Book Review by Five
Ever wonder what it would be like to take an exploratory peek into the mind of a former Seinfeld writer, if nothing more, than just for the hell of it? Ever imagine what it would be like to casually traverse the experiential terrain and clustered thought forms inside such a mind? Geez, ever just wish you could curl up with a quick read and LOL repeatedly (which some studies have shown can possibly combat cancer as well as various emotional maladies, i.e. Laugh Therapy)?
Well, scream out Hallelujah because you’re in luck! Feel free to count this as a blessing or, at the very least, a gift from the gods of publishing. Mandela Was Late is former Seinfeld scribe Peter Mehlman’s new book of odd things, wit-filled essays, and multi-colored doodle art… And it’s guaranteed to make you pee your pants should you have a full bladder and be miles away from a restroom and have to go! All joking aside, there are a great number of downright hilarious moments and obliquely satirical insights which jump out at the reader like Big League, spring-loaded, funny business.
Who else do you know marks time by the amount of moving violation tickets received? Believe or not, being pulled over six times is how the former New Yorker encapsulates his twenty two years and roughly 350,000 miles of L.A. living… And each time is a hoot! In another segment, he shares his innermost feelings about being nominated for an Emmy and the ensuing eight weeks leading up to losing to Ellen DeGeneres in front of a worldwide TV audience of 600 million people (… I envision friends at my memorial service saying: “He was never the same after losing that Emmy.”)
Also extremely hilarious is the escapist story called BLANK—about a guy named Eugene Brusca, a man who literally has no opinions on anything, who eventually lands a job as an op-ed columnist for the Los Angeles Times, in which his fourteen column inches of blank space published several times a week leads to a soaring readership and a Pulitzer Prize.
In case you were wondering, the book’s title, Mandela Was Late is a piece that was MANDELA-WAS-LATE-front-cover originally published in Esquire magazine in August, 2003. It also serves as the book’s final chapter—An irreverently funny invention which is written from the point of view of Nelson Mandela’s parole officer, a screwball, hare-brained character who is pissed off that the formerly jailed civil rights leader is three minutes late for his final parole meeting. Like I said lots and lots of Big League funny business… So there! Take that, cancer!
Click here to buy “Mandela Was Late” from Book Soup
Click here to see Peter Mehlman video