February 13, 2009

Free-Range Chickens, by Simon Rich


Simon Rich is a Harvard graduate and a writer for Saturday Night Live. He is four years younger than me. Feeling bad about yourself for your lack of accomplishments is never a good way to start off reading a comic novel.

This book is crazy short. It took me just over an hour to read. It's a series of very short (3 pages max) essays, none of which are connected, and the vast majority of which are dialogues. It's very fanciful; for example, there is a dialogue between the ducks in the old Nintendo game Duck Hunt about the blood thirst of the hunter Simon. 

It's pretty funny, but I could compare most of the book to a bag of chips I don't particularly like: the flavour's not my favourite, but they're easy to eat, so I keep going. Near the end things picked up and my occasional chuckles turned into frequent laughter. 

UPDATE: Last night I grabbed the book and read parts of it to Kelly, then insisted he borrow it. Apparently I liked it more than I thought. He started reading it today and loves it so far.

4 comments:

brie said...

I just read this, too! I'm guessing you saw it on Dooce? That's where I heard about it. I was also a little alarmed by his youth. And accomplishments. However, I thought it was quite funny so I overlooked those things. I especially liked the one about going back in time to kill Hitler. "This man just killed a baby!" I liked it enough to put a hold on his first book and look him up on Wikipedia.

Lydia said...

Yes, I read about it on Dooce. The Hitler one was pretty good. I liked the God ones too. Tell me how Ant Farm is.

brie said...

I will. I have so many books out right now. I'm trying to get through them as quickly as possible while still enjoying them.

jazzlawyer said...

I can confirm that I do indeed like this book so far. It made me laugh in DeDutch, and if you can laugh in a Dutch theme restaurant you can laugh anywhere.