The New New Rules
by Bill Maher
Published by Blue Rider Press
3 Out of 5 Stars
A collection of "New Rules" (brief and sarcastic commentaries on the idiocy of pop culture and the oxygen thieves who drive it) and essays from his closing segment on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, The New New Rules has some obscenely hysterical and politically incorrect moments, as well as enough Sarah Palin slams to keep me smiling for a week. I give Maher credit for doing exactly what a lot of politicians should be doing right now: sticking to his convictions and calling things as he sees them with no allegiances to anything other than what he sees as the truth. He mocks Republican stupidity and Democratic impotency and takes politicians who are in the pocket of corporations to task. Sure, he's kind of an unapologetic asshole while doing it, but at least he's intelligent, funny, and (more often than not) right.
So why didn't I give the book higher than a 3 star? I love Bill Maher's Real Time and faithfully tune in each week. I realized after the fact that I probably would have enjoyed the book more if I had purchased the audiobook version. His delivery adds to the sly sarcasm as Maher knows how to bring the snark. Fortunately, I've seen enough of the show that I could "hear" Maher reading this as I read along. And that brings me to the other problem. I'm such a devotee of the show that I had actually seen a lot of this material before, and the pre-2011 stuff seems pretty stale in terms of relevancy. It's also not the kind of book to read in one sitting (although it would be very easy to do). I had to dip in and out of it while reading other books, but found that it made for a nice "palate cleanser" between book selections. This is well worth a read for those who enjoy this brand of offensive humor, don't watch the show too often, or are diehard Maher fans.