Title and Author: Is Santa Real? by Eric Kaplan (Uncorrected Proof Copy)
Illustrator: Eleanor Davis
Publisher: Dutton, part of the Penguin Group
Expected Publication Date: October 16, 2014
Target Audience/Age Group: Adult
Part of a Series? No
Will the Reviewer Keep It In His/Her Library? No
The Big Bang Theory is one of the most popular shows on TV. A couple of years ago I went to the store at the Warner Brothers Studios. There was Big Bang Theory stuff for sale everywhere, but nothing for Supernatural, another Warner Brothers show (and one I like). The visit wasn't a total loss because I bought my husband a lovely photo of Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing.
Personally, I don't understand why people watch The Big Bang Theory. I had the same reaction to this book written by its executive producer. Why would anyone read this? What the heck was the author trying to say? It's not what you'd think from the title–it really has little to do with Christmas. It's not funny. It's not deep philosophy either. Would any publisher have looked at it if he weren't connected to the popular show? I can't help but wonder.
Admittedly I didn't read it from cover to cover. I couldn't. I did look at every page though. I kinda liked the line drawings but couldn't figure out how they tied to the text. The jokes quoted in the section on comedy weren't funny. Neither was the script excerpt from The Big Bang Theory. I like books that have a point I can discern. This one kind of reminded me of the meandering philosophizing my college buddies and I used to do in the middle of the night after drinking too much.
The author included Wordsworth's The World is Too Much With Us, so the book cannot be all bad. I reprint the poem here because it actually applies to this review. The time I spent watching the raccoon drink out of our bird feeder was better spent than the time I spent with this book. (Other members think this sounds too harsh. They are entitled to their opinions, as I am to mine.)
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.