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  • August 2011
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Funny Books: Destroy All Cars & Burger Wuss

Is the thought of going back to the classroom getting you down?  I suggest reading a funny book to take your mind off of things.   Specifically, I suggest reading one or both of the following books:

Burger Wuss is the tale of Anthony, a guy whose entire being is  bent on revenge.  His girlfriend cheats on him with the hotshot star employee of O’Dermott’s, the fast food place that is remarkably similar to something we like to call McDonald’s.  But to exact his plan he must get a job there, go through hazing from Burger Queen employees, and befriend the homeless radical fry cook who wants to bring the whole establishment down.  Will this win him back the interest of Diana?  All I know is that I love reading Anthony’s hyperbolic rants of rage and lost love. Don’t you want to know what happens after he declares that:

“I am starting to smolder now. No more Mr. Nice Guy. No more Mr. Wholesome. I will crawl through sewers, knife in teeth. Climb up walls with suction boots. Nurse my hatred like a baby with pincer hands and twelve legs.  I will get revenge.” (p. 27)

I’d like to emphasize how good this book is, particularly because there’s something about the cover that seems to keep readers away.  Ignore the gross burger photo!  This book is way more delicious to read.

Destroy All Cars has similar plot elements (read: environmentalism and consumerism) to The Gospel According to Larry by Janet Tashjian (a summer reading giveaway!), only it’s more humorous.  It’s told partly through the journals of James Hoff, supplemented by essays, real and fake, that he writes for school (or wishes he could turn in.)  James is fed up with “the lameness of people in general” and it shows.  The tone of his reaction to the world is mainly one of sarcastic exasperation.  For an example, here’s the intro to one of his Junior AP English persuasive essays:

“We have a problem at our school. That problem is cars.

Every day when our school lets out, dozens of cars crowd into our school driveway.  The line goes around the school and onto the highway and almost causes accidents. The, for up to an hour, this caravan of oversize SUVs, Luxury Pickups, and Minivans idles in the driveway of our school, smothering us with exhaust and toxic emissions. Some of these vehicles are so large, their exhaust pipes are nearly at the same height as our freshman’s faces.

Breathe it in, boys and girls!

And this is at a school where if you took one puff of a cigarette, you would be expelled for life…” (p. 9)

Like Anthony, James was also recently dumped by his girlfriend, and whether or not he gets over her or if she convinces him not to be so cynical about everything remains to be discovered.

Lest you panic and think these books are romances and therefore not “boy books”, whatever that means, I’ll reassure you that they are not.  They’re just very funny realistic fiction with main characters of the male gender.  If you’re a fan of the humor in the Scott Pilgrim series (or movie) or the Daily Show, you’ll probably enjoy these books.

-Tessa, CLP – East Liberty

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