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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
On stage, page, and screen, perhaps no one in the entertainment industry is more well known than Bill Cosby. Now the bestselling author of Childhood, Fatherhood, and Time Flies hones his comedy down to a science, in a new collection of stand-up material, Cosbyology.
Just as biology is the study of life, Cosbyology is the study of life as Bill Cosby sees it, and these short stories, essays, and observations put his whole lifetime under the microscope. From learning responsibility watching his siblings ("This bothered me for three reasons: 1. They were not my children. 2. I didn't know how to spell responsibility. 3. I was eight"), to learning geometry the hard way, that is, without reading the book, ("You got the answer correct. And I followed your philosophy. You're a genius!.... For the year four hundred A.D."), Cosby's recollections of growing up as a "very bright boy" in the projects of Philadelphia are as charming as they are hilarious. And whether he's recalling his early days as a stand-up comic in Greenwich Village and Chicago (where he was told, "When you get back to your hotel, will you tell Bill Cosby to come back here and do the second show and to never again send you because you, sir, you are not funny") or his unlikely path to Temple University via the U.S. Navy (standing watch over a clothesline), Cosbyology is not just a collection of humorous stories -- it's also a patchwork autobiography, giving us glimpses of the life that led him to the spotlight. Of course, it wouldn't be Bill Cosby without also offering educated rants on everything from skiing to boating, from the joys of marriage to the dangerous pitfalls of dinner seating arrangements, from ingrown hairs to everything else that he can't stop thinking about, and we can't help but laugh about.
With his signature dry humor and impeccable timing, Bill Cosby has pulled together a slim collection that is a smorgasbord of comic genius. Whether as a gift or a guilty pleasure, for anyone who needs some light shed on the wonders of life, Cosbyology should be required reading. (Elise Vogel)