EVERYTHING I EVER NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT _____* I LEARNED FROM MONTY PYTHON by Brian Cogan

EVERYTHING I EVER NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT _____* I LEARNED FROM MONTY PYTHON

*History, Art, Poetry, Communism, Philosophy, the Media, Birth, Death, Religion, Literature, Latin, Transvestites, Botany, the French, Class Systems, Mythology, Fish Slapping, and Many More!
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KIRKUS REVIEW

And now for something completely different about something completely different.

Consisting of John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones and Graham Chapman, England's Monty Python is arguably the only contemporary comedic entity that has transcended generations. (Laurel and Hardy, the Marx Brothers and the Three Stooges are among those that have transcended all generations, but the fact that Monty Python is deservedly mentioned alongside those icons demonstrates their importance to filmed, scripted comedy.) Their fans are passionate to the point that more people than you suspect can quote large chunks of sketches from the long-running TV show Monty Python's Flying Circus or their classic film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Here, Cogan (Communication/Molloy Coll.; Encyclopedia of Punk Music and Culture, 2006) and Massey (English Language and Literature/Molloy Coll.; co-editor: Heads Will Roll: Decapitation in the Medieval and Early Modern Imagination, 2012) pose the question, "How can we put this useless (albeit hilarious) knowledge to good use?" The authors decided that Python—with their dead parrots, French taunters and reverence for Spam—can be used as a teaching tool, and believe it or not, they're right. Similar in tone and intent to Blackwell’s “…and Philosophy" series, Cogan and Massey apply Python's lessons (such as they are) to history, sport, art, theory and “everything else.” For example, in the history chapter, the authors deliver a lengthy discussion about Python's iconic Spanish Inquisition sketch and how it utilizes and relates to the real Spanish Inquisition. The book is exhaustive—the authors touch on nearly every decent Python moment—and while it's a clever concept, it's a tough beginning-to-end read and is best attacked in bite-sized chunks.

An interesting take on the Pythons, but it might have trouble finding an audience, as it doesn't offer anything truly new to hard-core Pythonites, and newbies may gravitate toward one of the many quality Python bios.

Pub Date: March 18th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-250-00470-3
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2014




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