Next book



Funny stuff for TV viewers with short attention spans.

Less an actual book than a return to the print-media platform by a brand most familiar from television.

“It’s a joke book,” admits Maher of this sequel to New Rules: Polite Musings from a Timid Observer (2005). As an alphabetized collection of bits from his “New Rules” TV segments (though some never aired), this book is meatier than a collection of top-10 lists from another TV brand. Yet the author acknowledges that he deserves credit neither for the concept (his program’s head writer conceived “New Rules” as a running feature) or for “so many of the jokes in this book” (he has staff writers for that). Consequently, the book is a compilation of TV bits that have aired since the last compilation (which means some might be six years old) and some that didn’t make the airtime cut for a variety of reasons, aimed at dedicated Maher fans who want all their favorites in one volume or at those who enjoy Maher when they see him but want to see how much they’ve missed. Example: “New Rule: The White House doesn’t have to release the dead Bin Laden photos, but don’t pretend we can’t take it. We’ve seen pictures of Britney Spears’s vagina getting out of a car. Television has desensitized us to violence, and porn has desensitized us to people getting shot in the eye.” Though Maher’s perspective on celebrity culture, marijuana, masturbation and China will be familiar to fans, some of the longer (rarely longer than a page and a half), more ambitious pieces reflect the sensibility he shares with Jon Stewart, with a cutting-edge humor that slices through journalistic hypocrisy—e.g., “We don’t need a third party, we need a first party. This is because we don’t have a left and a right party in this country anymore. We have a center-right party and a crazy party. Over the last thirty-odd years, Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital.”

Funny stuff for TV viewers with short attention spans.

Pub Date: Nov. 14, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-15841-4

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Blue Rider Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2011

Next book



Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

Next book


This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

Close Quickview