Every once in a while, I try something a little different, such as Bill Cosby’s latest book of humor, I Didn’t Ask to be Born (But I’m Glad I Was). As in many collections, some of the pieces will work for some readers, and some won’t. It doesn’t hurt if you can picture Bill Cosby narrating the pieces.
Cosby reaches back into his childhood for a story about his neighborhood in Philadelphia, “The Morphamization of Peanut Armhouse.” And, he takes us into his years as a grandfather with stories such as “They Should Do This Every Three Months.” But, some of his funniest pieces come about because he questions things we’ve never thought about, and there’s a nod of recognition.
My favorite chapter of the book is “The Missing Pages.” Cosby admits we must not have the entire story of Genesis. Someone edited it so that there are missing pages. How many animals did Adam have to name? “Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.” Today, there are more than fifty thousand different species. God created them all, and Adam had to name them? How did he come up with those names? Cosby complains about all the missing pages in the story of Adam’s life in the Garden of Eden. And, it’s hard to argue with his commentary.
Some of the anecdotes were enjoyable. Overall, I found the book a little flat, but that’s just my opinion. My biggest complaint about the book is just mine. I’m not happy to see QR codes at the end of every chapter. Those of us who don’t have smart phones are left out of the joke. I’m fine when I don’t understand a joke or comment in a book. That’s my own lack of understanding. But, when an entire audience is excluded, I’m not happy with it.
So, maybe someone with a smart phone call tell me if there were any unusual comments associated with the QR codes in Bill Cosby’s I Didn’t Ask to be Born (But I’m Glad I Was). Now, I just wish Andy Rooney was still around to complain about that.
I Didn’t Ask to be Born (But I’m Glad I Was) by Bill Cosby. Center Street. ©2011. ISBN 9780892969203 (hardcover), 196p.
FTC Full Disclosure – Library book.