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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Live from Middle America : Rants from a Red-State Comedian by Brad Stine


Up and Down throughout the book

Published in 2006 by Hudson Street Press

Stine comments on any number of popular culture items, including tobacco, abortion, God in public schools, baseball, Las Vegas, banning guns, bumper stickers and Wal-Mart. Each little rant comes in short chapters averaging around 4 pages each.

Now, my review:

I wanted to love this book (since I am  the exact target for this book: a Christian, a conservative and I am a proud resident of Indiana - a red state since LBJ in 1964 with the exception of Barack Obama in 2008) but I could barely get myself to like it.

Brad Stine
First and foremost, I quickly grew tired of the publisher's decision to pull little tidbits out of the text and highlight them with a box right next to the text that contains the exact same sentence? What was the point of that?

Secondly, Stine blames everything in the world on liberals (even for bumps in the road). He assumes that liberal automatically means atheist (well, I guess my dad, the church elder is not going where he assumed when he dies) and assumes that conservative automatically means Christian (what about Milton Friedman?).

Thirdly, Stine seems to confuse "Red State" with "Redneck" at many points, saying things like Red State parents make their kids smoke and they eat animals they run over with their cars. I think I've heard all of this before and it the routine always ends like this, "...you might be a redneck."

I've never seen Stine in person, so perhaps knowing his act really would juice up a lot of this - I don't know. His funniest comments are about Trick-or-Treating on Halloween, "God is my co-pilot" bumper stickers, turn signals, gay marriage (he's remarkably middle-of-the-road on this) and abortion. The abortion commentary isn't particularly funny but it is a much more coherent argument than the rest of the book presents and really is the best piece in the book. On the other hand, his commentary on foreign-made goods is not terribly coherent nor is it conservative.

So, I give this one 3 stars out of 5. It would have been worse except for the strong section on abortion.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Live from Middle America : Rants from a Red-State Comedian by Brad Stine.

Reviewed on August 8, 2007.

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