A couple of weeks ago I was contacted and asked if I would review, Taste’s Like Human: The Shark Guys’ Book of Bitingly Funny Lists. The title of the book intrigued me, and the short synopsis they sent me, had me hooked, line and sinker. Like a shark. I said yes, and started reading the book the day I received my copy.
The Shark Guys, Noel Boivin and Christopher Lombardo, first collaborated book, The Man Who Scared a Shark to Death and Other True Tales of Drunken Debauchery, was published by Penguin. Crowned The Shark Guys by interns at Penguin, Boivin and Lombardo created a website to capitalize on the idea and promote their first book. What started as a place to plug their book, turned into a site about funny happenings in list form. Now, for their second collaboration, Boivin and Lombardo have taken their popular list site to the next level and put together an ebook of amazingly funny lists which can be purchased on Amazon for a mere $2.99. I think a book that has you laughing out loud during the acknowledgments (yes, I read the acknowledgments) is worth a cup of coffee at Starbucks. But, I’m weird about books like that.
In tribute to their website, and the book itself, I’ve decided to do this review as a list. (I know, clever, right?)
Top Five Reasons I Recommend Taking A Bite Out of This Book
5. They cite their sources. This may not be a huge deal to other people, but coming from a sociology and legal background, the Internet world of Tumblr and Pinterest citeless repostings, drives me bananas. So, I’m grateful that every crazy story had a source I could look up if I wanted. (My propensity to make up words like “citeless” and “repostings” probably drives other people crazy, but that is only because they have control issues, or English major backgrounds. )
4. I recommend imagining Jeffrey Donovan of Burn Notice reading this book to you, I did and it was good. If you have never seen Burn Notice, Michael Weston, played by Jeffrey Donovan, begins and ends each episode explaining crazy crazy CIA stuff, like building bombs, dealing with the mafia, and how to get Fiona to back down from a gun fight- with complete aplomb. Imagining Jeffrey Donovan’s voice reading these absurd and funny stories in the same wry tone made me giggle a time or two.
3. The writing is excellent. Both Boivin and Lombardo have extensive writing back grounds (and English majors, so they will probably be two of the people who are driven crazy by my made up words), and it is apparent in their finely crafted lists and fine tuned humor. Writing funny is easy, you just have to make up words and people look at it like, “Huh, that’s funny” (and not in the good way). Writing well with humor is really hard, but Boivin and Lombardo are professional humor writers and it shows.
2. I love lists, so a book about lists was right up my alley. I love when things are organized, and then topped off with humor. Yes, please. Plus, it made it easier to set aside the book when I had to crawl into bed and get back into the stories when I was able to read the book once again. I put this in the plus column, but I understand there may be others who aren’t so keen on the short essay like style of list writing. I suggest buying a cup of coffee instead. But, if you are fond of humor, reading about crazier people than yourself, and like the structure of lists, this book is an excellent choice to add to your ever growing tbr pile.
1. I laughed, a number of times. And not just at the voices in my head. I laughed at the story of the man who rode a lawn mower more through the United States. I shook my head in agreement and chuckled over the Top Ten Easiest College Majors (and recommend avoiding them at all costs). I was surprised to find I giggled over the Top 5 People who Married Animals lists. I read it with one eye open, which I normally reserve for viewing horror movies. My favorite was the idea of turning the dog marrying story into a movie similar to Slumdog Millionaire where “a nine-year-old tribal girl in India with a tooth rooted to her gum being advised by tribal elders that the only way to cure it was by marrying a dog.” I agree, the dialogue will need work. My sister once married her pants on a dare, so, I’m not one to judge other people’s families. Another favorite list of mine was Top 15 Reasons Why Sharks Are Better Than Cats. I’m not a huge animal lover, but cats seem to disregard this fact and are constantly trying to be best buds. I have to agree, sharks are better than cats. But I totally think there should be a Shark meme. Just saying.
I enjoyed the funny, absurd, and over the top, full of crazy, stories. Not every list made me laugh, but I wasn’t expecting to laugh at every story. Some of the lists were sobering reminders that sometimes the crazy of this world gets to be a little too much. And if any man tries to pull one of the Top 20 First Date Suggestions on me, he’s in for a world of hurt. I just hope people who read that list realize it’s satire. (But my experience in dealing with the public while working retail doesn’t give me much hope on that). I enjoyed the book so much I head over to their website to read some more funny stories and lists, and laughed my way through yet another list, Top 10 People You See at the Gym. If the book leaves you hankering for more, you aren’t left high and dry, you can head over to their website for my funny lists. If you are having a bad day, or just need a laugh, I recommend checking out Taste’s Like Human: The Shark Guys’ Book of Bitingly Funny Lists.