Wednesday, January 7, 2009

NOT ENOUGH INDIANS by HARRY SHEARER

Not Enough Indians should be funnier than it is. Harry Shearer is a brilliant comedian with a keen intellect--have you heard Le Show, his NPR radio program? And his premise is funny enough--dying town in upstate New York tries everything to stay solvent, Las Vegas wise guy in town to scope out Indian gaming up close makes an offer the town fathers can't refuse, voila! everyone in town's discovered his Indian heritage and the casino's a smash. And yet...

Perhaps the gaming industry is so over the top that it's beyond parody--it satirizes itself. Harry Shearer provides some laugh out loud moments, but the entirety of the book just didn't gel for this reader.

2 comments:

Joseph "Jon" Lanthier said...

I had no idea this book even existed, and I'm an avid listener of Le Show -- hell, I even rented Teddy Bear's Picnic, easily the worst post-Spinal Tap project ever. I also notice the book was released in 2006...probably to very little fanfare.

Shearer's comedy is hard for a lot of people...watch "The Magic of Live" and you'll see a comedian drowning himself with his own zeal to remain scathingly topical and astutely satirical. He's also taken pot-shots at "Simpsons" writers for lapsing into absurdism without realizing that random comedy is where it's at these days (even the over-bearing messages of "South Park" are comfortably cloaked in throwaway lines and extreme scatology). Point being -- Shearer is an ironist, probably the best of our time, but observing American folly with detached bemusement just seems silly (and hardly funny) after 9-11. I find comedy of the grotesque and arabesque far more challenging.

Thanks for the note...I may read this one, but only if I can find it somewhere cheap.

rhtehe said...
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