The Cranky Old Reader

I'm a Goodreads refugee, looking for a new home. Old books for children, science fiction, fantasy, mysteries, and humor are my main areas of interest. I've little interest in books that were written after 1975 or so, and prefer books that are older still. There are, however, a few still-living authors that I respect.

Dr Katzs Me at a Glance

Dr Katz's Me at a Glance - Johnathan Katz

An extremely funny book. I laughed out loud quite a few times while reading it, and more than a little. It's based on the TV show which was on Comedy Central from 1995 to 1999, but no knowledge of the show is necessary to get the humor of the book.


Some books based on television shows are little more than cynical attempts to cash in. Others are simply illustrated transcriptions of episodes. This is neither; it's original, but perfectly in the style of the show.


If you're not familiar with Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, think of the classic old Bob Newhart Show where he (Newhart) played a psychologist. Dr. Katz is played by real-world comedian Jonathan Katz; the doctor has plenty of neuroses, but his patients are even crazier (most of them are also comedians). As for his chronically unemployed son and astonishingly unwilling-to-work secretary, it's hard to say if they're neurotic, or just taking advantage.


As such things go, this book is somewhat lighter on illustrations and heavier on text than similar books. It's NOT a comic-strip book, nor are there many images from the show. That's appropriate, given the relatively spare yet un-static animation (Squiggle-Vision) which was used in the show itself.


The book takes form of a personal organizer, the property of Dr. Katz. It includes completed feedback forms from patients (anonymous ones), session notes, suggestions from Dr. Katz's son for marketing himself, song lyrics (Dr. Katz plays in a band) and a wide variety of other stuff - much of it annotated with post-it notes by Dr. Katz himself. The post-its are, of course, simply printed on the pages - but they look surprisingly real.


I'd had no idea there was ever a book based on the show until the minute I picked it up at the used book store next to the public library in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. I'd liked the show, so I picked it up on an impulse; it was cheap. Now, I'll definitely be keeping an eye out from more Dr. Katz books - and for more from the author, as well. Who is, despite the details above, Glenn Eichler - Jonathan Katz and Tom Snyder (yes, the Tom Snyder) are given credit for creating the show, but the book itself was written by Glenn Eichler. I hope he wrote more.

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