Thursday, November 12, 2009
The Guinea Pig Diaries
I adored The Know It All. I loved The Year of Living Biblically. The Guinea Pig Diaries? Not so much. It was disappointing. You can kind of tell he was writing it with three kids in the background wanting his attention. I'm impressed that he's able to write at all with three young boys, but it left the book feeling rushed. Since this book is about a series of experiments instead of one long one, that added to that feeling. Plus he reworked and expanded some of his magazine articles, which I think contributed to that as well.
Also, I had a moment of panic when I hit page 99. He's related to Cass Sunstein? What?!?! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The horror! The horror! I actually let out a scream and that point and yelled "NO! DAMMIT!" Sadly, my husband is used to my talking to books and the TV and didn't ask me what was the matter until I said it a second time. At least Ryan understood why this was a problem. Now, I'm not stupid. I knew A.J. Jacobs was a liberal. Not a whacked out crazy one, but a liberal nonetheless. And I have a few relatives I'd rather not claim. But to be related to Cass Sunstein and be proud of out it? No, no. Not good. For those who don't know, Sunstein is one of Obama's many czars, or the Administrator of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Sunstein wants the government to stop recognizing marriage period. He thinks animals should have legal rights in court. (I'm all for stopping animal cruelty, but that just seems silly.) He thinks we should celebrate tax day. He not only supports gun control, he thinks we should ban hunting. And he thinks the government owns your body once you die and should be able to take your organs at will, unless you specify that you do not want to donate your organs. What?
He also made the gigantic mistake of comparing Obama with George Washington? Really? Washington would be appalled by Obama. He'd be appalled by the Republicans too, so don't just take that as a slam against democrats. His chapter on Washington did make me want to read more about him though. Like Jacobs, I've read a lot more about Franklin and Jefferson than Washington. But it takes an amazing man to turn down power, and he had the opportunity to take on absolute power and walked away. That's impressive.
I did enjoy this quote from the book though: "I'll be aloof and mysterious, like the pope or Willy Wonka."
I would recommend Jacobs other two books if you haven't read them, but skip this one.