This last year I have been asked to review several books, but I have failed. First, if I don’t enjoy a book, I have no problem putting it down and not finishing it. I am easily distracted and love procrastinating when more pleasant times call me. Second, as some readers may have noticed, like many bloggers I have no trouble finding criticisms which a publisher/author probably won’t be fond of. Both of my brothers are very successful salesman and in the past when I envied their incomes and explored jumping into business, they kindly advised me that I would be very bad in sales because I am “too honest”. Oh well — I will stick to medicine, I guess.
Eight months ago, Simon & Shuster sent me a free copy of “God, No!” by Penn Jillette and requested a review. I don’t know how they found me, but I was a little excited and flew into reading it but I only got to page 48 when I gave up on the book. I had never heard of Jillette until I was sent the book. I looked him up, found out he was a comedian, and watched several YouTube episodes of his show: Penn and Teller: Bullshit!
His show and his book are full of vulgarity — the kind of vulgarity I don’t like. His crass style was a complete turn off for me. His personality was too full of himself. He seemed like one big embarrassment. And to top that off, I found the book rather empty of significant substance.
Don’t get me wrong, I swear more than I’d like to and I sometimes enjoy vulgarity as a wonderful rhetorical tool. It wasn’t just his swearing but his style and his personality.
Simon & Shuster asked me to tell them when I write my review, so out of courtesy I will send them the link to this post. But I am sure that it will be the last Simon & Shuster book I receive. Oh well, my brothers appear to be right. So beware if you are considering asking me for a book review.
But who knows, maybe someone who reads this post will say: Wow, if Sabio hated it so much, I’ve got to read that book!” So, as a first time offer on Triangulations, I propose a contest: Write a short post on your own blog on the theme of cursing or vulgarity. Send me the link to your post by March 1st, and I will do a follow-up post where post links to all contestants posts, along with a poll where readers can vote on their favorite essay. The poll will run for one week, and I will then, for free, send the winning essayist my copy of “God, No!”.
Oh yes, take a look at the links below:
- Women who don’t amuse Penn Jillette: A great “FreeThought” post which inspired me to finally write this “review”.
- 16-Steps to Becoming an Eerdman Book: step 15: To reviewers. Some of you may enjoy this article.