Franken gets frank and funny
This review is big on buildup and small on review. That?s not because the 352 pages of The Truth (with Jokes) is stingy with research, facts, or Al Franken?s characteristic, well, frankness. It?s not because the book scrimps on light entertainment or weighty accusations. It?s because, as they say, The Truth is out there. By ?out there,? I mean it?s not subtle, doesn?t shrink, doesn?t beat around the Bush (as in George W. and his administration). It is out there in full view as it criticizes the president, other Republican politicians, and the folks at Fox News. It?s also been out there since its publication in October 2005.
As a result, you?ve probably heard about it and may already have an opinion about Franken?s Truth. It?s one of those polarizing polemics that are so common in bookstores nowadays, whether it?s Ann Coulter in the stacks on the right or Joe Conason on the shelves on the left. Unfortunately, Red-State-versus-Blue-State encampments can make reviewing such books in a ?fair and balanced? way an exercise in tightrope walking. So this has been my long-winded way of getting around to the following very short, step-by-step review:
1. If you are a liberal or a progressive and would like a good laugh as well as a hard-hitting account of the Bush administration?s failures, read this book. If not, proceed to step two.
2. If you are a conservative or a moderate who would be bothered by satirical depictions of the president and biting commentary about his leadership on such topics as Iraq, Social Security, and gay marriage, skip this book. If not, proceed to step three.
3. If you are someone else?maybe someone in the middle, maybe someone more independently minded?consider Franken?s book if (a) you enjoy satire, (b) you are interested in a well-documented discussion of current events and controversies, and (c) you?re open to being exposed to an author who is well-meaning but strongly opinionated.
Now one more ?if?: If you?re still reading this review and haven?t ruled out The Truth, you may want to consider the audiobook version, which won The Audie award for most humorous audiobook of the year.