July 10, 2009

Book Review: "Is It Just Me Or Is Everything Shit?" by Steve Lowe and Alan McArthur

Title: Is It Just Me Or Is Everything Shit?
Authors: Steve Lowe and Alan McArthur

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Published: November 2008 (Little, Brown Book Group in 2006)
Genre: Non-Fiction; Humor
ISBN-10: 0-446-19788-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-446-19788-5

Do you think Bono is a little too full of himself? Are you a little sick of hearing people prattle on about Macs being superior to PCs? Do you want to reach for a firearm when you're told your disposable razor doesn't have enough razor blades? Then, this book is your book.

Lowe and McArthur have compiled what amounts to a lexicon of all the bullshit in the world. I thought I was cynical—and I am—but these guys express their bewilderment and disdain in such a way, my rants are more akin to a caveman's angry grunts. The extent to which they have listed, in alphabetical order no less, the people and things in the world that annoy so many of us is admirable ... and a little scary. Some entries are brief, with a single sentence to sum up what needs to be said—even a single word is all that's needed at times. Then there are more involved entries, where they dissect the problem with a wit as sharp as a scalpel.

Don't expect prose on par with Kurt Vonnegut or other notable malcontents. These guys seem to be venting both, out of a need to vocalize their contempt for things like paninis and the British royal family, and to entertain those among us who wonder who the asshole was that came up with "smart casual" wear.

There are times while reading this book you might think you're reading a blog transcribed into book form. It's enjoyable in its humor and candor. It's not a concept that's untapped, as some may be familiar with the rantings and ravings of Bill Maher, Dennis Miller, or Lewis Black. But, why should those guys hog the spotlight? Steve Lowe and Alan McArthur have just as much to piss and moan about as anyone. And they'll make you laugh, as you shake your head and think, "I can't believe that thing actually exists."

There's an entry for everyone, and they really run the gamut. Everything from "abstinence programs" to "Z-list celebrities." They may want to consider for their next book things the world truly needs ... like abstinence programs for Z-list celebrities.

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