Early Book Review: The United States of Absurdity: Untold Stories from American History by Dave Anthony, Gareth Reynolds, Patton Oswalt

The United States of Absurdity: Untold Stories from American History by Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds, with a forward by Patton Oswalt, is currently scheduled for release on May 9 2017. From the creators of the comedy/history podcast "The Dollop," this book presents short but informative stories of the most outlandish (but true) people, events, and more from United States history. Comedians Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds cover the weird stories you didn't learn in history class, such as 10-Cent Beer Night, the Jackson Cheese, and the Kentucky Meat Shower, each accompanied by a full-page illustration that brings these historical "milestones" to life in full-color. Each story is accompanied by tongue-in-cheek trivia and timelines that help place the stories in context with the more well-known historical events that occurred around them.

The United States of Absurdity: Untold Stories from American History was a entertaining and informative read. While I had heard some of the stories before, such as the radium girls and Kentucky meat shower, some were new to me. Each story was short and offered some commentary on the intelligence (or lack there of) of those making decisions. Occasional the humorous commentary got a little profane, so those not interested in that style of humor might want to skip it. However, fans of the podcast or that have seen anything from the writers involved will not be surprised. It did catch me by surprise at first, but fit in with the stories and humor well so was not an issue once I got accustomed to it. Readers that will be too bothered by swearing, jokes about male anatomy, or intelligence levels in our country will want to skip it- but everyone else will laugh and learn at least a little. The short bits of history are organized by commonalities, and make for fun short reads.

The United States of Absurdity: Untold Stories from American History is a fun read for fans of The Dollop podcast, as well as those that enjoy learning about the more unusual bits of history. I normally get this tidbits from History's Mysteries, Mysteries at the Museum, and similar shows- but now I know I need to be listening to this podcast too. If history and humor tied together makes you happy, so will this unique look at American history.
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