My relationship with Patton Oswalt is a complicated one. As complicated as a relationship can be, anyway, when one party doesn’t even know they’re in that relationship. (Hi, Patton!) I love everything he stands for, I love how outspoken he is about issues close to his heart, and I think his stand-up is killer.
That’s why it pains me to say that his writing doesn’t click with me.
While it is far better than Zombie Spaceship Wasteland, Patton’s latest book, Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life from an Addiction to Film, just seems a little off. (It also probably doesn’t help that it reminds me that I, too, am wasting my life away in movie theaters.) Patton is tremendously funny, knows how to tell stories, and knows how to land a joke. That’s why it’s so weird to me that his writing doesn’t convey the same kind of humor. Maybe he’s writing it less so with a sense of humor in mind and more to share his experiences. If that’s the case, I’d say he hits the mark a little more closely. If it’s meant to be a funny recounting of his experiences, not so much.
The length of his book is also deceptive, at least as far as the Kindle version is concerned. Most of the back half of the book is just a re-printing of the movies he saw in theaters. I felt like I had a lot more to dig into, when all of a sudden, the narrative was over. It was weird and left me empty. I hadn’t loved what I had read, but I wanted to read more and find something that I did love.
Patton’s standup is worth checking out. Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life from an Addiction to Film, though, is (sadly) not worth your time.