I Gotta Go: The Commentary of Ian Shoales

Merle Kessler, Author, Ian Shoales, Author Cliffs Notes $7.95 (179p) ISBN 978-0-399-51177-6
One of the popular features on National Public Radio's celebrated program All Things Considered is the commentary of self-described ""acerbic social critic'' Ian Shoales, a character created by Kessler and his comedy troupe, Duck's Breath Mystery Theatre. Shoales often catches the tone of commentators such as Andy Rooney, Jean Shepherd, Joe Bob Briggs and Russell Baker. However, in his dyspepsia, egotism and general sneering, Shoales most often sounds like a pale version of Fran Leibowitz, without the sting that makes her memorable. Shoales's attacks would be much cleverer if his targets weren't so obvious, easy and slow-moving (fast food, fads, Time magazine, Steven Spielberg, Norman Mailer). If Shoales then is less a spoof of social critics than one more of their number, there is still much that is amusing here, particularly in the adept conjunction of social and cultural signposts (e.g., the Ramones fan whose entire library consists of three books: Movies on TV, Encyclopedia of Rock and Pale Fire). November
Reviewed on: 11/01/1985
Release date: 11/01/1985
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