Book Review: Stories from a Moron by Ed Broth
by Allen Wagner

No really. That's the name of the book, not me making fun of it. So where do I begin? I guess when you're randomly searching around online for the next good book to read and you see something called Stories from a Moron, you don't exactly set high expectations, but after reading it I realized that – for some of us – the book could be pure gold, while for others it will be a paperweight. I hope most of us see the gold.

The book, in retrospect, reminds me a lot of the movie Napoleon Dynamite because the whole thing is really in the style of an inside joke, but it's not really a joke so much as it's friends telling stories where you have to understand certain concepts to understand the whole story.

That was a confusing explanation, so let me just talk about the book instead. Ed Broth is either a genius playing one of the best jokes ever on people (and it's funny to laugh with him), or he really is – in fact – a moron and is very funny to laugh at. After thinking about the book, I'd like to think it's the genius, because I don't really think anyone can accidentally write what he's got here.

In short, when you read Stories from a Moron, you will hear stories of the man's life, stories he's heard, and also just random words of wisdom. In most cases, he will then submit them to magazines. The inherent problem for Mr. Broth is he submits these articles to magazines that want absolutely nothing to do with him, and he just can't catch a break with any of the magazines.

For example, without spoiling too much, the first segment is a story someone had told him as a child about a man who was famous in prison for the large amount of conjugal visits he would have. Broth then submits the article to Fencing Quarterly who of course rejects it. Broth then edits the same story by just inserting short references to fencing. (I will not tell you how he references it cause that's the real kick of reading it.) By the end of reading this, I was literally in tears because I was laughing so hard.

Like I said above, two things are sure by now: you either have no idea what this book is about or you already think it's funny or stupid. If you are confused then I suggest you pick it up, and if you think the premise is stupid I suggest you avoid it completely cause you'll probably think the book is stupid and you should spend your time watching sports or a Meg Ryan movie, or sending me money.

Broth continues in the book telling us some stories and continues to get stories rejected, and you would think that the major point is the comedy in getting things rejected, but after a while you start to realize part of the real shine of this book are the stories themselves. There's something about their unique quality that gets you to read every word, and then read it again to make sure he said what you thought he just said, such as the story about the confusion that happens when your girlfriend and dog have the same name.

You'll read knowing that you're going to be listening to nonsense, but you keep reading anyway because you want to see what he is going to come up with next, and – surely enough – every single time he comes up with something you completely did not expect.

The book's forward, written by Jerry Seinfeld, pretty much sums it up. This is a humor that you will either completely get, or completely miss. I really don't think there's a middle ground to this book, but I would have to say for the core people who read this review, that this book is a must read.

Copyright 1 Jun 2005 We Like Media.
You may email Allen Wagner.