A collection of posts from a humor blog, written by an economics writer with a subversive streak.
Ake has operated the blog Ake’s Pains since 2011, and here he offers his favorite entries from it, along with tales of their creation and reception. The chapters are loosely categorized by topic, with each featuring several blog posts. The first shares Ake’s takes on male-female relationships, including a “running joke” about why women should make sandwiches for men on demand. The second tackles celebrity-related news, such as nude-photo leaks and the rapper Pitbull’s fashion choices.
Other chapters cover such topics as sports, including an analysis of some very bad team names; Ake’s home life, as in a story about how his wife conquered a very obnoxious woodpecker; and economics, such as an explanation of the subprime mortgage crisis involving a beautiful but deceptive character named Becky Housing. He devotes one sweet chapter to his daughter’s marriage, featuring a series of wedding-oriented posts that cover love, stubbornness, and the insane financial obligations required of the father of the bride. Ake’s humor is often coarse; busty women, for instance, show up in several posts. He also demonstrates a love of wordplay, especially in an impressively scatological piece about using toilet paper sales as an economic indicator.
However, such Everyman humor risks being derivative, and Ake’s writing is no exception. One of his favorite topics, for example, is the battle of the sexes, but his tales of sex-obsessed men struggling to understand irrational women don’t put a new spin on it, and some jokes feel sexist and resentful, rather than lighthearted. Ake is better when he discards such clichés and embraces absurdity, such as when he tells of his attempt to write a song for Taylor Swift that kept resulting in verbatim Bruno Mars lyrics. Also, his writing on economic issues effectively addresses serious national issues with unserious fables.
An uneven collection that may please some fans of raunchy dad-humor. (Kirkus Reviews)
Author's note: I've never been called "raunchy" before and I suspect the reviewer may be flat-chested (not that there's anything wrong with that)