Max Books (The son of the great Mel Brooks) has written one of the best, maybe the best, zombie book ever written. It is a person by person account of a global zombie war. The book is told through interviews of various people all done after the war has ended, they all tell of a different period during the war and from a different part of the world. The zombie invasion spread differently in different parts of the world. These interviews take you through the initial appearances of the zombies, the denial the world had then the panic once everything set in. You learn how people tried to migrate to the extreme north to get away and finally when the world decided to fight back. This book is really great start to finish; the story that is told is one that seems to chronicle a real world war that had taken place. Even years later (when these interviews take place) you still hear how they have not completely recovered. If you’re a fan of zombies this is a must read book.
I’ve been a big fan of Mike Hammer through most media over the years (Movies, TV, Comics) though for whatever reason I’d never read a Mike Hammer book, until now. After Mickey Spillane’s death his unfinished work was left to Max Allan Collins and Max decided to finish some of the works. Max was a great choice for this; he’s a great detective writer. So Kiss Her Goodbye was basically co-written by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins. After a big shootout in New York a year ago Mike Hammer went off to Florida to recover and maybe retire, but after he hears of the death of his mentor Bill Doolan he returns to New York. Everyone says Doolan’s death was a suicide but Mike suspects differently. An aging and still hurting Mike Hammer hits the streets to see what he can dig up. As he does the bodies start to pile up and he stumbles upon a pretty big deal of a case. The book is filled with sex and violence and some amazing detective stuff in here. I was completely blown away by how good this book was, it left me in awe. This is by far one of the best detective books I’ve ever read, I’m going to start on the rest of the Mike Hammer books as soon as possible.
The Rum Diary is an early novel by Hunter S. Thompson it was written for years but didn’t get published until 1998. It’s the story of a writer, Paul Kemp who moves to San Juan, Puerto Rico to work for a local newspaper. The book takes place in the 1950′s so you get a lot of the lax feeling of that era. Most of the book is Kemp hanging out with friends he makes at the news paper and drinking rum. He gets involved in some trouble a few times including a brawl with the police that lands him in jail and a crazy time at Carnival. Even though there’s really not a lot to the book it was still a great read. Somehow Thompson makes a guy getting drunk and hanging out in Puerto Rico a pretty compelling read. After reading this I really wanted to see the movie because it seems like it’d make a good one and be pretty hard to fuck up. I’ve heard no accounts of it being good and still have yet to see it so we’ll see how that goes. As for the book, if you like Hunter S. Thompson’s stuff you’ll most likely enjoy The Rum Diary.
I don’t think most people realize it today but Bob Newhart is pretty damn brilliant. He’s got a comedic wit which is amazingly unique. Most people couldn’t pull it off and I don’t think anyone would be dumb enough to attempt to imitate because it just can’t be done. When I came across his book I was pretty excited to read it though I don’t know if it quite lived up to my expectations. The book is around two hundred and fifty pages but it felt incredibly short. Now I guess that’s a complement to Bob but besides the fact that a lot of this stuff is great I feel that a good part of that is because he just skims across a lot of things. The book pretty much covers most parts of his career. Before he got into standup, getting into it, making it big and going through his tours various shows and movies. The problem with this is that Bob Newhart has had such an extensive career that a good chunk of this stuff is just touched on. I know that if he actually when in depth with a lot of this stuff the book would balloon to double or triple the size but I think I’d be pretty satisfied with that. Even still comedy and Bob Newhart fans should enjoy this book; as much as I was left wanting more of it I did enjoy the read.
In 2004 Jay Mohr wrote his first book, it was on what seems to be one of his favorite subjects, Saturday Night Live. Or more specifically the two years he was working on Saturday Night Live. Personally I’ve always liked Jay Mohr, I guess that would be obvious since I read (or more specifically listened to) his book. I had the audio book version, it was pretty short, it only took an hour or two to get through, from my looking on Amazon it seems the actual book version is around three hundred pages, so I guess that makes Jay a quick reader. It’s a pretty insightful and entertaining book; it goes from right before he started in SNL, to working on the show and finally getting out of it. As much as I like SNL and I’m pretty sure Jay Mohr does too, it does seem like a fucking awful place to work. There appears to be a lot of politics and corporate bullshit that comes with the job, but still, who wouldn’t jump at the chance to work on Saturday Night Live, even if it has become a shell of its former self. My only real problem with the book isn’t actually a problem more of an observation I guess is I felt like I’d already heard/read this book. As a fan of Jay Mohr I listen to his podcast Mohr Stories and it seems like he’s told every story in the book on the show, not that I can blame him, the book is eight years old now and they’re good stories. So anyone who wants some insight into the world of Saturday Night Live, or is simply a fan of Jay Mohr or comedy in general will probably enjoy this one. But be warned, if you listen to his podcast on the regular, chances are you’ll hear a lot of repeat information.