Nothing's Sacred

Nothing's Sacred

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by Lewis Black
     
 

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You've seen him on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart offering up his trademark angry observational humor on everything from politics to pop culture. You've seen his energetic stand-up performances on HBO, Comedy Central, and in venues across the globe. Now Lewis Black's volcanic eruptions can be found in Nothing's Sacred, a collection of rants against stupidity and

Overview

You've seen him on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart offering up his trademark angry observational humor on everything from politics to pop culture. You've seen his energetic stand-up performances on HBO, Comedy Central, and in venues across the globe. Now Lewis Black's volcanic eruptions can be found in Nothing's Sacred, a collection of rants against stupidity and authority, which oftentimes go hand in hand.

With subversive wit and intellectual honesty, Lewis examines the events of his life that shaped his antiauthoritarian point of view and developed his comedic perspective. Growing up in 1950s suburbia when father knew best and there was a sitcom to prove it, he began to regard authority with a jaundiced eye at an early age. And as that sentiment grew stronger with each passing year, so did his ability to hone in on the absurd.

True to form, he puts common sense above ideology and distills hilarious, biting commentary on all things politically and culturally relevant.

Editorial Reviews

Freewheeling stand-up comedian Lewis Black validates his book's title with a collection of unruly rants on stupidity, authority, politics, and the Starbucks society. The Daily Show regular doesn't mince words, dispensing strong opinions on religion, drugs, homophobia, and other hot-button topics.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780743544535
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication date:
03/22/2005
Edition description:
Unabridged
Pages:
5
Product dimensions:
5.12(w) x 5.88(h) x 1.00(d)

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Read an Excerpt

Introduction: Why I Hate Authority

What am I doing writing a book?

I can't sit still for that long.

For reasons that now escape me, I wanted to be a foreign service officer. Who knows, maybe I thought it was glamorous, or maybe the idea of travel just appealed to me. (I doubt I was really interested in shaping American foreign policy; that sounded too much like work.) I soon discovered how many requirements there were to qualify for a job in foreign service, and that's when I decided that I wanted to be a writer, because there were no requirements. All you had to say was, "I am a writer," and you became one. You didn't even have to write anything. You could just sit in a coffee shop with a notebook and stare into space, with a slightly bemused look on your face, judging the weight of the world with a jaundiced eye. As you can see, you can be completely full of shit and still be a writer. Okay, maybe that's the one requirement.

I also thought it was going to be a great way to meet girls, but it wasn't — probably because as I was staring into space, I no doubt looked mildly retarded. You see, I wanted to write plays, which in retrospect is a lot harder than learning Mandarin, I think. How I ended up in this delusional state shall be saved for another time.

Eventually I began to fill the pages in front of me with words. It was exciting. It was romantic. And yet I felt like I was losing my mind, listening to voices in my head while trying to overcome years of lethargy by sitting and stewing in my own juices for hours. My brain was constantly humming with a little voice that would cry out, "Are you insane? Who would want to read this drivel of yours, let alone perform it? There are real jobs even you can do and contribute to society. You are insane, aren't you? You just want to end up in an asylum somewhere, where they will take care of you." And in the twenty or so years that I wrote plays, I made less than I would have if I had chosen to be a migrant worker.

And so after years of playwriting, I became a successful comic. Go figure. So imagine my surprise when Steve, my agent, called and asked me if I wanted to write a book. Without hesitation I said, "Of course I want to write a book." But my brain was shouting, "You're insane."

Doesn't everyone feel they can write a book? Doesn't everyone feel that with just a few tens of thousands of well-chosen words they could put the earth right back onto its proper axis? (Maybe that's not the case nowadays; maybe everyone just wants to be on a reality TV show and have people write about them.)

With so many more places to drink coffee nowadays, I leaped at the opportunity to share my insights with the world. Ask someone to write a book and that person's ego knows no bounds.

After years of working as a comic, I know how to talk funny. But can I write funny? So that the words leap off the page in such a way that the reader is filled with glee? You don't know till you try, and there are legions of critics ready to tell you that you aren't funny in the least.

So what was I going to write about...? Certainly not politics, as the shelves are filled with wonderfully funny works that have successfully covered that subject, by writers from Art Buchwald to P. J. O'Rourke to Michael Moore.

I am no David Sedaris or Dave Barry or Mark Twain. Jesus, Mark Twain — not only was he funny, but he's dead and he's still funny.

I picked up a cup of coffee and stared off into space. It's not so romantic when you actually have to have thoughts and write them down, especially now that I apparently had a severe case of ADD. My head just couldn't wrap itself around a topic, because I got bored immediately with any topic that came to mind. In my desperation to come up with an appropriate subject, I even considered writing about interior decorating, which I know nothing about.

