Cosby has entertained readers on subjects ranging from aging to marriage and parenthood. Some, however, will be disappointed in these 19 lightweight pieces composed of free association, fleeting memories and digressions: about how at age eight, for example, he went out to play, leaving his two-year-old brother alone, or about his refusal to do his geometry homework ("'cause home is for play"). Cosby's conversational humor involves repetition and minimalistic reduction of everything to brief sentences and simplistic language: "You don't want to have it checked because the doctor may say: Ooo! You've got it! That means you have it. If you don't go, it means you don't have it." Amid expositions on grandparents, plastic packaging, noisy boats and ingrown hairs, truly funny bits occasionally surface. On seating arrangements for the elderly, he says: "You cannot put someone who eats salt and regular food next to someone who can't have anything except a stainless steel fork and water because, if you do, they're not going to like each other." The best chapter recalls his move from Greenwich Village stand-up comedy to big-time clubs, particularly a big-time flop in Chicago. His honesty makes readers want a full-scale autobiography in place of these miscellaneous bits. Even the great George Booth falters here with offhand illustrations. (Nov. 7)Forecast: Hyperion plans an intense marketing campaign includes a radio and TV satellite tour, 12-copy counter displays and author appearances on Good Morning America, Rosie O'Donnell and numerous other national shows. This might have a big spike in sales at first, but word of mouth will slow it down.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Adult/High School-Comedy is funniest when it stays as faithful to the truth as Cosby keeps it in his latest collection of 19 autobiographical essays. His topics range from the unromantic changes in married love over time to the discomforts, dangers, and expense of learning to ski. Students will laugh hardest at his quirky jokes about the problems of growing up in the projects, being identified as an intellectually gifted child, and coping with threats to health and safety. The author reveals his most vulnerable moments as a young comedian who was too nervous to make his audience laugh. He describes how he walked off of the stage feeling totally humiliated. He also discusses his difficult adjustment to the military, and explains how that experience drove him to work hard in college. In stand-up comic style, Cosby shows readers different stages of his life, and he highlights all of the laughable moments in hilarious, hyperbolic detail throughout this short book. Such a highly successful person's willingness to share his stories of triumphing over adversity, and overcoming moments of failure, is sure to inspire many teens. Even reluctant readers will breeze through this book while laughing out loud along the way.
Joyce Fay Fletcher, Rippon Middle School, Prince William County, VA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Bill Cosby is such a classic icon in America, you can guarantee anything that he writes will be hilarious! This is no exception. Read morePublished on March 24 2004 by Meg
Your money is better spent buying old Cosby albums. The first two "essays" in this collection are almost word-for-word transcriptions from the two bits on his "Oh... Read morePublished on March 1 2004 by James Rivers