Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Man Bites Town: Notes of a Man Who Doesn't Take Notes

1993, possibly first edition, from St. Martin's Press
Harry Shearer
Man Bites Town: Notes of a Man Who Doesn't Take Notes
Possibly bought new for $18.95
Hardcover in good condition with torn dustjacket

Native (Los) Angeleno Shearer writes about local and national issues with the wry humor he shows in everything from The Simpsons (which he'd just started voicing at the time of the first essays) to Spinal Tap.  These are his columns from the Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine, from 1989 to the then present, although it seems like he gets up to 1991 (post-Gulf-War) awfully fast.  As with Goodman, I suspect that reading many newspaper columns in a row isn't the best way to digest them, and he, too, has a personal style that can wear thin after awhile.  Still, it is interesting to get a more local take than hers or Heimel's on, for instance, the LA Riots.  (He uses "Rodney King" as a verb because LAPD brutality doesn't surprise him.)  There's of course a lot about show biz in here, but I think I liked his thoughts on architecture best.

My other favorite thing is that he has a back-cover blurb from Merrill Markoe, who co-starred with him on the 1989-90 cable series Word of Mouth, which still makes me laugh when I watch my VHS tapes of it.  It's nice to know that they still do projects together, like this:

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