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January 27, 1998 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-01-27

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, January 27, 1998

Reiser disappoints in

Paul Reiser
Babyhood
Rob Weisbach Books
**
Much of the world is star-struck, enamored by the
lives of the select few lucky enough to call themselves
celebrities. As a result of this obsession with
H-lollywood, many famous individuals have begun to
write novels.
Americans have been pawns in this game numerous
times, and now, they have lost another match. Paul
Reiser, co-creator, producer and star of TV's "Mad
About You," and best-selling author of his first book,
"Couplehood," has come out with a sequel,
"Babyhood." Reiser is one of the funniest comedians
gracing prime time today. However, his writing abili-
ties hardly match up to his abilities as an actor.
Perhaps this is too harsh. For those who are used to
reading high quality literature, "Babyhood" simply
cannot match up. But for what this book intends to be,
a comedic look at the very serious issue of parent-
hood, it certainly has its good qualities. Paul Reiser's
writing style perfectly mimics his speaking voice, so
his comedy which one might think would only come
through by hearing his voice, is strikingly apparent. As
a great comedian, anything Reiser writes will certain-
ly be funny, and this book is no exception.
"Babyhood," a knock-off of the word parenthood, is
an isolated autobiography of the few years of Reiser's

and his wife's life, starting with their deliberation
about having a child and continuing until the baby is
brought home from the hospital.
Reiser tackles such serious issues as how a pregnant
wife and then a new baby can strain a marriage. But, to
lighten the subject matter, he jokes about such issues
by bringing to light their ridiculous sides. For example,
a pregnant woman's food cravings are a dominant and
serious part of a woman's pregnancy.
In one scene of his novel, Reiser
explains how he woke up in the
middle of the night to the criesr
of his hysterical wife, who,
incidentally, was eating a
banana.When he asked her =
why she was crying, she
replied that the banana in her
hand was the ninth banana she
had eaten in 15 minutes. Here,
Reiser's comic side certainly succeeds in
showing the readers the hilarity and absurdity of this
issue. While in some cases this works, his humor is not
enough to make other subjects funny.
On his weekly TV show, Reiser captures his audi-
ence members and has them laughing out loud. As a
result of his popular status and great number of fans,
Reiser intended to write a novel that, like his show,
would make his readers laugh out loud.
Try as he might, Reiser does not have the writing
ability to make his readers laugh out loud. His fans are
in for a disappointment.

Babyhood'
One noteworthy aspect of this novel is that it is suit-
ed toward all audiences. While couples who have actu-
ally experienced this situation would probably find it
much more amusing, it still has a great entertainment
value, and scare factor, for those who have not ever
begun to think about bringing a child into this world.
Reiser's style of writing is simple and easy to folo
And while his novel is not full of great literary device.
and techniques, he does creatively bring hip
story full circle.
| Upon completing the novel the
reader feels a certain sense on
accomplishment. the reader
has shared in the process or
bringing a child into this
:.world. Reiser's readers now
have the experience needed to
determine if they ever wish to b
part of such an ordeal again.
For those diehard fans of Reiserthis
comic autobiography is full of some good laughs. Reiser
began with a brilliantly original idea for a novel that
came so close to being a knee-slapping comedy. But he
could not seem to succeed making his idea a reality.
Perhaps Reiser has just set such high standards for
himself as a result of his universal hilarity that he was
destined not to continue his trend.
His second novel, "Babyhood," is a letdown, and it i
certain that if Reiser were not already a big star, fe
would spend the money to purchase this novel
-- Corintne Schneide

Actor Paul Reiser delivers a somewhat disappointing novel with "Babyhood."

Favorites' contains Gill's best

'Forbes' crashes in confusion

Johnny Gill
Favorites
MOTOWN RECORDS
I've never been a fan of greatest hits
albums. With Motown recording artist
JOnny Gill's career still flourishing as
both a solo artist and as a member of
New Edition and LSG, it's easy
to wonder why a
"Favorites" album was
r cased only three0
albumis deep into his
career. It would seem>
that there is so much
more ahead of him.
But this collection
provides a great jump-
irg-on point for those who
are new to the soulful croon-
ing of Gill, and gives those of us
who don't have all three of his previous
albums, "Johnny Gill," "Let's Get The
Mood Right" and "Provocative,'
respectively the chance to catch up on
what we have missed.
For most Johnny Gill fans, most of
the songs featured on "Favorites" have
lady been heard.
tevertheless, the guys at Motown

