Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

I finished reading Al Franken’s Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right. the other night. I’ve been a bit busy, hence the delay in writing up my little review of the book.

First, there’s a couple of things that you should keep in mind about my opinion on this book:

  • My general reading interests keep me firmly planted in the fiction section, so this was quite unlike anything I’ve read
  • Prior to reading this book, I have had little to no direct exposure to Franken’s work.
  • I didn’t vote for Bush.
  • I don’t like the way the Bush administration has been handling things since they came into power.
  • I am not a lawyer or an election official but I still think the 2000 presidential election had some fishy things going on in it (particularly in Flordia).

Now that I’ve got those disclaimers out of the way, I can tell you that I greatly enjoyed this book and will definately be looking at borrowing the rest of Franken’s books (from friends or my local library). Franken’s sense of humor and sharp sarcasm really struck a chord with me. That I agreed with a lot of his points throughout the book, didn’t hurt either. One of the things that I really liked about the book was how well Franken (and his team of Havard students) documented all the quotes that Franken used, via footnotes at the bottom of the pages and in the bibliography at the end of the book. It really gave the book a feeeling of professionalism that frankly, I wasn’t expecting. From what I’d heard about the book via the media; I was expecting it to be more along the lines of drinking burnt coffee made with reused grinds rather than the smooth latte that it went down as. However, that is not to say that the book is without it’s faults.

When you turn the page to a new chapter, you can expect it to have little or no connection to the previous chapter; this makes for a very rough transition between chapters and reduces the readibility of the book. Also, at points Franken lowers himself to the level of the people he’s complaining about in the book (the Right) by resorting to childish namecalling. Generally, he does it after he’s just finished quoting somebody from the the Right do it and walked you through several paragraphs to show how wrong that person from the Right was. Sometimes it’s even funny when he does it; however overall, it’s not a technique that works for me. I’d rather have seen him stay above that sort of thing and instead just continue to use things that the Right have said to show their inconsistencies and stupidities.

Well, that’s all for now (my break’s over and I need to get back to work). I’ll be reading Elizabeth Peter’s The Falcon at the Portal next.

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