Review by Booklist Review
*Starred Review* This is a great book about politics. No joke. (When Franken, former comedian and current U.S. senator from Minnesota, was elected in 2008, by 312 votes, practically every headline writer went with, Franken Elected to Senate. No Joke.) In this freewheeling memoir, the senator covers politics in the broadest sense: elections, expectations, punditry, the sausage factory known as Congress, and the lessons Franken keeps learning. The compulsively readable text contains laugh-out-loud lines in every chapter (since Franken has a dehumorizer in his office to make sure he doesn't come across as a clown, he's saved many of his jokes for this book). But the fun is a side dish to a serious meal about important policy decisions, congressional gridlock, and the frustrations (many) and joys (some) of working for the people, which Franken seems to do with humility and gratitude. There is also a lot of fascinating stuff about other senators: I like Ted Cruz more than most of my other colleagues like Ted Cruz. And I hate Ted Cruz. Politicians often write books before they run for president. Ironically, Franken has already written, Why Not Me? (1999), about a fictional Franken presidency. If this is a stalking horse, it's better than most. I'm looking at you, This Is Herman Cain! My Journey to the White House.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2017 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
In this excellent, insightful memoir, comedian turned senator Franken recalls his unlikely path to public service. He was raised in a middle-class family in a Minneapolis suburb, tried to launch his comedy career while still an undergraduate at Harvard University, and found success when he landed a gig in 1975 as one of the original script writers on Saturday Night Live. He and his colleagues, some of them fueled by alcohol and drugs, indulged in late-night writing sessions that made the show's sketches part of the cultural lexicon. The heart of this memoir is Franken's decision to move back to Minnesota from New York City to run for the U.S. Senate against the Republican incumbent, Norm Coleman. Franken's decision seemed rather quixotic at first, and the 2008 campaign was notable for GOP denunciations of Franken's satirical writings as well as his wife's public disclosure of her struggles with alcoholism. Coleman initially won by 725 votes, which triggered an automatic recount that gave Franken the victory by 312 votes. Due to repeated legal challenges from Coleman, however, Franken wasn't seated until July 2009. Not surprisingly, Franken is quite a raconteur, and he tells the story of his remarkable life and times with a sense of humor that is always irreverent and often self-deprecating. One thing is no joke, however: he's very serious about his job representing the people of Minnesota. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.