21 December 2007

Occasionally laugh out loud funny, but definitely a one-trick pony

The Weekend Shaman and Other New Age Types
Gerry Maguire
Thorsons, 1998

This is an overpriced field guide to New Age stereotypes. Each spread endeavors to skewer a different icon by means of a sometimes witty essay and by a badly drawn (think Callahan, except far less funny) full-page comic. Some of the descriptions---including the titular Weekend Shaman, the Celestine Prophet, and the Eco-Warrior---are spot on target and laugh out loud funny. (One image, the Sham Vegetarian, was so familiar that I thought the author had been following me around during my 12-month stint as a vegetarian-when-convenient.) Many of the other caricatures, though, are weak, and the author recycles far too many of his jokes. Those who dabble in New Age ideas and practices and who have a sense of humor (a population that is far too small, in my experience) may find that these little ego-deflators hit the spot. Sadly the humor in this one-trick pony wears thin quickly, and you may find yourself wondering, like this reader did, why you bought the book off that remainder table in the first place.

(This review was originally written on December 28, 2006.)

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