Researcher and Writer in Washington, DC

Roy Blount, Jr. Not Exactly What I Had in Mind (Boston: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1985)

Why I Will Never Again Trust Anything Garrison Keillor Says, by Kevin R. Kosar, August 30, 2009

I cannot recall where I found this book, but I snatched it up because I had heard that Blount was a funny writer.  The dust jacket includes effusive praise. Garrison Keillor exclaims, “Roy Bount’s stuff makes me laugh so hard, sometimes I have to go sit in a room and shut the door.”

I read about three chapters of this collection of columns and could go no further.  It was dated, corny, and just not funny.  The pieces that I read had that cranked-out-in-a-rush feel.  For example, in his “What You Personally Can Do About the Federal Deficit,” Blount suggests that folks buy postage stamps and throw them away.  At the end of the bit, he tacks on a P.S. that belatedly admits that this idea “won’t work” since the U.S. Postal Service’s profits are not used to finance the rest of the government.  Well, no kidding.  A half hour of research done before he had started writing would have told him that the USPS is an independent governmental entity that is self-financing.  So, what was the point of this piece then?  There isn’t one.  It was hack work done to earn a check.  Pity the trusting fools who bought this hardback when it first appeared—it was $14.95 wasted.

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