Saturday, February 12, 2011

Zombie Spaceship Wasteland by Patton Oswalt

My bookstore was sent a sample of Patton Oswalt's Zombie Spaceship Wasteland. It was an extremely thin book with only the intro and a couple chapters. I've always enjoyed reading memoirs and essays, so I grabbed the sample. I read it and decided to purchase the book when it came out.

I'm not uber-familiar with a lot of Mr. Oswalt's work, probably just Ratatouille, which I found a little unbelievable (I don't care how good a cook it is, I'm not eating rat food), and his guest spots on Community ("Did I accidentally tell you that you have AIDS, because I do that sometimes"). I also looked him up on IMDB and found out that he is the voice of boy genius Tobey on PBS Kids show Word Girl, which is awesome and features a monkey named Captain Huggy Face. Okay, back to the book...

Zombie Spaceship Wasteland mixes personal stories with shorter humorous chapters. The stories are about Oswalt growing up, his love of reading, and his fairly nerdy life. Ah, a man after my own heart. The title comes from a chapter where he describes zombie, spaceship, and wasteland as three distinct personality types. The zombie is about simplifying their world. The spaceship wants to leave their world. The wasteland wants to destroy their world. Highlights are a recount of his time headlining at a horrible comedy club outside Vancouver (Which has the BEST ending- seriously, I thought it was going on too long, but it was worth it) and a chapter of explanations behind gifts from his grandmother. There's also a surprisingly touching story about his mentally ill uncle.

The shorter chapters are more jokey, things such as a wine list with very specific descriptions, illustrations of greeting cards with the fairly horrible history behind the pictures, and a comic about two vampires. There's lots of little details that made me laugh out loud.

In conclusion, Zombie Spaceship Wasteland is an incredibly worthwhile read. My only complaint is that it's a bit short. I want more Patton Oswalt.

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