3 out of 4 stars
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I think it's part of the human condition to want to be better people. Whether we want to be kinder, more empathetic, more charitable, or more sociable, we want to improve ourselves. However, not many of us admit it, let alone write a book about our quest to do so. This is where Fallacious Rose comes in. In her book, Oh and That's Another Thing...What Buddha Forgot to Say, Rose documents her weekly attempts to “be better”. Specifically, Fallacious wants to earn enough karma points to come back as the best creature of them all, a cat. She figures she'll need about 500 points to attain her lofty goal, and she documents the process on a weekly basis.
Oh and That's Another Thing...What Buddha Forgot to Say is not a completely serious book. It's very tongue-in-cheek, as noted in the author's “brief word of warning”. In her words, “However, not everything in this book is strictly true: there is a reason why the author calls herself Fallacious. You know when someone tells a great story at a dinner party, and then their wife spoils the whole thing by saying ‘Henry, come on - you’re exaggerating!’? That’s the relationship of this story to the author’s actual life.”
Completely true or not, I thought this was an excellent book. There were many times where I had to look at the cover just to be absolutely sure that I didn't write it because I swear Rose is myself. She's irreverent, disrespectful, lazy, sarcastic, and pleasingly plump. She also hates cooking, thinks being nice to people is a goal, and has prolonged conversations with herself. She is me. Aside from Rose/myself, this book is full of characters who are actually “imaginary advisers”. They include Guru Fred, Madame Sputnik, and Father O’Flaherty. I thought Rose did a great job with each of the “advisers”, giving them the proper personality and voice that such people would have. Other advisers – whom I think are real people – include Violent Violet and Captain Savage. Violet is verbally violent, frequently cursing and being tactless in general. Captain Savage is the friend who tallies Rose's points towards cat-hood but also dispenses advice as he sees fit. Additional people in Rose's circle include her children, Mr. F and Ms. M, as she refers to them, and her frequently mentioned “Demon Ex” who remains nameless.
Some of the ways in which Rose tried to be better included complimenting people, being nice to strangers, visiting a nursing home and making nice with a specific, “adopted” resident named Arnold, and being a Kids Mate (something akin to a "Big Sister") to a needy child called “Beetle”. She did better in some areas than others, but each week was filled with hilarity, and I enjoyed reading about her accomplishments as much as her failures. I also greatly enjoyed reading how each of her advisers responded to each week's attempts at betterment.
Another thing I really liked about this book were the illustrations sprinkled throughout. Many of the chapters included an appropriate picture done in a simple, childlike style, and I found them to be almost as funny as the writing. I also appreciated their presence because one of the things I miss most about being a child is picture books.
The only negative I found in this book was its lack of complete editing. The errors were mostly in punctuation, though there were occasionally either missed or extra words. Still, I was enjoying the book so much that the mistakes didn't take away from it at all.
As much as I'd like to give Oh and That's Another Thing...What Buddha Forgot to Say a glowing 4 stars, I have to go with 3 out of 4 stars because of the aforementioned grammatical errors that are prevalent throughout. I do highly recommend this tome for readers who enjoy comedy, a quirky writing style, and self-improvement books. For my part, I also intend to read anything else that Fallacious Rose puts out.
Oh and That's Another Thing: What Buddha Forgot to Say
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