Synopses & Reviews
How does Steve Almond get himself into so much trouble? Could it be his incessant moralizing? His generally poor posture? The fact that he was raised by a pack of wolves? Frankly, we havent got a clue. What we do know is that Almond has a knack for converting his dustups into essays that are both funny and furious. In (Not that You Asked), he squares off against Sean Hannity on national TV, nearly gets arrested for stealing "Sta-Hard" gel from his local pharmacy, and winds up in Boston, where he quickly enrages the entire population of the Red Sox Nation. Almond is, as they say in Yiddish, a tummler.
Almond on personal grooming: "Why, exactly, did I feel it would be 'sexy' and 'hot' to have my girlfriend wax my chest? I can offer no good answer to this question today. I could offer no good answer at the time."
On sports: "To be a fan is to live in a condition of willed helplessness. We are (for the most part) men who sit around and watch other men run and leap and sweat and grapple each other. It is a deeply homoerotic pattern of conduct, often interracial in nature, and essentially humiliating."
On popular culture: "I have never actually owned a TV, a fact I mention whenever possible, in the hopes that it will make me seem noble and possibly lead to oral sex."
On his literary hero, Kurt Vonnegut: "His books perform the greatest feat of alchemy known to man: the conversion of grief into laughter by means of courageous imagination."
On religion: "Every year, when Chanukah season rolled around, my brothers and I would make the suburban pilgrimage to the home of our grandparents, where we would ring in the holiday with a big, juicy Chanukah ham."
The essays in (Not that You Asked) will make you laugh out loud, or, maybe just as likely, hurl the book across the room. Either way, you'll find Steve Almond savagely entertaining. Not that you asked.
"A pop-culture-saturated intellectual, a kindly grouch, vitriolic Boston Red Sox hater, neurotic new father and Kurt Vonnegut fanatic....[Almond] scores big in every chapter of this must-have collection. Biting humor, honesty, smarts and heart: Vonnegut himself would have been proud." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Almond will make you laugh, and wince, but his real goal, largely achieved, is to make you think." Hartford Courant
"[S]urely one of the more meandering collections of essays ever put forth by a major publishing house....Utterly self-absorbed, endlessly readable, Almond has little to say and knows how to say it." Oregonain
"Almond is a reader, a true devotee of the written word. The highlights of this book, what makes it a worthy addition to any home library, are his essays on Kurt Vonnegut, whom he memorializes with an appropriate mix of hero worship and critical scrutiny." Seattle Times
"[A] rich, fearless, cutting collection of essays on a variety of topics including inter-author jealousy, the odd sensation of touching fake breasts and good old standbys about Hollywood, hypocritical politicians and the confusion of new fatherhood." Los Angeles Times
"[An] absurdly funny collection of 20 personal essays." Boston Globe
About the Author
Steve Almond is the author of the story collections My Life in Heavy Metal and The Evil B.B. Chow, the nonfiction book Candyfreak, and the novel Which Brings Me to You, co-written with Julianna Baggott. He lives outside Boston with his wife, Erin, and daughter, Josephine, whom he cannot stop kissing. Visit the author at stevealmond.com.