Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mike Polk Jr. pens "Damn Right I'm From Cleveland"

If you love Cleveland and love to poke fun at Cleveland — and can handle some crude language — you should consider picking up Mike Polk Jr.'s book "Damn Right I'm From Cleveland: Your Guide to Makin' It in America's 47th Biggest City."

The first book from the Northeast Ohio comedian — which clocks in at his contractually obligated 108 pages — is quite an entertaining read, and I found myself literally LOLing at several pages (so much that my mom asked about what I was reading, though I don't think she would have found the foul language very funny).

Polk does a really great job of balancing humor with his love for the city, which is very easy to see. He defends his jokes by writing that he wouldn't be making fun of Cleveland if he didn't love it so much, but I don't know if that is even necessary. Of course he loves Cleveland, and people who find this book funny have to love Cleveland, too. You would think this book is terrible if you didn't love Cleveland, because you wouldn't find much — any? — of it funny.

One of my favorite pages in the book was his map of the East Side and West Side:
Mike Polk Jr. Book Excerpt 1

(Seriously, who hasn't gotten confused at that roundabout?!?!?!)

My criticisms of the book: I didn't care for the three "admittedly low-impact and low-effort entries" he included "to reach the bare-minimum number of pages" — I wished he would have used those three pages for more of his entertaining jabs at the Mistake on the Lake. The book also has a few typos/inconsistencies that my editing eye couldn't miss.

If you love Cleveland and find Polk funny, I'd recommend checking out this book. (Not sure if you think Polk is funny? Watch his Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism Video and Factory of Sadness.)

Read Mark Meszoros' interview with Polk, "Mike Polk Jr. — the Northeast Ohio comedian you know from those mock tourism videos — is now (gulp) a published author," and check out Michael Allen Blair's video of Mike Polk Jr. talking about his book:

Mike Polk Jr. will be signing copies of “Damn Right I’m From Cleveland ($14.95) at two Barnes & Noble Booksellers locations:
  • 7 to 8 p.m. Dec. 7 at Barnes & Noble, 198 Crocker Park Blvd., Westlake. 440-250-9233
  • 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 8 at Barnes & Noble, 7900 Mentor Ave., Mentor. 440-266-0212

-- Cheryl Sadler | | @nhcheryl

(Note: I received an advance copy of "Damn Right I'm From Cleveland" to review.)

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