Writer and illustrator McCall and late night talk-show monarch Letterman have teamed up to offer a scathing and hilarious look at horrible fictional monuments built by wealthy members of the “one percent” to “ransack Nature’s bounty for the private pleasure of the demanding few.”) These include the only Montana hunting lodge with its own indoor airport (built by the heir to the “SwillMart discount” fortune); the rolling home-on-the road Gyro-Ball Rollerhome Lifesphere Mark I; an Olympic-size Jacuzzi powered by “the southwest Pacific’s first and only nuclear power plant”; and a three-thousand-mile-long tube built from hollowed out giant redwood trees featuring a private highway running straight from San Francisco to New York City. Those familiar with McCall’s cover paintings for the New Yorker will delight in his illustrations, each featuring a smooth precision that serves to underscore the hideous nature of each project. But Letterman is the real surprise here. Unshackled from the bonds of TV monologue jokes or top 10 lists, his dispassionate accounts of these monumental horrors display a ruthless precision that evokes humorist Robert Benchley, especially in his use of names, such as “millionaire ex-Department of Indian Affairs Casino Graft Director Huckster Frunk Jr. Sr.” Agent: Erin Malone, WME. (Nov.)
Author and illustrator McCall teams up with late-night host Letterman for this brilliant parody of the lifestyle of the One Percent, the richest of the American rich....The text is witty, and McCall’s illustrations are beautifully executed...much to laugh at here.”—Booklist
“No wonder Dave [Letterman] teamed up with [Bruce] McCall for their new book, This Land Was Made for You and Me (But Mostly Me)...Their book treats readers to the McCallian charm that Letterman has adored since the 1970s, when he stumbled onto McCall's work...[McCall] depicts a wonderland of gracious living writ extravagantly large. His is a Gatsby-like world of urbane but unconscionable excess that feels fancifully authentic, that indeed might have existed in bygone times, or might today, or might tomorrow—that is, if expense, taste and even minimal respect for Mother Nature were no object.”
—Frazier Moore, The Associated Press
A busman's holiday through the imagined, exaggerated playgrounds of the unconscionably rich. The subjects of this gorgeously illustrated, drolly written satire are those who combine stratospheric wealth with zero social conscience. As the introduction puts it, "Because it takes more than money and privilege and cronies in all the right places to ransack Nature's bounty for the private pleasure of the demanding few, a kind of sublime idiocy is needed to obliterate what always was and make out what never existed before." Though the credits never specify who did what, the art that carries this project is plainly that of McCall, who has some 50 covers of the New Yorker to his credit. Taking second billing is TV host Letterman, whose previous books have generally sprung from bits or trivia on his program. Many of these short chapters could have worked even better as video shorts or as graphic narrative, since the writing generally supports the visuals rather than vice versa. The acknowledgements credit "Amanda McCall's indispensable role" in coordinating the project; she is one co-author's daughter and long worked for the other. What we have here is an entire globe turned into kind of a prefabricated Las Vegas for the superrich, with one famous landmark rechristened the "Taj Me-All," while other diversions include bison paintball, nude golf and a pyromaniac's construction of the world's longest fireplace: "It's the only domestic hearth in America with its own fire department, on alert 24/7 to monitor the more than sixty blazes simultaneously crackling away day and night." There's also a scam that "has…made billions overestimating the intelligence and underestimating the gullibility of the international art scene." And the Godlandia theme park, where a top attraction "features a mechanical Peeping Tom caveman being shooed away from ogling a naked Eve in the Garden of Eden by a righteous mechanical Adam." Lightweight, mostly amusing fare.