Warning! This Product Contains NuttinessA Fun Look at the Bizarre World in Which We Live
Paper Edition, $24.95t
Paper ISBN: 1-62190-006-1
Status: In Print
Publication Date: 11/15/2013
Description“Venable studies the world about him. Yes, he writes about nuttiness, but he is an appreciator, indeed a lover, of people and place. . . . Spontaneous joy leaps from the page. I would rather be in Hell with my back broken than spend a day fishing, but Venable almost seduces me into wanting to spend time in a bass boat—listening to him.” —Sam Pickering, author of Autumn Spring
"Venable is well known for his trademark homespun humor, but he is equally capable of stirring other emotions. Near the center of this book, he addresses such weighty themes as separation of church and state, the deaths of friends and loved ones, the 911 attacks, and so on. This is Venable at his best: thoughtful, brimming with care and compassion, willing to take stands on controversial issues, and effective at rousing emotion without ever resorting to cheap strokes just to draw tears." —David Brill, author of As Far As the Eye Can See: Reflections of an Appalachian Trail Hiker
As seen through the eyes of Sam Venable, the world is indeed bizarre and filled with nuttiness. The archives of the Knoxville News Sentinel offer ample evidence that Venable is a bit of the former and has made a career out of drawing attention to the latter.
For his latest book, Venable has gathered and organized 139 of his newspaper columns—his biggest collection yet—to create a trove of wit and wisdom. In the spirit of “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” he points a finger at human nature, the environment, civil rights and wrongs, and an eclectic mix of other targets, drawing our attention to the foibles, failings, and just plain absurdities that surround us all.
As a native son and treasured institution in East Tennessee, Venable has earned the right to poke fun at its local history, habits, and happenings. He takes full, loving advantage of this license in essays such as “How to Tawlk Good,” “Shall We Gather with a Reptile,” and “The Good, the Bad, the Kudzu.” He takes on the government in a section titled “A Two-Ring Circus with Elephants and Donkeys,” and in another called “Still Waiting for Y2K,” he offers up “A Lesson in Dollars and Sense” and “Blowing the Budget for Bowser.”
Some have called him a modern-day Mark Twain, others the Dave Barry of Knoxville; but while there may be some similarities, Sam Venable is wonderfully unique. He sees—and sees through—the pervasive silliness and stupidity in our world. It evokes wonder in him, and with many a deft turn of phrase, he interprets that wonder for us. Warning! This Product Contains Nuttiness will make you smile, certainly, but it will also make you think and sometimes even touch your heart.
Humorist, columnist, and naturalist, Sam Venable has been a fixture at the Knoxville News Sentinel since the 1970s. He is the author of ten other books, including, most recently, Someday I May Find Honest Work: A Newspaper Humorist’s Life.
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