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BLOG TOUR - REVIEW We Learn Nothing by Tim Kreider @freepressbooks

Book Description

June 12, 2012

In We Learn Nothing, satirical cartoonist Tim Kreider turns his funny, brutally honest eye to the dark truths of the human condition, asking big questions about human-sized problems: What if you survive a brush with death and it doesn’t change you? Why do we fall in love with people we don’t even like? What do you do when a friend becomes obsessed with a political movement and won’t let you ignore it? How do you react when someone you’ve known for years unexpectedly changes genders? Irreverent yet earnest, he shares deeply personal experiences and readily confesses his vices— betraying his addiction to lovesickness, for example, and the gray area that he sees between the bold romantic gesture and the illegal act of stalking. In these pages, we witness Kreider’s tight-knit crew struggle to deal with a pathologically lying friend who won’t ask for help. We watch him navigate a fraught relationship with a lonely uncle in jail who—as he degenerates into madness— continues to plead for the support of his conflicted nephew. And we cringe as he gets outed as a “moby” at a Tea Party rally. In moments like these, we can’t help but ask ourselves: How far would we go for our own family members, and when is someone simply too far gone to save? Are there truly “bad people,” and if so, should we change them? With a perfect combination of humor and pathos, these essays, peppered with Kreider’s signature cartoons, leave us with newfound wisdom and a unique prism through which to examine our own chaotic journeys through life. Uncompromisingly candid, sometimes mercilessly so, these comically illustrated essays are rigorous exercises in self-awareness and self-reflection. These are the conversations you have only with best friends or total strangers, late at night over drinks, near closing time.

About the Author
Tim Kreider’s work has appeared in The New York TimesFilm QuarterlyThe Comics Journal, and His popular comic strip The Pain—When Will It End? ran in alternative weeklies and has been has been collected in three books by Fantagraphics. He divides his time between New York City and the Chesapeake Bay area.

I don't know how anyone can turn being stabbed in the neck and almost dying funny, but Tim Kreider does!  I was touch by his poignant remembrances and descriptions of his attack and the aftermath.  Specifically, how he thought up new ways to describe the incident and how the "incident" became it's own entity.  He is best known for his satirical cartoons during the Bush era and there are drawings that illustrate his points  throughout the book, but I really needed a magnifying glass to read some of them.  That is probably just me and old age though.  He also tries to see each side of a situation and at time I think he is being too fair.  Kreider comes across as a bit unstable but I guess when someone stabs you in the neck, that is your privilege.  

There are short essays about almost everything in life. Kreider reviews his love life and that there is a fine line between love and stalking.  True friends don't necessarily have to tell the truth about everything.  Sometimes you just need to be an ass, even when your mother is dying.  Ok, maybe I took that part of the book wrong, but I guess everyone deals with stress in their own way.  I think this book is for people who like a skewed view point and anything "normal" is not for them.  Ok, I adore books like this.  


  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (June 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439198705
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439198704

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