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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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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally - A Funny book that is Funny Feb. 23 2011
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. I finally found it and it was under my nose all the time. This book had been on my wish list for years (I was a huge MST 3000 fan and liked Mike's other book) but I never got around to ordering it. I am so glad I did. Mike really shines in this book and there is chapter after chapter of hilarious essays on everything from his fear of Hotel rooms to his inability to make a password that he remembers. Sure there are a few that miss the mark but there is so much gold I can forgive that. This is my type of humour. Absurd, silly, and very clever. I am trying to compile a list of top ten books (I have only found 6 so far) that make you laugh out loud and this will be number one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely hilarious Nov. 22 2003
By A Customer
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 account of his ill-fated theater career. I would recommend this to any MST fan and everyone, in general. My wife has only watched the show a few times and she absolutely loved this book.
Kudos, Mr. Nelson.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Almost as funny as Megacheese Oct. 30 2003
This book is a bit more uneven than Mr. Nelson's first book, Movie Megacheese, but it was humorous and clever nonetheless. A few chapters are a wee bit slow unless the subject matter happens to be a pet topic for the reader, but overall I enjoyed the book a great deal and found it worth reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars interesting ideas Sept. 23 2003
I cant praise this book enough.
While other authors write about parenting, or airplanes, Mike Nelson has a style all his own. Authors like Dave Barry will go on and on about how tough and silly it is to raise children while Mike Nelson will wonder why his wife needs so many types of moisturizers.
The topics in this book range from the very common, (Getting help at hardware superstores) to the very uncommon (why the humming bird shouldn't be considered an animal). Mike Nelson has pet peeves, like everyone else, but his are ones that you wouldn't necesarily think about.
Some people seem to have had problems reading this book, but I cant see why. If you have lived for 80 years, or for five, you will relate to this book.
This book is a fresh spin on observational comedy, a genre that has been made completely stale by commedians like Jerry Seinfeld or Dave Barry. I hope for more of the same from Mike Nelson in the future.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mental As Anything Sept. 7 2003
By Owen
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. Living proof of the permanent damage being a student of musical theatre can do. Funny as all get-out. What you need to know about this book: Humorous Essay format (50 in all). Easy to handle trade-bound softcover. Again, funny as all get-out. As many have mentioned, you don't have to be a fan of "Mystery Science Theater" to enjoy the bizzare insights within. If you're a fan of Dave Barry or The Onion (also from the Midwest-hmmm...), you won't be dissapointed with the 196 pages of funny you'll find here
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Big McLarge Huge Success!!! Sept. 5 2003
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. His comic genius is astounding and his writing style is perfect for his genre. I will say that this book is not for the stupid -- Mike's a smart man and he makes references that might make some say, "What the?". On the other hand, if you do get the obscure references it's immensly rewarding and usually laugh-out-loud funny (which is why you probably shouldn't read it in a public setting). I can't tell you what my favorite part is because I'd virtually have to rewrite the book. It's that funny. From a dead-on depiction of single men and their penchant for moving couches, a thought-provoking diatribe on the usefulness of animals, to a stirring call to end the madness that is Radio Shack, this book WILL make you laugh, even if you're not a MSTie. If you don't laugh at all whilst reading this work of brilliance, I'm sorry to inform you that you're dead.
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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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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Lighthearted and worthwhile read
Mike Nelson offers everyone interested a look into the life of a Midwesterner that gained national popularity making fun of cheesy movies. Read more
Published on Aug. 4 2003 by Martin Andrade
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 5 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious insight into human nature and pop culture
Who is Mike Nelson? What makes this man tick? What evil lurks behind the guise of goofiness he often adopts? Read more
Published on June 5 2003 by Daniel Jolley
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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