Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cannonball Read #2- Zombie Spaceship Wasteland by Patton Oswalt

Zombie. Spaceship. Wasteland. Which one of these archetypal personalities are you? I am a Wasteland much like the book's author, Patton Oswalt. While the title is important in this book, its not the only fun thing you will read. Patton's writing is witty and poignant and very reminiscent of his stand up. If you are not familiar with Mr. Oswalt's stand up, I suggest you check him out. Most non-hipster people will recognize him as Spencer from The King of Queens or as the voice of Remy in Disney's Ratatouille. Patton has been touring since the mid 90s which a few stories are recounted in the book. Though other comedians have written funny books, Patton stands out that its not a lot of rehackneyed jokes from their own routines. Even a comedy God, George Carlin, recycled jokes in his book. Patton is at home writing stories and epic poems as he is behind the mic. Yes I said Epic Poems!

The book opens up with the story, Ticket Booth, which recounts his days as a cinema worker in a warn down shit hole known as the Towncenter 3. If you want to know why Patton is Patton, this well laid out story pretty much explains it all. From his obsession with REM's Fables of Reconstruction to selling half stubs, his word play is a fascinating journey into the psyche of a budding genius.

Patton's layout of the book reminds me of a personal favorite author of mine, Chuck Klosterman. Weaving weird short lists, or fake wine lists, between the chapters makes for an awesome chucklefest. Some of the weirder things include a short graphic novel about vampires in New Orleans and my personal favorite part of the book, The Song of Ulvaak.

Now dear reader you are asking yourself who the fuck is Ulvaak? Is he some obscure Finish Prime Minister? Was he a German folkhero? Nope he was one of the greatest D and D characters created by Patton Oswalt ever. Ulvaak was a Half-Orc Fighter who kicked some major ass and then sacrificed himself by killing a Lord of a Plane thus negating all existence ala Azrael, Loki, and Bartleby's plan in Dogma sort of! This makes no sense to your non nerds but all you nerds are understanding whats going on. Patton's Epic Poem would make one hell of a death metal song if Brian Posehn hasn't claimed dibs to do it yet. Ulvaak was most likely a Wasteland as well. One well armed bad ass wasteland with a bit of zombie thrown in.

The three archetypes presented list out what the requirements to fit into that category are. Go read the book and tell me what your archetype is!

I highly recommend this book to any Star Wars Fan, Patton Oswalt Fan, Fan of Nerds, Star Trek Fan whatever. If you have glasses and a graphic calculator and listen to Weird Al Yankovich, this is for you. This book rates a 95% on the funny scale and a 97% overall. Now go queue up your Amazon wishlist.

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