February 14, 2015

Sophomore Slump: Patton Oswalt's "Silver Screen Fiend"

I like the idea of Patton Oswalt.
He can be funny and snide and smart.
It is just that sometimes he may try too hard. I think that is the case here. He like movies and he went and watched a lot of movies. But the book tries to put a narrative arc and significance to some of the movies just where it doesn’t fit. I liked his previous book, but that seemed to have more form and structure in an organic manner.
Not to say that this book does not have its good parts that made me laugh. It does. It just felt less necessary than his other book and his stand up.
He is self-aware though, and I can respect that. He writes of a time he was opening for Louie CK, when he was younger and “My ideas were simpler and less startling than I cared to admit, so I masked that with a lot of unnecessarily ornate vocabulary an dense cultural references” (134). Maybe he’s still there. Heck, this book isn’t all about movies then, I guess.
And then, after all that, it’s too short! It is only 220 pages with larger font and margin, and that’s padded out with 40 pages of the movies he saw during the time period he’s talking about.  I was let down in the end, but only because it didn’t meet my high expectations.