were smart enough to give die-hard
fans four very good reasons to pick up
this album - four extremely hard-to-
find Gill songs are also included.
"Where Do We Go From Here" is a
wonderful duet with Stacy Lattisaw that
throws back to the classic R&B duets of
the '70s and '80s, and was featured on
Lattisaw's album instead of Gill's.
"Give Love on Christmas Day" is the
obligatory Christmas song that
every music artist seems to
think gives Gill credence
! !as a solo artist. 'There is
also a rare remix of
"Rub You the Right
Way."
But this Jack
Swing-styled remix
lacks the impact of the
original and the guest rap
by hip-hop legend CL
Smooth is bland. The best treat is
the all-new "If You're Wondering," a
laid-back ballad that is written. pro-
duced and sung by Gill.
It is becoming more difficult to find
quality R&B music today, and Gill has
proven how wonderful the music can be
if it is done right.
Most of the featured songs on this
album, from the upbeat "Fairweather

Friend" to the seductive "My. My, My"
to the romantic "Let's Get the Mood
Right," are either classics or potential
classics.
You will not have wasted your money
in getting this seemingly premature
greatest hits album. It may even
become one of your favorites.
- JuQuan lJ4/iwms

Forbes Corporate
Warrior
Bryon Press Multimedia
Win 95 CD-ROM
**
I don't understand, and I don't
care.
That's what I found myself think-
ing as I plowed through "Forbes
Corporate Warrior." It's not the pre-
ferred, open-minded, college student
sentiment, but I really found the
seeming complexity of this game to
be not only confusing, but unneces-
sary.
"Forbes Corporate Warrior" is
set in the future where a scientist
has developed a way to handle
business and marketing transac-
tions through virtual reality, where.
military weapons represent actual
business tactics. For instance, the
Price Slicer is supposed to repre-
sent actual price promotion strate-
gies in the "real" world, such as
coupons, price guarantees and big
discounts.
And let's pretend the pen I have in
my hand is a light saber. I'm Luke
Skywalker, and my opponent is
Darth Vader. If I want to, I can shout,
"You're not my father!"
What is great about video games is
that they submerge you into fantasy
worlds. The best video games are the
ones that present the most complete

fantasy, which is why graphics,
sound, speed and memory are always
being improved.
When I looked at the cover and the
instruction booklet, I was intimidated
by how complex the game seemed,
but I thought that once I understood
it, the complexity of the game would'
be the best part. Then I discovered
that all the business terms of the
game were just embellishments and
distractions.'
"Forbes Corporate Warrior" was-
n't successful in convincing me that
the virtual military battles I was
fighting were at all related to the
business world.
Yes, your cash is your ammo,
and it also costs money to move
around in the virtual reality world.
Yes, the goal is to raise your stock
up to the top of the chart, which is
at the bottom of the screen, by the
fourth quarter.
And yes, there's a little video-
phone sub-screen on which your
trusted advisers call. But, the num-
ber that corresponds to how much
ammo and movement could have
been anything - the money does-
n't matter. It is nothing new to have
to reach a certain amount of points
in video during a given amount of
time.
You are also shown your office
between the levels, but all you can do
is click on the virtual reality helmet
on your desk.

The character essentially moves
around in a virtual landscape, shoot
things and tries to find the right com~
binations of weapons and strategy to
defeat your opponent.
The* supply and demand arrows
tell you how to deal with each,
enemy, and you have your own set
that need to meet each other or you
lose cash. Again, these are all arbi-
trary names.
I wasn't thinking about how vari-
ance between supply and demand
made my cash flow and stock price
decrease.
I was just worried that if the top
and bottom arrows were not pointing
at each other, then my points
decrease and the line on the graph
angles down when I need to angle it
up. OK, the game is a little more
complicated than that, but not by
much.
Bryon Press Multimedia and
Simon and Schuster Interactive prob- *
ably thought that game players would
be bored by a game that didn't
involve explosions or shooting.
Crain's New York Business
Magazine described "Forbes" as
" Doom' meets Wharton School of
Business." This game has none of the
suspense or excitement of "Doom,"
nor is the fighting as intense or fun.
The only surprise in this game is
what your new office looks like after
you complete the next level.
- Michael Gallowav

Smooth Johnny Gill gives good love.

I I

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