Red Lobster, White Trash, and the Blue Lagoon

Joe Queenan, Author Hyperion Books $21.45 (194p) ISBN 978-0-7868-6332-7
""I was beginning to suspect that snobs like me were cutting ourselves off from all the sun in this society, that in our obsession with books by Umberto Eco and concerts by the Kronos Quartet, we had deprived ourselves of the boundless joy to be derived from a quiet evening with Yanni."" Thus does Queenan explain the impetus for his hilarious venting of spleen here against American mass culture. The TV Guide columnist and author of If You're Talking to Me, Your Career Must Be in Trouble sallies forth to skewer many popular icons. Among them are the musical Cats (""I was not a complete stranger to the fiendishly vapid world of Andrew Lloyd Webber""), Robert James Waller (""No one will ever write a book worse than Border Music. The government wouldn't allow it""), John Tesh (""almost supernaturally vacant""), Joan Collins (""a thrillingly inept writer""), the Olive Garden restaurant chain (colorful wording on the menu transforms a ""repellent morass into a truly wondrous zuppa toscana"") and the home of aging performers, Branson, Mo. (""a Bayreuth for Bozos""). Cynics in general and fans of Queenan in particular will find many pleasures in this wonderfully comic diatribe. Editor, Jennifer Barth; agent, Joe Vallely. British rights sold to Picador; author tour. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/29/1998
Release date: 07/01/1998
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