A Guide to Western Civilization or My Story

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9780385296717: A Guide to Western Civilization or My Story
From Library Journal:

Aside from the fact that both authors are Texas humorists, these two books are quite dissimilar. Briggs, familiar to cable TV viewers as the host of a weekly feature on The Movie Channel , has written what might be called the only 100 percent fact-free autobiography ever written, starting in his "birthplace" of West Civilization, Texas. Briggs fulfills his promise that he will not stay on the subjectbecause life never doesby rambling over a wide range of subjects, including sex education, topless bars, bass fishing, the National Organization of Women, immigration laws, and encyclopedias. Those who enjoyed his Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In (Delacorte, 1987) will also like this book. Nichols (not the movie director) has assembled a very readable collection of pieces from his column for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. It will strike a chord with almost any readerthere is material on joggers, real world IQ tests, books on family trees, microwave ovens, dealing with phone solicitors, the art of worrying, and cats. Readers won't be able to resist sharing his humorous insights. Nichols's book is the better choice; Briggs's will be at home only in large libraries with broad collection development. Ken Phifer, Montgomery Cty. P.L. & Montgomery Coll. Lib., Rockville, Md.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

For the most part, Briggs (Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In) rambles on unchecked here in an insane, offensive flow that ranges from the ridiculous to the absurd. He picks on Mexicans ("you wake up one day and find out you're a Meskin yourself and you know what? You don't wanna change your shirt anymore"), "the Frenchies," Mel Torme, blacks (he describes "a resettlement camp for Negro tap-dancing families"), Shirley MacLaine and, particularly, the Women's Movement. He pens country songs ("The Ballad of the Death Row Vegetarian" and "You Said You Were a Virgin, but Your Baby Ain't Named Jesus"), and a story line that is desultory and vague ("The reason I'm gonna do that is that Life never stays on the subject"). The plot involves the romance of Joe Bob and Joyce Karnes (aka Jose) who meet when Joe Bob and his best friend Rhett Beavers start America's "first titty bar." They marry, she splits, he tries to find her and, in the process, fractures the English language and all vestiges of good taste. Joe Bob's philosophy is best summed up by Joe Bob himself: "Blessed are the poor and the ones that know how to turn bullshit intoa free meal." Briggs, who is actually John Bloom, hosts The Movie Channel
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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