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  • gilwilson 6:36 PM on October 29, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 45, alec baldwin, parody, , saturday night live, ,   

    You Can’t Spell America Without Me: The Really Tremendous Inside Story of My Fantastic First Year as President Donald J. Trump (A So-Called Parody) By: Alec Baldwin, Kurt Andersen 

    39802005You Can’t Spell America Without Me: The Really Tremendous Inside Story of My Fantastic First Year as President Donald J. Trump (A So-Called Parody)
    By: Alec Baldwin, Kurt Andersen
    Narrated by: Alec Baldwin, Kurt Andersen, Oliver Wyman
    Length: 5 hrs and 57 mins
    Release date: 11-07-17
    Publisher: Penguin Audio

    So what has started out as a Saturday Night Live skit has become a regular job for Alec Baldwin.  This book is a parody of the 1st year in office for #45.  Baldwin should at least get another 2 years out of this.  But only if he can freshen it up a bit.

    I’ve heard a lot of people complain that I don’t write bad reviews.  Well I don’t write bad reviews because I don’t read bad books.  I will put a book down when it starts being bad.  This one may be the slight exception to that rule.  It started out pretty funny and then kinda wavered from there.  Much like watching Saturday Night Live they put their best skits first then just before the end of the show, you get a bunch skits that probably should not have aired.  Sure they may be mildly funny, but never enough to end the show with a bang.  This book is much like an episode of SNL.  It starts out pretty funny but as it ends you are ready to turn off the TV set and go to bed.

    A good chunk of the first half of the book is Baldwin doing his impression of Trump.  That’s what makes it funnier, but as the book progresses he stops the Trump impression and reads as himself.  He (as Trump) even says he’s turning it over to Baldwin.  Then Baldwin turns it over to his co-author, Kurt Anderson who in turn turns the narration over to Oliver Wyman and finally back to Trump.  Listening it sounds as if the authors lost interest in the material and just threw in some bits based on the events in Trump’s first year.  I was ready to turn off the set and go to bed.

    I stuck with it and while there were a few funny moments sprinkled through the latter halfm this followed the guidelines of SNL and got pretty boring after the first appearance of the musical guest.  Maybe they should have had a musical guest in the audiobook to liven up that last half.

    If you are a fan of Baldwin, SNL and parodies of Trump you’ll enjoy this book, especially the first half.  I cannot really recommend the book but I did enjoy parts of it.

    Publisher’s Summary
    Political satire as deeper truth: Donald Trump’s presidential memoir, as recorded by two world-renowned Trump scholars and experts on greatness generally.

    “I have the best words, beautiful words, as everybody has been talking and talking about for a long time. Also? The best sentences and, what do you call them, paragraphs. My previous books were great and sold extremely, unbelievably well – even the ones by dishonest, disgusting so-called journalists. But those writers didn’t understand Trump, because, quite frankly, they were major losers. People say if you want it done right you have to do it yourself, even when ‘it’ is a ‘memoir’. So every word of this book was written by me, using a special advanced word processing system during the many, many nights I’ve been forced to stay alone in the White House – only me, just me, trust me, nobody helped. And it’s all 100 percent true, so true – people are already saying it may be the truest book ever published. Enjoy.”

    Until Donald Trump publishes the ultimate account of his entire four or eight or one and a half years in the White House, the definitive chronicle will be You Can’t Spell America Without Me: The Really Tremendous Inside Story of My Fantastic First Year as President Donald J. Trump. Trump was elected because he was the most frank presidential candidate in history, a man eager to tell the unvarnished truth about others’ flaws and tout his own amazing excellence. Now he levels his refreshingly compulsive, un-PC candor at his landslide election victory as well as his role as commander in chief and leader of the free world.

    There are intimate, powerful, mind-boggling revelations throughout. You are there with him during his private encounters with world leaders, a few of whom he does not insult. You are there at the genius Oval Office strategy sessions with his advisers. You are there in his White House bedroom as he crafts the predawn Twitter pronouncements that rock the world. And, of course, you are there on the golf course as Trump attempts to manage the burdens of his office.

    President Trump explains each of the historic decisions that have already made America great again and how he always triumphs over the fake news media. You’ll learn what he really thinks of his cabinet members and top aides not related to him, of the first lady and the first daughter and the additional three or four Trump children.

    You Can’t Spell America Without Me is presented by America’s foremost Trump scholar, Kurt Andersen, as well as America’s foremost mediocre Trump impersonator, Alec Baldwin.

    ©2017 Alec Baldwin (P)2017 Penguin Audio

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  • gilwilson 6:27 PM on October 28, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , theatrical   

    You Can’t Take it With You by Moss Hart, George S. Kaufman 

    40528730_10156744852433489_2277719417330597888_oYou Can’t Take it With You
    by Moss Hart, George S. Kaufman
    Paperback, 87 pages
    Published December 1st 1937 by Dramatists Play Service (first published 1936)

    Once again I returned to the stage, this time in a larger role.  I was extremely flattered when I was cast as Martin Vanderhof (Grandpa).  First off, someone else thought I was capable of pulling off the part, which by the way is a pivotal role in this play.  Second I began to wonder whether or not I could pull this off.  I didn’t realize that without the practice that memorizing that many lines for a man over 50 is a lot of work.  But I persevered and worked my arse off and we had a wonderful production.  I learned a lot about the play itself through the process, and I learned a thing or two about myself.  But as you know by now I will not be reviewing our production of the play (which was awesome, by the way) but I will summarize and give my opinion of the written work.

    So we begin this journey with an array of some interesting characters.  Paul and Penny Sycamore are the mom and dad of family.  Paul dabbles in making fireworks.  He doesn’t have a license for such but that doesn’t stop him.  He also likes to work with Meccano / Erector sets and build toys for himself.  Penny writes plays, or at least tries, because 8 years ago a typewriter was accidentally delivered to their house.  This same incident is what ended her painting endeavors.

    Their daughter Essie wants to be a ballet dancer but her hindrance is that she has no talent.  She does have a talent in making candy.  Essie’s husband Ed Carmichael, also has eclectic tastes.  He has a printing press so his hobby is printing anything he hears.  Ed also has a xylophone, so he dabbles in music.

    The other Daughter Alice is the sane one of the bunch (picture Marilyn from “The Munsters).  Alice works in an office where she has fallen in love with the owner’s son and vice president, Anthony Kirby, Jr.  Alice has been putting off letting Tony meet her family, but the time is coming soon.

    Paul Sycamore is assisted in his fireworks making business by Mr. DePinna.  DePinna delivered ice to the house 8 years ago and just stayed.  The Milkman did the same for five years before he died.  As you can tell  this family is accepting of everyone.  So why is Alice nervous for Tony to meet the family?

    To top off this family the patriarch is Grandpa, Martin Vanderhof.  Grandpa stopped working 35 years ago because he no longer was having fun.  Since then he’s practiced darts, collected snakes, attended commencements at nearby Columbia University, collected stamps and just had the time of his life.    He owns property which somehow he earns a living from.  Which leads to the IRS wanting to know why he hasn’t paid taxes for the last 24 years.

    The play builds when the two families meet and chaos ensues.  The Kirbys don’t want their son marrying into this riff-raff but Tony has his mind set.  It’s up to Grandpa to talk sense into the stuffy Kirby Sr.

    This play shows that a family that has fun together can pull together and get by without having to stress over money.  Just getting by is not a bad thing.

     
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