This is set as a Western, but what if Nick Offerman was the third person omniscient narrator everywhere through all time? Terrifying.
I got one and a half cds out of six listened to, took a break, and then spent a solid week avoiding going back to it. I listened to five or six episodes of The Lost Cat podcast, a couple of In Our Time, some Fresh Air, about an hour of James Baldwin's Go Tell It on the Mountain, and a couple shows on the CBC, and every time, I thought, "Oh, I should go back to that Saunders book," I shook my head and decided I needed to wash my hair.
This should be everything I want in a book: ghosts, Abraham Lincoln, Man Booker Prize winners, but in the end it just came off as unbearably pretentious.
There are entire chapters of one to two sentence primary source quotes describing the setting, one after the other, and okay, clearly it's a terribly clever stylistic choice, or something (I don't really get litfic a lot of the time), but it's hard to avoid the aura of "Hey, I did all this research let me show it to you!" without having done the work of actually integrating it.
The non-interminable quote chapters were... fine? I guess. It's mostly a bunch of ghost who for various reasons have refused to move on hanging out and watching Lincoln completely fail to deal with his dead kid. Apparently Lincoln's failure to deal is an epic amount of emotion never seen in a cemetery before. Which seems unlikely, but I guess Lincoln's just that much of a special snowflake! Even in mourning was he extraordinary.
There's not that much to say about the ghosts. One's an old dude who won't admit that he died because he was about to finally get laid. He keeps making poop jokes. One's an anachronistic Whitman joke who killed himself. One perpetually sexually assaults a female ghost. None of them had much of interest to add.
Maybe I quit too early, but I just feel like a graveyard full of ghosts haunting Abraham Lincoln should have a bit more going on. Anyway, life is too short.
Offerman is a lucky guy would had a good childhood, a good and meaningful college time, followed by the rest of his life, working hard at work and crafts he appreciates (which is mostly being silly, but also involves building canoes). He has a good work ethic and a seemingly kind heart, as well as a seriously advanced sense of humor. It's delightful to read a memoir by someone who understands that his life is very good and that he's lucky to have so many sources of pleasure.
On the downside, he has a very strong personality which won't appeal to all readers and which can become rather much of a muchness. Everyone's mileage is likely to vary a great deal.
tl;dr - |✭✭✭✭✩ | I quite enjoyed this audiobook. There were some funny moments, but as it was listed in the humor section at my work, I did expect a bit more humor than was present in the book. Otherwise a fun story, and interesting to learn hear about his life.
Description Nick Offerman's book is full of life stories, tidbits of wisdom, and humorous anecdotes.
So, I checked out this audiobook from my library after having listened to both Yes Please by Amy Poehler and Bossypants by Tina Fey, and enjoying both of those immensely. As apparently the trend goes with me, I found this audiobook enjoyable as well.
This story basically goes through different portions of Nick Offerman's life. To his time on the farm as a kid and the lessons he learned from his family and working on a farm, to his theater experience both in high school and college, to his time in LA and working on things like Parks and Recreation.
I've come to learn I enjoy hearing about people's lives and their stories. Since I typically spend most of my time reading scifi and fantasy books, I wasn't so sure how I'd like nonfiction. I wanted to break into the realm of nonfiction books, and I've found biography is proving to be a good bridge into that world.
But yeah. If you like biography, like hearing stories about people's lives, this is definitely a fun one to get into. He has an interesting back story, many things I was surprised to hear, and peppers in some humors anecdotes. He also reads his own book, which in my opinion makes it that much better. Hearing his actual voice, and sometimes giggles, as he's recounting a funny part of his past makes it that much better. Also, its so adorable to actually hear him talk about his wife (as opposed to reading it from the page).
Anyways, check it out if you enjoy those sort of stories!