28 July 2015

Book Review: Diary of a Jackwagon

I am a huge fan of Tim Hawkins. I saw him for the first time at a counseling convention a few years ago and I became an immediate fan. Since then, I think I have purchased every DVD he has made. My son shares my affection for Hawkins's comedy; at this point, he can do many of the lines along with Hawkins because he has watched them so often. I not only think he is the funniest Christian comedian working today, I think he may be the funniest all around comedian. Certainly top three.

Needless to say, when I saw that he would be releasing a book, Diary of a Jackwagon (2015, Thomas Nelson), I was excited. When the package arrived, I set to reading it right away, eager for the inevitable stomach cramps and shortness of breath brought on by uncontrollable fits of laughter. 

On the positive side, this book represents Tim Hawkins's brand of humor, which is what I had hoped for. Reading through, I could actually hear him making some of the jokes. He has a humorous, engaging perspective that butts up against real life. He's not afraid to poke fun of himself. His comedy is born out of his life experiences.

However, I had higher hopes for this book. Most of the chapters are repackaged versions of the author's existing stand up routines. Although that can sometimes be done to great effect, it seemed to fall flat here.  I tried to think about why that was my perception. I think one reason is that I am so familiar with his comedy routines that reading them didn't really generate the laughter that I had hoped for. I think a bigger contributing factor is that Hawkins's comedy is very physical. He makes use of vocal inflection, music, and movement to enhance--to a remarkable degree--his product. By nature of the medium, that is lost in the book. There were places where the authors tried to explain the physical aspects miss the mark.  

On the whole, I want to say that I think every person would be better off if they were exposed to the comedy of Tim Hawkins. In the realm of comedy, he is a true genius. However, I believe in general you would be better served by getting a copy of his videos than reading the book because it doesn't do him justice.

I was provided a free copy of this book by Thomas Nelson and the BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for a written review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions above are my own.


Martin Vickers said...

I appreciate your book reviews and blog. I have been reading for a while now.

May I ask how you get the book pictures up on your page? I am just now starting a blog and am still trying to figure everything out.

God bless!

Jason Kanz said...

I usually go to Google, search for the title under Image Search, right click and save photo URL, then add it into the blog.

Martin Vickers said...

Thanks. I have basically been doing that, but I wanted to be sure that was the way others did it. Blessings!