This book is a series of fake obituaries for random notables, including Steve Jobs, Robert Moog, Aaron Spelling, and many other lesser-known figures. Each is only approximately a page or two long. It’s my impression that this book is supposed to be humorous, but I’m not really getting it. The short passages were usually poking fun at the (made-up) way the person had died, often ironically, with relation to whatever it was they were known for. I occasionally chuckled at a few of these, but, for the most part, I didn’t really get it. It’s kind of weird, though, because Earl used to write for The Daily Show and won an Emmy for it, so one would expect there to be more humor here.
And it’s not as though I have any problems with jokes about death. I find it to be a hilarious thing most of the time. But these obits just weren’t funny. Who’s to say why one person laughs at one thing and another person doesn’t? Earl is definitely considered by some to be rather humorous—he has the track record to show that. But even with a foreword by Marc Maron and an afterward by Rachel Maddow, I didn’t find there was enough humor in this book to make it worth my time. –Kurt Morris (Jim Earl, 1621 ½ Grafton St., LA, CA 90026)