Geen categorie·Reviews

Egghead: Or, You Can’t Survive on Ideas Alone – Book review

Egghead: Or, You Can’t Survive on Ideas Alone by Bo Burnham.
(Published October 2013).

I fell in love with Bo Burnham’s sense of humour, style, and ideas through his comedy shows what. and Make Happy and decided to purchase Egghead after seeing Bo recite some of its poems on stage.

Egghead is described on Goodreads as ‘a strange and charming collection of hilariously absurd poetry, writing, and illustration from one of today’s most popular young comedians’ and that is exactly what it is.

I enjoyed most of the poems, writings, and illustrations, though some of them were a little too weird or absurd for me to find funny or meaningful.
If the absurdity rate is too high, it’s simply not my cup of tea and I can only shrug my shoulders at it.
However, that was only the case for about 10% of the book. The other 90% was quite brilliant.

To give you a little taste of what to expect, here are some of the silly one-liners included in the book:

Chameleon
“I put a chameleon on a red dildo.
He blushed.”

Incomparable
“You’re incomparable like a…
Shit.
Like a…”

Toast
“I’d like to propose a toast:
sourdough pumpkin bread.
Thoughts?”

Strange Adjectives
“Me, with my strange choice of adjectives
You, with your muscular teeth and clockwise vagina.”

Cyclops
“The woman ran screaming when the Cyclops blinked.
If only they’d known he’d actually winked.”

The book is also filled with longer poems and writings, including these favourites of mine:

The Squares
“The Squares lived happily,
in their square houses,
in their square yards,
in their square town.

One day, a family of Circles
moved in from the west.

“Get out of here, roundies!” shouted one of the Squares.
“Why?” asked one of the Circles.
“Because this is a metaphor for racism!””

Magic
“Read this to yourself. Read it silently.
Don’t move your lips. Don’t make a sound.
Listen to yourself. Listen without hearing anything.
What a wonderfully weird thing, huh?

NOW MAKE THIS PART LOUD!
SCREAM IT IN YOUR MIND!
DROWN EVERYTHING OUT.
Now, hear a whisper. A tiny whisper.

Now, read this next line with your best crotchety-old-man voice:
“Hello there, sonny. Does your town have a post office?”
Awesome! Who was that? Whose voice was that?
It sure wasn’t yours!

How do you do that?
How?!
Must be magic.”

Sully
“Sully suffers from a stutter,
simple syllables will clutter,
stalling speeches up on beaches
like a sunken sailboat rudder.

Sully strains to say his phrases,
sickened by the sounds he raises,
strings of thoughts come out in knots,
he solves his sentences like mazes.

At night, he writes his thoughts instead
and sighs as they steadily rush from his head.”

Flower Sex
“Flower sex! Flower sex!
Flex those sexy flower pecs.
Good old April shower sex
that lasts for half an hour sex.

Yeah! Flower power her!
Devour her! Don’t cower, sir!
Put the petal to the medal
and powerfully deflower her!”

Ashley
“Little Ashley hung magazine spreads on her wall,
after picking the magazines out in the mall.
Models and actresses, singers and more,
with cleavage and makeup and glamour galore!

All of her heroes were finally nearer.
Her whole room looked perfect—except for the mirror.”

That last one is even rather #deep.

I can’t give Egghead 5 stars because of that 10% I didn’t enjoy, but the amount of delightful eccentricity and playful use of language accompanied by wonderful illustrations that are squeezed into the other 90% makes it well worth 4 out of 5 stars.

This review can also be found on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1702196650

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