A Cry from the Far Middle by P.J. O’Rourke
Published: September 15, 2020 by Atlantic Monthly Press
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Synopsis: P.J. O’Rourke says we’ve worked ourselves into a state of anger and perplexity, and it’s no surprise because perplexed and angry is what America has always been about. This uproarious look at the current state of these United States includes essays like “Woke to the Sound of Laughter,” about the upside of being “woke” (and unable to get back to sleep); “Sympathy vs. Empathy,” which considers whether it’s better to hold people’s hands or bust into their heads; a brief digression “On the Additional Hell of the Internet of Things” because your juicer is sending fake news to your FitBit about what’s in your refrigerator; and many more.
Dotted with a quiz to determine where you stand on the spectrum of “Coastals vs. Heartlanders;” “An Inaugural Address I’d Like to Hear” (ask not what your country can do for you. Ask me how I can get the hell out of here); and an impassioned argument on licensing politicians (we license doctors, we license dentists, we license beauticians…), this is P.J. at his finest.
Review: ***Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review. Thank you HighBridge Audio and NetGalley!***
I had never heard of P.J. O’Rourke before this book. I was drawn in by the title and wanted to check it out. This is essentially a collection of this columnist’s previous columns about politics. This made it very easy to listen to. Nothing dragged out too long before we were on to the next essay.
It was such a breathe of fresh air. Funny, self deprecating, insightful, and thought provoking. I consider myself a political junkie and also a staunch Libertarian. If you’re wondering who the person in your neighborhood who thinks you should be able to own a grenade launcher, legalize prostitution, legalize all drugs, feels that taxation is theft and wants to fire most politicians….that person is me. While I have a feeling that Mr. O’Rourke falls more on the Conservative side of Libertarian than he believes he does, he did a fairly even handed job in this book. I have already quoted a few of these essays in other forums because I felt his point was right on the money. I will have to seek out more of his work.