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Saturday, August 18, 2018


Published by Random House Audio in November of 2017.
Read by the author, Denis Leary.
Duration: 6 hours, 36 minutes.

This sequel to his 2008 book, Why We Suck: A Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid, is an up and down work and not quite as good as his earlier effort.

Why We Don't Suck starts out very strong, with Denis Leary lashing out at both of the main candidates in the 2016 Presidential Election and their uncritical supporters. The book slows down as Leary tells the story of 11 Americans that inspire him. 

After that, the book nearly grinds to a halt as Leary sort of meanders about being critical of a number of things. He settles on religion for a while, gets into a convoluted discussion of cursing and also launches into an extended bit that starts as a riff off of President Trump's featuring Twitter feeds but devolves into "What if...?" Twitter feeds of past Presidents and, sadly, expands to include other world leaders, including Idi Amin. Really? An Idi Amin joke in 2017? He's only been out of power since 1979!

Happily, the book picks up towards the end. Leary writes about his own struggles meeting celebrities that are bigger than him, such as Paul McCartney and David Bowie. But, his funniest stories involve Keith Richards, simply because of their surreal nature. He also has several funny stories of being mistaken for other celebrities, including Willem Defoe, Kevin Bacon, Jon Bon Jovi and, oddly enough, Ellen DeGeneres.

What does any of the previous two paragraphs have to do with why America doesn't suck? I don't know - and, really, that's the problem with the book. It suffers from serious thesis drift until the end of the book when Leary expresses a serious amount of admiration for Millennials.

In short, due to the up and down nature of the book, I rate it 3 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Why We Don't Suck: And How ALl of Us Need to Stop Being Such Partisan Little Bitches by Denis Leary

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