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May 15, 2008

First Review of "My Custom Van"

Well, the first review of my book just arrived. It's from Kirkus Reviews, which I reprint in its entirety: Mycustomvancover_3

MY CUSTOM VAN;
And 50 Other Mind-Blowing Essays That Will Blow Your Mind All Over Your
Face

SECTION: NONFICTION

LENGTH: 366 words
Stand-up comedian and character actor Black debuts with an amusing
collection of essays. For years the author has augmented his stand-up career with a variety of roles in film (most notably in Wet Hot American Summer) and television,including great work on the criminally short-lived MTV sketch show, The State. Many of these roles have honed his unique ability to deliver dry, often hyperbolic jabs at, well, seemingly anything that pops into his head. In his first book, those topics include David Sedaris ("It's important to understand that when you read the words 'David Sedaris' and'suck it,' they are not actually directed at David Sedaris the person, but more at the idea of David Sedaris"; shopkeeping ("A shoppe is a place where business is conducted, yes, but it's also a place where friendships are formed, trust earned, scented candles smelled"); Socratic reasoning (the hilarious "Using the Socratic Method to Determine What It Would Take for Me to Voluntarily Eat Dog Shit for the Rest of My Life"); and his own writing talent ("Acceptance Speech I Plan to Give Upon Receiving Some Kind of Important Literary Prize for Writing this Book"). Black also includes plenty of adolescent humor of the sexual and scatological nature, including "This Is How I Party" ("to win...means showing up alone, but going home with the HOTTEST girl who is the LEAST conscious"), "How to Approach the Sensitive Question: Anal?" and "Why I Used a Day-Glo Marker to Color My Dick Yellow." As can be expected in a collection of 50 short essays, there are some misfires,including a couple lame stabs at offbeat erotic fiction and a few half-formed pieces like "Now We Will Join Forces, You and I" and "Stan the Oracle." But the best entries, like his take on the "Infinite Monkey Probability Theorem," are mini comic gems: "Upon closer examination, however, I realized that what I was reading was not Hamlet, but the second act of Your Five Gallants, by the lesser Elizabethan playwright Thomas Middleton. So frustrating!!!" Uneven, but more hits than misses.

[SIDE NOTE: Why are they putting it in the non-fiction section? I didn't really color my dick yellow. (I colored it green) Is there a James Frey-esque scandal looming in my immediate future?]

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Reen

Frey-esque? Oprah will have your ass for dinner!

Congratulations. There is no doubt in my mind that this book will do very well. It will surely be one of my all time favorites. Maybe even more of a favorite than the first book I really cared about about...
http://cgi.ebay.com/Jiggers-Rand-McNally-Junior-Elf-Book-1963-Dog-Story_W0QQitemZ360051966754QQihZ023QQcategoryZ279QQcmdZViewItem

Quite possibly more of a favorite than a book I carried in a bike basket for many summers...

http://product.half.ebay.com/Harriet-the-Spy_W0QQtgZinfoQQprZ1741536

In fact, THE only thing that would be better than reading your book would be CD's of YOU reading it.


Therese

Yes, in concurrence with Reen, I would like to lend my support for an audio book version.

"...lame stabs at offbeat erotic fiction..."?

Obviously the reviewer can't get it up.

I was also confused by the non-fiction categorisation. It seems the word 'essay' was too hard to comprehend in a fictional sense.

You never did provide evidence of the day-glo appendage.

Camille

" lame stabs at offbeat erotic fiction "
Whhhhhhat???????

You need to travel the US in your custom van to do book signings.

me again

Yay! I enjoyed that review, if only for use of the term scatological. It just makes poo sound so refined.

I also liked the Jersey Beat piece. You didn't tell us you were a rock GOD! I guess when you've been blowin minds all over faces for so long, you don't even notice it anymore.

Susanna

It sounds like this particular reviewer only got about 75% of his/her mind blown all of his/her face.

I agree with Camille - you should be traveling the US in your custom van to do book signings. I expect nothing less in Chicago. Do it.

Camille

"I expect nothing less in Chicago. Do it."
And...er....Kansas City? :)

Hot Flash

Michael + Van = Heart Attack in a can

Brian Lynch

This book is a rip-off of my book "I PAINTED MY VAN EXACTLY THE WAY I WANTED TO" and you know it.

Brian Lynch

This book is a rip-off of my book "I PAINTED MY VAN EXACTLY THE WAY I WANTED TO" and you know it.

Mark

Dear Michael Ian Black,

I have not read your new book My Custom Van. I have not bought your book. I probably won’t do either of these things. I am sorry. I am poor, but I do have a proposal. I will read your book…if you send me a copy of the book. That might seem like a pretty shitty deal for you because you’re basically giving away your book and get nothing in return, but I am not finished with my proposal. My entire proposal is this: I will read your book one page, a day at a time and when I am done with that page I will eat it. I will rip the page out of the book (or if you prefer not to have your book destroyed I will make a copy of it and eat the copied page). I will only do this though if you send me a copy of the book. Now this seems like a pretty good deal for both of us. I get to read your book and you get to watch me eat your book one day at a time for 244 straight days (the book is 244 pages long). Now, I was a little curious to see if I would do significant damage to my body if I ate paper, but it appears (at least to two out of four answers at yahoo answers) that eating paper won’t cause damage.

So that’s basically the proposal Michael Ian Black. Please get back to me if you are interested in accepting my proposal. I figure each day I will make a video of me eating the page and post it on youtube as evidence. This could work. Maybe it will start a huge trend of people buying your book and eating it. Then when this book sells out you can reprint a special edition that is edible. The possibilities are endless. So once, again the proposal is you send me a book, I read it, and I eat it. I probably won’t eat the cover. That’s not part of the deal.

Sincerely,

Mark Baumer
http://everydayyeah.com/content/review-my-custom-van-michael-ian-black

rachel

can you write a whole book comprised of just essay titles? I'd really enjoy reading it. It'd be good for my five-second attention span.

B.C.

Im going to buy this . . . . when it comes out in paperback.

Don M

People always mention The State. No one ever mentions Viva Variety. That show was dope. I miss it.

dm

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