Sunday, April 30, 2017

Take the absurdity and run

So a while back I talked about how much I hated the Mifflin Lowe book I Hate Fun because it was the laziest, crappiest, shittiest, most banal book of humor I'd ever encountered. It always went with the most predictable and boring punchline and held itself in esteem over every stereotype it described.

Max Headroom's Guide To Life is a book written in a very similar style to I Hate Fun but it actually ends up being funny, largely through the virtue of choosing to double-down on the banality and in doing so do the unexpected. The speaker in this book isn't punching down at the people he sees in the clubs, he's giddily and hilariously punching himself in the face all while making subversive and snarky observations about the consumerist culture of the 80s.

I'm not terribly familiar with Max Headroom (I was born after his period of peak popularity and have only seen the Max Headroom movie, not the whole series) so I missed out on some of the in-jokes here: Max's obsession with golf came as a surprise, for instance, but overall I didn't need to be a huge fan to enjoy the fawning Max does on himself and the sneers, slights, and asides that spoke to a snarky 80s audience.

That being said I'm glad I got this book cheap and I probably wouldn't buy it again and I don't recommend that *you* buy it (unless you're a massive Max fan, in which case you can buy it from me for a lot more money than I paid for it).

Anyway, overall Hansen and Owen do a good job of making the vibrant character from the small screen into an interesting presence in a book where you only hear his narration but never see his face after the front cover.

     - Alli

(Buy the book for less than I would sell it to you for here)

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