American Freak Show: The Completely Fabricated Stories of Our New National Treasures

American Freak Show: The Completely Fabricated Stories of Our New National Treasures

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by Willie Geist
     
 

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This is not the first book written about quantum mechanics, but it just might be the last. The theory presented inside these pages is so revolutionary that it has stunned the scientific community into reconsidering centuries of thought about the behavior of energy and matter. Prepare to have your mind blown.

Sorry, that's the introduction to Willie Geist's

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Overview

This is not the first book written about quantum mechanics, but it just might be the last. The theory presented inside these pages is so revolutionary that it has stunned the scientific community into reconsidering centuries of thought about the behavior of energy and matter. Prepare to have your mind blown.

Sorry, that's the introduction to Willie Geist's next book—the culmination of his life's work. Look for it next spring, just in time for Mother's Day. This book is about his other passion: freaks.

When he's not in the lab, Geist spends his time on MSNBC's Morning Joe sifting through the wreckage of American politics and popular culture. These days, that's a big job. With an Alaska hockey mom turning, almost overnight, into a national icon and threatening to move from Wasilla to the White House, with the world's most famous athlete now associated less with the Masters and more with the strippers, and with reality TV working around the clock to ensure the constitutional right of every man, woman, and child to fifteen minutes of fame, Geist's business is thriving.

In his hilarious first book, American Freak Show, Geist takes the smart, biting observation loved by his television audience to new satirical extremes. The real-life characters who now haunt our daily lives are cast as stars in completely made-up scenes that, frankly, are not all that far from reality.

Geist treats us to the first look at President Sarah Palin's unconventional inaugural address, performed live on WWE's Monday Night Raw after her renegade victory in the 2012 election. We go inside the ballroom for a Dean Martin-style welcome roast of Bernie Madoff upon his arrival in Hell, with Pol Pot serving as sidesplitting roastmaster. Geist provides us with never-before-seen FBI wiretap transcripts of the more mundane, but equally profane, telephone conversations of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. And George W. Bush's batting-cage-and-waterslide-themed plans for a presidential library are laid out publicly for the first time.

From Obama to Oprah, Afghanistan to Lohan, and Snooki to the Salahis, Willie Geist spares no one as our host of this wild American Freak Show. You'll laugh out loud while weeping for the future of America.

Editorial Reviews

Whether your target of choice is Barack Obama or Sarah Palin; Bernie Madoff or Miley Cyrus; Captain Sully or Snookie; you know that MSNBC's Willie Geist of Way Too Early fame will keep you giggling. American Freak Show collects Geist's satirical essays on topics way too funny (and real) to be ignored. A parody of celebrities, pseudo-celebrities, and "balloon-boys" of every description. A treat for fans of Jon Stewart—and Willie Geist.

Publishers Weekly
For his first book Geist, from MSNBC's Way Too Early and Morning Joe, imagines private conversations, e-mail exchanges, Twitter feeds, speeches, and other scenarios involving top newsmakers from our time. Such luminaries as Hillary Clinton, Kate Gosselin, Tiger Woods, Levi Johnston, and "President" Sarah Palin are subjected to Geist's wooden, repetitive send-ups. As Geist tells it, most everyone--including all 20th century presidents--seem to be identical to each other, right down to their speech patterns: they are arrogant, lack self-awareness, and have a penchant for swearing. While they may, indeed, share certain qualities, individual personalities are lost on Geist. Occasional "true story" vignettes about real-life "freaks" feature much fresher and funnier content; while recounting a news story in which a man was arrested for pleasuring himself with a coin-operated car wash vacuum, Geist muses, "One assumes Whitesnake was playing on the radio." Clearly commentary, rather than storytelling, is Geist's strength, so it's a shame that narratives make up the bulk of this effort. (Oct.)
Kirkus Reviews

Chat-show host takes aim at American celebrity culture and modern politics.

MSNBC veteran Geist (Morning Joe) graduated from producing that network'sThe Situation with Tucker Carlsonto writing and eventually co-hosting the popular morning show. While his TV antics (campaigning for McCain-Palin on New York's Upper West Side) might seem iconoclastic on-air, this low-brow, tepid collection of brief satiric essays leaves much to be desired. The book opens with a gig that was tired on SNL a year ago: the inaugural address of President Sarah Palin, delivered during an episode of World Wrestling Entertainment'sMonday Night Raw. "The last time I checked, Ronald Reagan beat the Communists a long time ago. Oh, and get me an egg roll while you're up," and "You abort an unborn child, we abort you," are two of her tasteless, if believable bons mots. But wait, it gets worse. Ever wanted to sit in on Tiger Woods' sex-addiction group-therapy sessions? It's here, complete with Wilt Chamberlain (really?), Charlie Sheen and God's own Ted Haggard. Obama gets a visit from the ghosts of presidents past ("What was I talking about? Oh yeah, I ended the Cold War today. Game over," from the aforementioned Gipper). Other selections include "Hillary's Private Campaign E-mails," between herself and her husband, which are even more tiresome than they sound: "Trying to remind everyone that he's a black guy who loves blow. What else?" Hillary moans near the bitter end. The beatification of Oprah, a roast of Bernie Madoff in Hell and a Parenting magazine interview with Kate Gosselin ensue. A parody of the George Bush presidential library is a particularly easy target. Sprinkled with true stories that feel culled from Darwin Awards rejects, this compilation makes Al Franken's parodies seem almost senatorial.

A mostly bipartisan satire that caters to the lowest common denominator on both sides.

NBC Nightly News
"I've read laminated airplane safety cards with greater intellectual heft. Turning serious: Willie Geist is the perfect guy to chronicle our decidedly imperfect times."
(Brian Williams, NBC Nightly News anchor and managing editor)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781401323943
Publisher:
Hachette Books
Publication date:
10/12/2010
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

John Heilemann
"Willie Geist is one part Twain, one part Carrot Top, two parts Heckle, and one part Jeckle."
(John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, authors of Game Change)

Meet the Author

Willie Geist is host of MSNBC's Way Too Early with Willie Geist and co-host of Morning Joe and is a contributor to many NBC News programs. Geist also hosts Zeitgeist, a satirical video blog on MSNBC.com.

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