The ending of this book tells why this author wrote this book. I found it one of the less compelling parts of this books, which is one reason I'm not going to spoil this book. The other is that I found this book important and still timely, and so I'm going to hope that someone might read this to find out why the author wrote this book.
I've agreed with, and disagreed with, the author, but I think he'd approve. He doesn't want everyone to agree, even with him, but rather to listen to what they say, agree with what they can, and then present the opposition reasonably. My disagreement with the author was a minor one, about whether or not people vote for Trump and not be racist. I don't believe this is possible, and the brief mention in this book doesn't make it clear, although it seemed to indicate that the author believes that they can vote for Trump and not be racist. I think the term 'racist' - and 'bigoted' - weren't as well defined as they should have been, especially given how they were used in this context. Given that the author delves into great detail about the definitions of ass-clown and asshole, and the differences between the two, I found it especially galling that he didn't break down whether he was talking about being actively racist or racist in that they supported someone who was so obviously racist, thus condoning his behavior. Then when you read his biography, and see his credentials, and the fact that he is a professor and chair of philosophy and it seems especially odd that he wouldn't tackle that head on. (The end of the book, by the way, also touches upon something which may explain why he may not be prepared to call these people racists and bigots in public. I have my theory, and I feel for him if this is the case, but I still feel like it should be called out. In fact, this one issue is what knocked off half a star because it bothered me so much. Not only that he didn't say this out loud, but that combined with the fact that he didn't define exactly what he meant.)
That being said, this book gets more serious than funny at the end. Much of the humor comes from him debating topics that one normally wouldn't, like the example I gave of trying to analytically decide if Trump is an ass-clown or asshole. It's also heavier in the beginning. By the time I realized it wasn't funny anymore, I didn't care: it veered slowly into the realm of sobriety. I wouldn't have made it through this book if it weren't half-funny at first, and it was. (I also made a barista laugh this morning: she was already laughing and saying she had so much fun at her work, and I showed her the book and she started laughing again and made a point of having me show all her co-workers.) That being said, this lulled you into a sense of security with the humor up front.
There are hints of it later, but there's just enough humor mixed in with the analysis and seriousness at the beginning to keep this from being too depressing. I was so into what he was saying by the midway point, that I didn't realize how serious it was getting and by then? I just wanted to read more.
This has a little bit of a deeper analysis of trump, but it's honestly mixed in with a lot of common sense things that I hadn't thought of in that way. They were so obvious I didn't think about them, and somehow it clicked when I read them. I also went 'someone needed to say this.' I'm sure others have, but I read it here first.
I keep saying this book is 'still timely.' Allow me to explain: this was written while Trump was campaigning, and far before he got elected. It was trying to explain what life would be like under the rule of Trump. Not saying 'you have to vote this way' but just a more gentle 'this is what's happening, this is what he's like, do you really want this? Please think about it at least.' I couldn't read it pre-election because I was too nervous, so I picked it up after. One of the things I'm doing is refusing to bow to Trump's will; he wants me to believe he's all so fantastic, the best, always winning, and I refuse to be browbeaten into believing this narrative. Part of this is reading things that are truthful, or honest, or better yet both. Like this. Understanding Trump is important even after he's been elected, and while I don't have the perfect, or even near perfect, understanding of Trump, I certainly feel like I have a better understanding of Trump.
Furthermore, this was well researched, using multiple resources to back up the author's points. On Bullshit was referenced so often that I purchased it, and plan on reading it soon. I feel more knowledgeable, and not just about Trump.
Well worth reading, but not if you can't stomach this much Trump, no matter how much humor there is in the book. I understand why some people won't, or can't, read this book and I respect that. I found it morbidly fascinating and got to laugh at Trump being called an asshole/ass-clown hybrid - multiple times.