Score: 88/100 (8.8 out of 10)
This is BY FAR the FUNNIEST book we've read in a very long time! When you first look at this book and flip through the pages, you may be confused and not be very impressed. You might wonder if it's supposed to be poetry or prose.
Well, it's prose...sorta... It's prose formatted like random journal or diary entries. Hey, dudes can have diaries too. However, when you get past the chaotic-as-hell formatting and just accept it and take it in for what it is, you might really enjoy this book the same way that we did. It is HILARIOUS! We just read “I Saw What I Saw” by Tony Garritano, and that was super funny. Well, this is even funnier if you can even believe that. There's just something about Shoemaker's ability to showcase his knack for snark and sarcasm.
Shoemaker has to be one of two types of people: 1. The kind of guy who pretends to be drunk at a party just to be the life of the party, or 2.The kind of guy you want to have around because of his tremendous personality and sense of humor.
There's a moment in here that's so simple yet speaks to this so well. It's the moment when a character is trying to introduce their gay friend to a conservative elderly woman at church. Their mother then intervenes and we get a quote that reads something like “She was trying to be helpful in the most unhelpful way possible.” There are so many moments like that in this book, probably at least two to three dozen! We're not kidding.
Another of our favorite lines was:
“I’m no authority on anything other than household chores such as vacuuming. Vacuuming is the best. Jesus loves vacuuming and that’s why glitter is most likely demonic.”
Gosh, how we wish this book could've just been professionally edited. It could've been a 93 or 94 out of 100 easily. Yes, the author had a bunch of people take a shot at editing it, but... well, this book still lacks a great deal of refinement. Again, that's to its benefit and to its detriment. To its benefit, it lets Shoemaker be himself and show off his extraordinary humor and personality. To its detriment, it can be a downright eyesore. It physically hurts to look at some of these pages. Almost every 14-year-old amateurish writing cliché is exemplified at some point here: CAPITAL LETTERS, lack of indenting, lack of titles or chapters, the repetition of information (sometimes in machine-gun fashion), one-word sentences FOR. EMPHASIS. OF. COURSE. There are footnotes here that aren't even real footnotes, just extra space for the author to clown around and be sarcastic.
Alright, fine. Speaking of footnotes, we get some of the funniest parts of the book in them: one in which the author implies that nothing happens in Seinfeld and a second in which the author tells us to stop reading this book and watch Wicked (the musical) instead! The brutal honesty the author constantly assaults us with is golden.
We did love and enjoy this story. We didn't enjoy the formatting or the spelling and grammar, but we did enjoy the story a ton. We also appreciated the message—that God's salvation is open to everyone regardless of their race, age, gender, sexual orientation, or the things they may have done in the past. Homosexuality and Christianity are central to this book. It's incredible to note how lighthearted this book is yet confronts such heavy subjects.
Also, there is no ho ho freakin' way this is fiction! No freakin' way! That was a shocker to us. The author did such a great job making us think it was REAL!
The most powerful and emotional quote in this entire text is simply: “I accept you just the way you are.”
Check it out on Amazon!
7/28/2022 10:49:05 am
Thank you for this review!!!!! It's my favorite thing in the whole wide world. :-D
7/28/2022 11:18:32 am
"2.The kind of guy you want to have around because of his tremendous personality and sense of humor."
7/28/2022 11:18:58 am
Knowing Joel personally I can tell you 1. He isn’t faking being drunk but is a practicing mixologist and is the life of the party. 2. I absolutely try to plan my outing around being in the same vicinity of Joel because he is so much fun to be around.
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