Land of 1,000 cliches

Rick has unfinished business with this book.

I’m on page 25 of Lee Kravitz’s stunt memoir, Unfinished Business: One Man’s Extraordinary Year of Trying to Do the Right Things.

Judging by the above photo, you can probably guess how I feel about it so far.

I’ve never encountered so many bland, polite, uninteresting, cliché people in one book.

And again, I’m just on page 25.

Reading Unfinished Business is like taking a double dose of Ritalin and then sitting down to watch the cast of Our Town watch paint dry.

And nobody is more cliché than Kravitz himself:

"I did not fall asleep easily that blustery night. Encountering the past this way—all at once and out of chronology and context—disrupted my everyday sense of things and even of myself. When I closed my eyes,

I found myself reexperiencing a footrace I'd almost won, my bar mitzvah speech, and the summer of 1969, when I lost my virginity and helped pitch my sandlot team to the state championship."

Did that passage sound familiar to you? If so, it’s probably because you’ve already read it. Where? In every other book ever published in the English language.

Didn’t fall asleep… blustery night… encountering the past… disrupted my everyday sense of things and even of myself… closed my eyes…. It’s like a really long Hallmark greeting card, only not as expensive.

As for the content of Kravitz’s memories (the footrace, the summer of 1969, the lost virginity, the sandlot team), well, is this really the author’s past or just a collection of the movies and pop songs he saw and listened to last week?

At first I gave Kravitz the benefit of the doubt and assumed he was consciously alluding to the movies and to the pop songs, but then I realized that if he were, he would have written “summer of ’69” as opposed to “summer of 1969.”

So, yeah, the guy really is a walking cliché.

I’ll give it another 25 pages, I suppose…


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