Seems like a sweet, smart guy?
Would welcome him as a colleague or neighbor or bud? Check.
WAAAAAY Too Much Information?
David Sedaris's heir apparent?
It's somewhat a shame that David Ellis Dickerson's publishers insisted on using a quote comparing the dueling Daves to sell this memoir. That's a mighty high bar. Trading on their This American Life connection, no doubt, but did the label not realize that ranking him against one of the most edgy-yet-commercially-popular humorists in the current English-speaking world might beg negative comparisons?
So what is this book? A memoir of Dave D.'s sojourn as a Hallmark card writer, and of his struggle to move beyond the Christian Fundamentalist doctrines that he outgrows during this period in his life. Basically, that's about it.
- Inside scoop on the mind-numbingly audience-specific business of crafting greeting cards, one that quite reliably morphs creatives into OCD/neurotic/hollow husks of their formerly vibrant selves.
- Detailed descriptions of Dickerson's card-writing process: intrinsically intriguing for writers and teachers of writing. Thanks, Dave.
- Prose style that reads like listening to a particularly witty raconteur of a pal expounding on his quotidian trials and triumphs: a pleasant enough way to spend treadmill time.
Not so fun:
Specific details on every sex act he's ever indulged in or rejected or attempted unsuccessfully or felt guilty about: as aforementioned... WAY TMI.
Once again, the confused psychological territory of the memoir offers itself to our scrutiny. Is it a vehicle for writers' auto-analysis or is it an edifying entertainment for readers?
Anyhoo... Action Jump Starts:
* Creative Sparks: Dickerson invokes Saint Vitus, patron of comedians. Who will you pick to be your own patron saint, muse, or patronus? OR
* Dickerson creates an hilarious Top 10 List which gets butchered by editors at Hallmark, rendering it entirely un-funny. Choose your favorite topic and create 5 ideas for top 10 lists that could be hilarious. Then go ahead and make them happen.
* Connection: Dickerson, upon moving to St. Louis, MO from Tuscon, AZ, checks out churches in search of renewed faith and social connection. His experiences inspired me to check out what's happening here. I will research our local houses of Christian worship and visit one for this Sunday's service.
* Online Inquiry: Puzzler... This guy's a cryptic crossword puzzle creator, and his expansive lexicon conjured a grin or two. Look up his puzzles online and do one, plus take a look at what he's been doing recently on This American Life.
* Online Action: I can't think of one for this book, so I attempted to compensate with three creative sparks. If you come up with one, please do add it in the comments and I'll revise...
My actions: Pick a patronus AND create 5 funny Top-10 memes, complete one, and offer them all to The Broke and The Bookish for future blog hops.
Just the Jist List
Title: House of Cards
Author: David Ellis Dickerson
Book's Website: http://davidellisdickerson.com/house-of-cards-the-book/ (a division of davidellisdickerson.com? check.)
Author's Website: http://davidellisdickerson.com/
Year Published: 2009
When was it read? January 17 and 18, 2011
Perfect Matches: Aspiring greeting card writers, This American Life aficionados, the frankly frank, writers and teachers-of-writing interested in craft/process for commercial forms
Perfect Timing: Fundamentalist Christians reconsidering their faith - moving toward more liberal worldviews, or anyone leaving a hometown for the first time in their late 20's
Perfect NOT: anyone uncomfortable with graphic sexual references, anyone who is a devout Fundamentalist Christian, anyone who doesn't want to be disillusioned about Hallmark cards
Rating (1-5): **
Why? It's a diversion, and for anybody who ever buys cards, instructive. Other than that?
Get it: (again - I'm not currently affiliated w/the stores below, just hoping to make access easy for you - the links below are direct to the book)
p.s. Mom: TMI = Too Much Information.