for the past few weeks (during which time I watched a marathon of My Strange Addiction episodes, and the Jersey Shore reunion special, and not a single second of news programming....), but my long plane ride home (with squash-stuffed pasta for dinner - ugh) and some stolen moments these past few days have given me time to tackle Cranky's book.
Actually, it turns out "tackle" isn't really the right verb. Because despite my (perhaps disturbing) political ignorance, I actually found Send in the Clown Car
to be a fun, breezy read. What I love about Cranky's writing is that there are moments of seriousness, and intelligence runs through everything he does (including my favorite post of his so far, an account of being attacked by a goose
), but there's such a pleasant, down-to-earth tone, and humor that ranges from mild joking to biting satire, too. The essays in Send in the Clown Car
are, thankfully, no exception. I got some great chuckles through many of the pieces, and maybe, just maybe, learned something.
But what I appreciated most about the book (well, besides the piece about Abraham Lincoln's blog, or the brilliantly executed -no pun intended! - satire on joining the NRA, or the very astute modern fable "Louie Liberal and Chucky Conservative"), and what motivated me to get my political-polar-opposite dad a copy, is that Cranky makes fun of just about everyone. All parties and individuals are fair game. Even Santa Claus is presented in a new and potentially shocking light.
I can't say I understood 100% of what I read. But I did have fun, and I sincerely think that Cranky's book is probably the best political satire a person like me could read.
In writing this honest review, I hope Cranky will see that I'm paying him a compliment: If I
can enjoy his book, I bet a person who's closely following the Presidential race - or even barely paying attention to it, who am I kidding - will find it absolutely delightful. So if you or someone you know are/is a fan of politics, satire, and having a few laughs at modern life, Send in the Clown Car
(which is available on the Kindle or as a physical book with a nifty cover created by Cranky's daughter Michelle and designed by OS's own dianaani
) would be a great read.
Second compliment to Cranky: As far as my baggage weight allowance and book budget went, it was between Send in the Clown Car and Snooki's opus, Confessions of a Guidette. I chose Cranky, and I don't regret it!