Saturday, July 14, 2007

Hold the Enlightenment

Hold the Enlightenment

Tim Cahill

Date: 2002   —   $11.20   —   Book

product page


Nonfiction, Travel, Shorts

In the introduction, Tim Cahill makes mention of reader reviews such as this one, including ones that say he's "not as funny as Dave Barry." That's right. He's not.

I just can't see why people think he ought to be.

Dave Barry is a humorist, and humor is his goal. I actually prefer, in many ways, when he writes semi-seriously, as he does, in fact, have writing chops when he chooses to use them. (As humor is all about timing, perhaps that's not so strange.) Tim Cahill is a travel writer, for whom humor is a portion of his tale, not the main goal.

And his work is full of interesting tidbits. The Missouri River is the primary source of the Mississippi, but naming conventions alone have kept them from being listed as one river. If they were listed as one river, it would be the longest in the world. Think about that.

Or think of the word "fubsy," a biological term meaning an animal that has traits, such as big heads and eyes, small limbs, and overall cuteness, that are definitive of human children. Basically, "fubsy" means traits of a baby animal that you look at and go "awwww." Or as in "fubsy hors d'oeuvres"— a fur seal about to be eaten by an orca.

At any rate, I enjoy Cahill's work and recommend it highly.

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