I Think There's A Terrorist In My Soup by David Brenner is a case where the audio book is probably superior to the book itself even if the book and audiobook are flawed. Why? Because this audiobook is read by the author himself, David Brenner, and being a veteran stand-up comic he can not only read his own stuff but also actually deliver a performance (granted subdued, this is an audio book not a show) while doing it. The conversational more than read tone David Brenner uses on this audiobook is both unusual for the genre and quite appropriate. The book is basically as the subtitle says, how to survive personal and world problems with laughter; a sort of a laughter is the best medicine for our modern problems approach.
This audio book starts off strong. The basic idea behind I Think There's A Terrorist In My Soup is David Brenner sharing personal anecdotes to show people how to make the most fun out of difficult situations. On CD 1 Brenner shares a series of funny stories about shitty jobs and what he did to make these bearable and sometimes even highly entertaining. The best of the bunch here is the time he spent at a toy company warehouse driving his idiot boss nuts by placing toys in sexually explicit positions and hiding this montage somewhere in the company showroom for potential customers to find. CD 1 also contains a series of observations on our obsession with politically correct everything and reveals the meaning behind the politically correct warning at Las Vegas pools: No Solo Bathing.
I Think There's A Terrorist In My Soup takes a bit of a nosedive on the later half of CD 2 and on CD 3 when Brenner reads the chapters on terrorism -who knows what the story of the dead man routine is doing stuck in the middle there by the way. Gone is the premise finding the humorous in a situation can help you surmount said situation. These are simply rants without much humor, and, sadly, not much originality, not even to the sarcasm. These do pick up however with the chapters on airport security and the big lie foisted upon an unsuspecting public by the government. There is not much humor there either but at least the stories Brenner tells are darkly comedic.
CDs 4 and 5 of I Thing There's A Terrorist In My Soup are definitely more interesting. Although Brenner does not stick with the format that really worked on the first 2 CDs, these essays on various aspects of society are interesting, intelligent, and humorous. Not laugh out loud funny mind you, but entertaining. In small doses, such as listening to a track or two on your way to and from work, these last two CDs are fun.
I Think There's A Terrorist In My Soup is a case of an unabridged audio book probably being less interesting than the abridged version if there was one. If the simply ordinary tracks about terrorism, Bush, and the Bush administration were taken out this David Brenner audio book would be more interesting. Still, Brenner is a funny guy, his takes on things are original, and fans of David Brenner will enjoy this audio book.
Track List: Unofficial Titles
Intro, after 9/11
How Important Is Sex?
Men And Women
Post Office Job
The Dumber They Are, The Harder They Fall. Post Office Job 2
Toying With Toys
The Sopranos and Politically Correct Language
Border Patrols, Being Politically Correct, Speaking English
Money: Being Poor and the Three-Sleeved Shirt
First Job In TV
Losing It All
Story of the Dead Man Routine
Uniform Code Of Punishment
Politics and Politicians
Bush and Personal Flip Flop
President's Bush Inspiring Words
Loophole in Bush's Tax Plan
People In Charge Of Airport Security
Profiling Is Good
Terrorists And Terrorism and the Importance of Humor
Government Terror Warnings
Improving Our Early Warning System
Health and Welfare
War And Peace
Humor In Going To War In Iraq (pre war in Iraq)
World Opinion and Axis Of Terror
We Are A Peaceful People?
Can Humans Live In Peace?
Studies And Statistics
Losing And Gaining Weight
Body Change Boulevard
Genetic Theory About Weight
Science of ESP
Groucho Marx and Séances