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Mike Nelson's Mind Over Matters [Paperback]

Michael Nelson
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 21 2002

Why do some people retain cute baby-talk names for their relatives (like "Num-Num" and "Pee-Paw") well into middle age? How should a reasonable person respond when Olivia Newton-John sings, "Have you never been mellow?" Who's responsible for the sorry state of men's fashion, and is it the same guy who invented the jerkin? Is there any future in being a Midwesterner? Can you really enjoy your lunch when the restaurant is decorated to look like an African plain? How come women keep dozens of bottles and jars of moisturizers, unguents, and lotions around -- all of them half empty?

In more than 50 hilarious all-new essays, one of America's brightest young humorists -- the head writer and on-air host of the legendary TV series Mystery Science Theater 3000 -- finds the fun in all aspects of the human condition, no matter how absurd. Join Mike Nelson on an angst-filled visit to a health spa; shopping sessions at Home Depot and Radio Shack; adventures in the very amateur musical theater; a gut-busting discourse on the history of television; ruminations on his roles as husband, father, and citizen; and much, much more.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In the tradition of Mike Nelson's Movie Megacheese, which featured endless takedowns of Hollywood glitterati, comes Mike Nelson's Mind over Matters, some 50 short essays covering up everything from "Portal to Hell: The Radio Shack Experience" to "Grumpy Floppy and the Flo-Flo," or the pet names of friends for their loved ones. Michael J. Nelson, head writer of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 for 10 seasons (and its host for five), has an endless supply of good-natured bile, and here turns it on the annoyances and idiocies of everyday life.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Nelson (Mike Nelson's Movie Megacheese) is perhaps best known as the brains behind the cult classic television series Mystery Science Theater 3000. In this collection of more than 50 offbeat essays, he shares his observations about everyday matters such as the media, education, food, and family life. His humor is a cross between that of Dave Barry and of Jerry Seinfeld, and his highly personal style he includes remarks about his wife and his children will delight some readers but annoy others. Nelson also tends to dwell on the obvious. For example, in one essay about modern life he opines about the sounds of autumn, pointing out that fall used to sound like the gentle swish-swish of leaf raking but is now dominated by the cacophony of leaf blowers. In short, this collection of humor is uneven at best. Though some will find it funny, it will likely disappoint many MST3K fans, as it lacks the sardonic repartee for which Nelson is most celebrated on his television series. Recommended primarily for public libraries where demand dictates. Joe Accardi, William Rainey Harper Coll., Palatine, IL
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Faced with a choice between two doors, behind one of which is a pack of ravenous tigers and Siegfried-and Rov (!)-and behind the other a pleasant stay in a hotel room for several days, I'd have to say, "Bring on the big cats-just please keep those German guys away from me." Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars no, no, no, Mike Aug. 25 2003
By timmy
Back when Mike Nelson was doing Mystery Science Theater, he actually had wit. Bad movies was his niche, his forte (if I'm using the right words), and his heckling made for some very funny, often hilarious, observations. Sometimes he would throw in an absurd pop culture reference here and there, but it was okay, because if we didn't get it he'd simply try again with another. Like the movie Airplane!, his humor on MST3K was hit or miss, with a lot of hits.
The problem with Mind Over Matters is that Nelson takes some of those "missed" jokes and devotes whole chapters to them. True, there are also whole chapters devoted to the "hit" ones, too, such as Mike's wife-stalking and reflections on high school drama. But the good material is thrown right in with the bad, confusing bits of humor that maybe one or two people in the world would understand. Maybe if one took some effort to "get" some of his observations would pay off, but if you have to make an effort to get a joke, what's the point?
For Michael J. Nelson fans only. Others may want to try his Movie Megacheese, where he stays in his genre, so to speak.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lighthearted and worthwhile read Aug. 4 2003
Mike Nelson offers everyone interested a look into the life of a Midwesterner that gained national popularity making fun of cheesy movies. As the head writer and later the star of the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 television series and movie, Mike Nelson created a fan base with his wit and utterly shameless clowning. Following his successes in TV, he went on to write the wonderful book 'Mike Nelson's Movie Megacheese'. In this book he tries to get away from his movie roles and show everyone that the world around him is at times stupid, and at times weird.
This book was not written for fans of MST3K, this book was written for anyone that wanted a laugh. At times, Nelson fails to stay away from movie and TV reviews, but in the whole he does a stand up job of offering essays on life today for the average six foot two Midwesterner who happens to be famous.
Among the better essays are his experiences in hotel rooms, a hilarious treatise on mud baths, and even a look at married life. All the essays are short; Nelson is an experienced wordsmith that does not waste space. One cannot but admire Mike's vocabulary and knowledge, however it seems at times he's using big words just for their own sake. Any reader, fan of MST3K or not will love reading this book. It's not a classic, in fact it has nowhere near the literary value of his 'Megacheese,' but it still gets an A- from me.
