Book Report: Word for Word by Andrew A. Rooney (1986)

I guess it’s been two years since I’ve read an Andy Rooney book (see also Years of Minutes ca 2004). I’ve had a couple on my to-read shelf for about a year now, maybe a year and a half. Perhaps there’s even an Rooneyesque essay in how long books remain on my to-read shelves. As a matter of fact, most have tenures far longer than the Andy Rooney books, even if it takes me another two years to read the (currently) remaining volume.

This book collects some of his paper columns instead of his 60 Minutes things, so it’s (slightly) longer pieces and a period piece to some extent. Rooney’s got his normal pecadilloes, and when he’s griping about a United States president, it’s Reagan. If you want to pigeonhole his politics, it’s a bit Libertarian in its distrust of some institutions, but liberal in its desire to do something for the downtrodden. But the politics are so very simply presented that you can overlook them. As a matter of fact, Rooney lets on that his life is different from ours. He’s a television/media personality with an office in Manhattan, a house in Connecticut, and a summer home. But his essays and musings focus so much on the minutiae of life that one focuses on them, too, and doesn’t worry about the differences. Instead, we focus on our similarities.

Or we would. I imagine Rooney’s falling out of fashion because he brings a WWII generation view on things that have left the WWII generation behind. Still, he’s not a bad guy, and he shares a certain amount of worldview with me. Enough that I read his essays and I want to write some of my own, much like them. To share in the conversation and to make some normal guy nod his head in comprehension and understanding.

That’s not how Joseph Epstein makes me feel.

Books mentioned in this review:


You know, I’ve put these links on my site for some time now, and I’ve only “made” 8 cents. I put quotation marks around made because Amazon doesn’t cut no checks for 8 coppers and no doubt bleeds the pennies away in fees of some sort or another. You all are some of the cheapest gentle readers in the world, or the most illiterate.

Buy a book and show me you care.

Bloody heck, show Andy Rooney you care.

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