Why We Don’t Suck and How All of Us Need to Stop Being Partisan Little Bitches by Dr. Denis Leary

This book is actually two books that slide one into the other.  The first book is what the title says it is: a locked and loaded, tell-it-like-it-is kick in the pants to both “left-wing snowflakes and right-wing nutjobs.”  And in the view of Dr. Denis Leary, there is no middle ground.  Both sides are wrong, and both sides need to get their heads out of their collective asses.  I may not agree on all of his points, but I wholeheartedly agree with the message.  But then, I’m biased.  I’ve been saying it for decades now.

Where the book wins is when Dr. Leary dissects our political climate with the skill of a horror movie serial killer using a chainsaw.  In between actual facts and quality analysis of the two polarized sides of our political dogfight, we are held up to a mirror and forced to gaze unflinchingly at how wrong we are.  And if that weren’t enough, then we’re given a glimpse into our possible future.  What seemed like completely unbelievable crackpot nonsense a mere 10 years ago no longer seems so far fetched.  Some of his solutions, no matter how impractical they may seem, are completely plausible based on trends of the last 20 years.

Then somewhere around the halfway point of the book, this whole thing transforms into “another celebrity memoir,” which may or may not have some tangential relation to the topic of the book.  That remains in the eye of the beholder, though I have to assume Dr. Leary has a point beyond nostalgia and tales of personal fan panic when confronted with A-list celebrities, and that as someone who does not have an honorary doctorate, I missed something somewhere.  The fault is clearly mine for not raising my game to Dr. Leary’s caliber.  Some of the tales are funny.  Some of them will even make you feel better about being a member of the human race, even if only by association.  All of them will remind you that celebrities are people too.  But after the near perfect premise and delivery of the book’s main topic, it seems off the rails… not unlike our world right now.  If you like celebrity memoirs and all the name-dropping goodness that comes with them, Dr. Leary has a present for you.

As a narrator for the audiobook version…. if you’re familiar with his personal fast-talking, no holds barred delivery style, you already know exactly what to expect.  This feels more like an extended monologue than an audiobook narration, which is to be expected from someone with acting chops.

3 stars

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