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Book Review: The United States of Absurdity by Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds

One-sentence summary:
Stroll through the lesser-known anecdotes from American history, full of wackiness and hijinks.


Thank you to NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book to me in exchange for an honest review.

The United States of Absurdity was fun to read, and the illustrations made them even better.

Boy, have we had some dolts in our country’s past (and present, TBH). The United States of Absurdity gives concise highlights of each incident, so I’m curious to research some of them even more (radium girls with their jaws falling off, anyone?).

The authors occasionally go a little too far off the rails in their commentary. Sometimes, though, they add just the right tidbit to make me laugh out loud.

I think my version may have been a final draft instead of the finished product. There are a few things that still need cleanup in my copy, including page numbers appearing in the middle of the page, typos, and editing notes.

Curiosity piqued, I checked out the authors’ podcast, The Dollop. It was much like the book: scattered, messy, and self-indulgent. But also a helluva lot of fun.

———side note on podcasts———–

Podcasts are the best, right? My queue is so full, I’ll never catch up. And now after laughing like an idiot, I had to subscribe to The Dollop, also.

Great. More entertainment and merriment to deal with. Siiiigh.

If you like The Dollop, here are a few other podcasts you may enjoy. This isn’t an exhaustive list, so feel free to chime in with your own additions:

  • The Flop House: Funny guys talk about terrible movies they’ve seen.
  • Revisionist History: The thinking person’s Dollop. Malcolm Gladwell examines history, but without the constant jokes. Side note: one of the coolest websites, too.
  • 99% Invisible: Pieces of architecture-related history, backed by a dreamy soundtrack.