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Leary tells it like it is

By Staff | Feb 24, 2009

Denis Leary, the sarcastic comedian famous for his snarky stand-up rants, has released his book, “Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid.” The book is available in hardcover and in audiobook. Leary is a former stand-up comedian who most recently starred in the FX drama, “Rescue Me,” and HBO’s miniseries, “Recount.”

I like to listen to books written by comedians because the books are often like their stand-up routines. This abridged audiobook is 5 hours long, but it’s 5 hours of humor and will definitely help pass the time in traffic.

Leary calls this book a self-help book, and it’s a self-help book reminiscent of one of his stand-up routines, in which someone goes to the psychologist to discuss his problems and gets a “shut the @#$ up.” If you’re offended easily, this is not the book for you. Leary tells why people are annoying, and let’s face it, we’re all annoying at some point.

Leary breaks his book down into a discussion on why other countries hate us, and it ranges from empty-headed starlets and pop stars to people wearing skinny jeans who really shouldn’t.

Leary then goes from pop culture diatribes to a memoir of his life, from how his parents disciplined their family to his own showdown with a bully, reminiscent of “A Christmas Story.” There’s a funny bit about words his mom uses that no one could find the definition of except for on obscure word Web sites. He also tells about the life lessons his parents taught him — you can be what you want (within reason) but no one’s going to hand it to you on a silver platter, the importance of hard work and listening and respect for your elders. He talks about his early career and not taking no for an answer despite obstacles in his path.

Leary also tackles spoiled children and the realities of parenting and the fact that parents are in charge of raising their kids, not society, and need to pay attention to their kids, pretty much so they don’t grow up to be a jerk. Right before he talks about slow-moving traffic. He dares to suggest that everyone is NOT special. He also hits religion and politics and every other hot-button issue in a very non-politically correct way.

Leary bounces from topic to topic in a funny, whiplash kind of way that will leave your head spinning while you’re laughing at the same time. There is a lot of good common sense in between the snarky rants.

Contact Amy at amendenhall@graffitiwv.com