Then one day, while sitting on a plane, headed to God knows where, I had a revelation. I am constantly in the air sitting next to guys who are about my age, and they talk to me as if I am twenty years younger than they are. And they seem twenty years older than I am. They always seem to have sticks up their asses. Where was my stick, I wondered? Where did the stick come from? Was there something inherent in being an adult that I had missed? Why did so many of my generation seem to have gone on to become joyless and officious snots? How could Dick Cheney and George W. Bush be around my age and yet it was as if we were living in parallel universes? Was there something wrong with me that when I heard the words "get on board" I would rather drown? It's not a question of politics. It's deeper than that. It has to do with our points of view, the way we look at the world. Where did mine come from?

That's what this book is about. Maybe I am emotionally stunted, but by the time I was in my early twenties I had developed the way I look at life, and it hasn't changed much since then.

This is the road I traveled, as I remember it — which may not always be accurate, since as I have gotten older my memory has become a blender.

And so we begin.

Copyright © 2005 by Lewis Black

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"No one is safe from Lewis Black's comic missiles."

New York Times

"Lewis Black is the only person I know who can actually yell in print form. Very entertaining read."

— Jon Stewart

Meet the Author

Lewis Black is a playwright, a stand-up comedian, and a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. His characteristic rants on the state of the nation have won him much critical praise including an American Comedy Award, a place on Entertainment Weekly's 50 Funniest People list, and an HBO special.

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4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Fan4SFGiants More than 1 year ago
Nothing's Sacred is one of Lewis Black's most hilarious books. His profiles of what he's been through daily throughout his everyday life and his family members will keep you laughing like crazy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Who doesn't love Lewis Black? Morons, that's who! If you can read, read this!
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Lee-Marshall More than 1 year ago
Lewis Black's book Nothing's Sacred is a rough synopsis of how his life has turned out. By trade, Lewis Black is a comedian whom didn't bloom until very late in his life. He has done many stand-up specials on Comedy Central, HBO, and several other venues. He also has a recurring spot on the Daily Show with John Stuart in which he yells and complains about what irks him the most. In his book, he outlines a pivotal part of his life and how it has affected him. Most chapters are short and to the point, such as his topics on religion and his upbringings in the suburbs of Washington D.C. The more interesting chapters include his trials in high school in which he tried many mind-altering drugs, to his life in the 60's. One of the most interesting parts of the book is learning about his schooling and the few years that come after it. The book is a very good read and a nice touch on the life of the comedian Lewis Black. The pros of this book are it is very short and an easy book to just pick up and go where you left off last time. It has very direct information that doest stray from the main plot of his life. The cons are that it isn't as in-depth as I would have liked it to have been. Some of the chapters are very short and I would like to have seen them extended by Mr. Black. Over all a very nice book to read and I recommend it to anyone who loves to listen to Lewis Black.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I love Lewis Black's stand up and this he is absolutely hilarious. There were a few places where I found myself laughing out loud, but there were more moments where I was really bored. Some of it was just way too serious, not the Lewis that I know and love from his stand-up.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Over the past few years, I have become a huge fan of Lewis Black's work as a comedian and as an actor. This book did not dissapoint me, one who is most familiar in his works. I can't remember laughing so hard, or coming so close to tears from a book. His insight in everything from politics to the frightening college application process to his dog astounds the reader into a state of realization and joy that what he's saying makes absolute and complete sense. And that some how, that is the funniest thing in the world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've laughed at Mr. Black's comedy specials on HBO, but nothing in those prepared me for his memoir. He certainly captures what it was like to grow up in the Baby Boom with great accuracy. Or at least his experiences seem to mirror my own, even though we grew up on opposite coasts. Good to know I wasn't the only confused person in America!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and was almost literally unable to put it down. Although more than once he has rewritten his comedy routines, the books goes into much more than that. From very emotional, to very insightful, to (it's a book by Lewis Black, so obviously) very funny, this is a must read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love Lewis Black--I think he is the funniest comedian around. My husband and I drove from Oklahoma City to Wichita just to see him live. However, this book is a huge let down for those who have seen his acts because they are basically a rehash of them. In the first 20 pages there were multiple places were the dialogue was word for word what he says in is act. I'm returning the book--sorry Lewis but this was really lame.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've been a Lewis Black fan for the last 10 years. His book, 'Nothing's Sacred,' is much like his act. I laughed out loud several times at his takes on the Old Testament, gay marriage, and Dan Quayle. Stories about his family, particularly his mother, are also hilarious and give perspective on Lewis. If you like Lew's stand-up, this is a must.