Go ahead and read this book, it's worth the effort, and its cool blue cover color scheme helps relax the soul.
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By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Who is Mike Nelson? What makes this man tick? What evil lurks behind the guise of goofiness he often adopts? Mike Nelson's Mind Over Matters takes us into the mind of the man I now consider to be the funniest man on the planet. After a decade of work on Mystery Science Theater 3000, Nelson has evolved into a remarkably witty, entertaining author. His first book, Mike Nelson's Movie Megacheese, featured his odd yet hilarious takes on modern, mainstream films, yet this topic did not take him very far afield from his work on MST3K. Now, in Mind Over Matters, Nelson has decided to take on modern life directly, penning a series of vignettes about every-day events, popular culture, and his own childhood and family life. This book is, in my opinion, even funnier and much more impressive than its predecessor. It also gives us some insight into the man most of us MTS3K fanatics tend to view as an actual friend we just haven't met yet.
The book is organized into nine sections. In Part One, Coping With It All, Nelson describes seemingly mundane events and activities that somehow become incidents of high strangeness: shopping trips, hotel stays, trips to a health club brimming with old wrinkled men who seem to enjoy showcasing their frightening nakedness in a locker room setting. In Part Two, But Is It Art? he address topics such as movie-going and watching television; the real gem here is a fairly lengthy recounting of his own experiences in musical theatre. Part Three, This Modern World, returns to the subject of modern life and such issues as computer security, annoying morning radio shows, and weird news reports. He steps outside for a breath of fresh air in Part Four, The Great Outdoors, the pinnacle of which is his well-stated condemnation of leaf blowers.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Utterly devoid of any content Dec 7 2002
Well, I've been a big fan of fan of mst3k for a long time and I liked Nelson's first book, but this one didn't do it for me. I think it's because I just can't bring myself to care about what he's writing about. He spends pages going on about a mildly unpleasent encounter with a clerk at radio shack, advice columns,
home depots, etc. It's just an exercise in pointless irony; I don't think there was a straight sentence in the entire book.
Also, Nelson sometimes comes off as peevish and hypersensitive when he writes about himself. Torwards the end of the book, as he's writing about a mud bath, I knew by then he was going to spend a paragraph going on in detail about how gross it was that other people had been in it before him. Wasn't dissapointed in that respect. The whole book could be paraphrased, eewwwwwwwww!
All that said, I did laugh out loud a few times while reading it.
It's like an off episode of MST3k, a couple of good laughs, but not worth watching for 2 hours.I think if I'd read almost any one of these essays individually on the internet, I may have enjoyed it, but as a 200+ page book.. It's like eating strawberry bubbaliscious chewing gum for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally - A Funny book that is Funny
I have been on a quest for the past year to find comedic books that are actually...well...funny. Laugh out loud funny, not just "oh, that was amusing" funny. Read more
Published on Feb. 23 2011 by Michael Emond
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely hilarious
Bottom line: if you like MST3K, you will love this book. Mike Nelson has never been funnier. His essay topics range from the hell that is shopping at Radioshack to a hilarious... Read more
Published on Nov. 22 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost as funny as Megacheese
This book is a bit more uneven than Mr. Nelson's first book, Movie Megacheese, but it was humorous and clever nonetheless. Read more
Published on Oct. 30 2003 by Valnastar
5.0 out of 5 stars interesting ideas
I cant praise this book enough.
While other authors write about parenting, or airplanes, Mike Nelson has a style all his own. Read more
Published on Sept. 23 2003 by "solid117"
4.0 out of 5 stars Mental As Anything
What you need to know about Michael J. Nelson: The head writer and star (for 5 years) of "Mystery Science Theater 3000. From Wisconsin. Lanky. Read more
Published on Sept. 7 2003 by Owen
5.0 out of 5 stars A Big McLarge Huge Success!!!
There are so many things I'd like to say about this book, but it all boils down to one thing -- this man is durn funny. Read more
Published on Sept. 5 2003 by Jimmy Price
4.0 out of 5 stars Truly silly, inspired stuff from one of the minds of MST3K
This is a collection of essays by somebody I think could be the next great American humorist -- stop your giggling, OK. Read more
Published on July 4 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars Tad disappointing
I'm a fan of MST3K, and a huge fan of humor writing, but Nelson's book left me dissatisfied. He's got some sparks of truly funny stuff, but ultimately, I wish I had gotten the book... Read more
Published on May 21 2003 by Paul Manion
5.0 out of 5 stars Funniest book I've ever read
hands down, the funniest thing I've ever read. My girlfriend kicked me out of bed because I was laughin so hard I was shaking the bed and keeping her awake. Read more
Published on March 12 2003 by Ryan Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars As quotable as the TV show!
Mike Nelson was the head writer, and later the host, of TV's 'Mystery Science Theater 3000.' Here he compiles a book of short essays, and we see into his thoughts on subjects... Read more
Published on Feb. 4 2003 by Devon J. Berube
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