I usually like funny, fast-paced reads only if they’re poking fun at our society or have some deeper cultural undertones. But occasionally even I get sick of dwelling in life’s neurotic muck and want something to read that’s light-hearted and escapist, but still realistic enough that my eyeballs don’t get strained from rolling too far back into my head.
As a fan of the show Mystery Science Theater 3000, I have a great appreciation for Michael J. Nelson. Sure, some people prefer Joel, the first host, but I started with Mike and have always had a soft spot for his dorky delivery and hapless enthusiasm. And as the head writer, his wit was a major force behind the overall flavor of the show’s ten seasons.
Reasons I enjoyed this book
A. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE STAND-UP COMEDY. I listen to it on XM radio, watch Comedy Central and visit the comedy clubs as often as possible.
B. I am a female. I enjoyed reading about these comedians and why some women did not find their shtick so funny.
C. I have been with the same (awesome) dude for 14 years and like to live vicariously through books.
Lights on a Ground of Darkness: An Evocation of a Place and Time originally was published in 2005 by the University of Nebraska Press. That handsome little hardcover, though, was a limited edition; one thousand copies were printed, each of them numbered and signed by the author. Last September, under its Bison Books imprint, the press re-released the book in a mass-market paperback edition -- and Publishers Weekly promptly named it one of the top 20 books published last fall by independent and university presses. The praise is deserved.