Books & Writing

Egghead: Or, You Can’t Survive on Ideas Alone by Bo Burnham: Book Review

Egghead: Or, You Can't Survive on Ideas Alone

Obtained: Gift
Pages: 240
Publish date: October 7, 2014
Rating: ★★★★

I have been a huge fan of Bo Burnham for a couple years now: crazy-talented internet sensation gone live comic/performer… How could I not? After watching all of his YouTube videos and even seeing his one man show in Toronto this past spring, I am still amazed at how one person could be so multi-talented. Bo writes music, writes comedy, but overall, his comedy has a witty and intellectual comment to make. So when I saw that he had a book of poetry, I was hoping that his writing style would carry over to the page. And it does.

Bo often writes rap songs, a lyrical tone which easily carries over to his poetry. While I was reading most of the word-heavy tongue-twisters, I could almost imagine him creating another wild music video to accompany this latest satirical statement. I would say that I loved 90% of the poems, while the other 10% were comparable to Bo’s one-liner jokes during a comedy act – worth a bit of a chuckle, but otherwise not very interesting to me. But that’s just personal preference. In a collection, not everyone is going to love everything in there.

I also really enjoyed the drawings on each page to support the poems. It keeps up the idea that Bo’s work is both wordy and visual (though he did not create the drawings), and the pictures complement the poems wonderfully, definitely adding another intellectual element to the discussion.

The only real picky thing I have to say is that there are no page numbers in the book. So I can’t really make note of my favourite poems to go back to, because I don’t have a reference. Maybe the best way to work around this would be to dog-ear the pages, or maybe it’s because the book is supposed to be an experience, like one of his live shows; the poems are arranged in this sequence for a reason and if you want to get the experience, you have to read the entire thing again. Which I wouldn’t be adverse to doing. Just sayin’.

Egghead is available online at Chapters Indigo, Book Depository, and Kobo.

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