A lot of people close to me know of my love for pretty much everything David Cross says/does. To me, he’s a ballsy comedian not afraid to say what he thinks (I know that sounds kind of cliche`). He also strikes me as a very smart guy who doesn’t just spout off at topics he doesn’t know. He knows about these things. He just doesn’t agree.
“I Drink for a Reason” is a book that was released last month, and upon picking it up I was immediately slightly disappointed. It’s not a big book, and for $25 dollars (that my girlfriend paid, thank dog for First Year Dating Anniversaries!), I was less than thrilled with the economics of such a small book.
But the book is packed full of funny and worthwhile observations from Cross. He touches on a lot of subjects, and the book actually reads like just a collection of short, blog-like entries (which for the most part, I think it is).
Many people will recognize him as Tobias Funke from the World’s greatest TV show ever made ever…Arrested Development. Reading this, it’s obvious why on a show so scripted, they allowed Cross to come up with most of his own material. He has unbelievable timing, and his intelligence is his strongest card.
The book hits topics as varied as health foods, boring rich people, the FOX network, hippies, himself, break-ups, and Jim Belushi. Belushi comes up several times, and when you get to the story about why he hates him so much, it all starts to make sense.
There are some “List” chapters that Cross compiles, one for Urban Outfitters and their witty t-shirt slogans, and one for independent filmmakers in need of character quirks. Both of these lists are pretty funny, but I guess you would have to know about independent films or Urban Outfitters to get some of the references.
Another interesting chapter is one where he describes the party game Mafia. I vaguely remember playing this game at some point in high school, and I remember being just as frustrated as he gets while playing. I know that preconceived notions play a large part in the game, and it’s frustrating for funny people to play because people always assume they’re lying.
The chapters are short, concise, and humorous. While on the surface they don’t appear connected, they are. They are the thoughts of Cross himself, or the stories of Cross himself, as written by Cross himself. He doesn’t have to fake his way through topics and situations, he knows about them, and he will tell you what he thinks, a very respectable trait in a writer.
The problem is that I don’t see anyone who isn’t already a Cross fan picking this up and enjoying it. A lot of the laughs I got were because I was able to hear his voice. I doubt people who don’t know who he is could pick it up and think it’s that funny. Most of it would probably sail right over their head.
Cross is no doubt an intelligent comedian, and he makes a lot of points that I personally agree with 100%. However, the book seems to lack a strong direction, and at points can get a tad repetitive (neither thing I fault Cross for). It’s basically a book for his fans. If you don’t know who he is or aren’t a fan, you aren’t going to enjoy it. But if you are, you will. Pretty simple, really.
Grade: 7.0/10 (Average)