cover image Everything and a Kite

Everything and a Kite

Ray Romano. Bantam Books, $22.95 (224pp) ISBN 978-0-553-10874-3

Star of the hit sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, the amiably bemused Romano here puts his stand-up act on the page, and--despite a few dull patches--remains amusingly down-to-earth. The title refers to one of his kids' birthday requests, and the Queens-raised, Italian-American comic can mine the family/kids/guyhood comedy lode with the best of 'em. ""Bugs are simply our jurisdiction,"" Romano says of men and the marriage contract and the task of killing creepy-crawlies, while parents could use a ""nap pressure gauge"" to monitor their child's consciousness. How often does a guy with four kids have sex? Well, ""the next day I pay my estimated tax."" Most of Romano's shtick seems believable, and even the stuff that clearly stretches--like his taking off his pants to keep alert while driving--seems in character. Romano's ""proud history of accumulated neuroses"" apparently gives him the perspective to appreciate the concept that ""your happiness peaks at three,"" as when his daughter daydreams about... candy. Major ad/promo; simultaneous BDD audio cassette and CD. (Nov.)