10A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 20, 2000
Guilty pleasures 101? Try
Weber's 'Lookin' for Luv'
By Lisa Rajt
Daily Arts Writer
The characters are predictable, ste-
reotypical and formulaic. The writing
is bad, reminding you of that kid in
your tenth grade English class who
2veryone knew would be a good writer
... someday. Even the title is mis-
spelled, which is surely not a sign of
One promise is certain, however:
You won't be able to put this book
It begins with
writing that is so
you'll scoff about
how you can't
believe such trash
is actually pub-
doubting the lit-
eracy of the
powers that be
who decided this
novel should go
to print. The char-
go to great lengths for a good plot and
some cheap thrills, fearless reader, it is
imperative that you continue.
Begin with Kevin, a hot 23-year-old
retired athlete who ruins his chances
for an NBA career with the aid of
marijuana, which leads to a move to
Queens to become a high-school phys-
ical education teacher for delinquents
... sweet, isn't it? Enter Tyrone, a hot-
headed former crack-addict and cur-
rent janitor at the school where Kevin
works, who is trying his best to clean
up, be a good father to his children and
focus on his lone talent: Painting. Cut
to Antoine, a conservative, old-fash-
ioned English teacher who drinks a bit
too much. Finally, we're introduced
to the evil Maurice, the principle of
the school where this cast is employed
and resident womanizer and psycho-
path. Each character becomes lovable
and/or hate-worthy in their own spe-
The plot is fairly simple, or so
it seems. Each man, encouraged by
Kevin, calls 1-900-BLACK LUV. and
ends up with their supposed dream
woman within the first few chapters.
Glancing at the 250 pages that lie
ahead, and considering that you have
above an 8th-grade reading-level, you
assume it's going to be a long ride.
The book is teeming with fantastic
and truly entertaining characters, who
ultimately save this book (and the
reader) from the depthsof literary hell:
A rich, obsessive ex-girlfriend, a ghetto
hoochie mama with a penchant for 1911
Century poetry, a transsexual, strip-
pers, perverted uncles, several cocaine-
smoking homosexuals, ugly fifty-year
old women who freely give manual
sex, abusive drunken boyfriends, sex
addicts and the like. As is common to
soap operas, the most interesting char-
acters are the evil, conniving, men-
tally unstable ones. First-time author
Carl Weber does a great job of creat-
ing characters that are interesting and
And you wanted cheap thrills? You
got 'em. The plot becomes a mixed-up
comedy of errors pretty quickly. We
find that the wife of Evil Maurice
is sleeping with Tyrone, Maurice is
sleeping with anybody and everybody,
Antoine, unbeknownst to him, is dating
a transsexual who is a make-up artist
at the same strip club that Tyrone and
his uncle frequent. Kevin is dating his
emotionally shattered dream woman
but screws it all up, then goes on
to date a woman who buys his love
and ends up stalking him. You get the
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By Elizabeth Hill
Daly Arts Writer
David Sedaris possesses a sear-
ingly distinctive voice. And that
holds true whether one is speaking
of the tone of his written work or the
actual sound of his physical voice.
On paper, the voice is cynical,
caustic, deadpan and hilarious. In
person, it's all those things, but a little
squeakier than printed type might
Sedaris' latest novel,
'Pretty' a joy to read
Naturally, there is a wildly happy
ending for all involved, and each char-
acter gets exactly what they deserve in
copious amounts, good or bad. By this
time, you'll be so thirsty for more, you
won't even notice the awkward sen-
tences or how stereotypical the charac-
ters are. Nothing is quite so addictive
as good kitsch and we all need a bit of
mindless entertainment sometimes.
This book is akin to an N'Sync
song or a raunchy teen comedy ...
you'll want to hate it, you'll make fun
of it, you'll scorn your friends who
are actually fans ... but you'll savor
every single poorly written sentence
and hope for an upcoming sequel.
Me Talk Pretty
Little, Brown & Co.
suggest. It is, by
his own admission,
are simply amus-
ing little rants about
the most poignant,
most amusing, most
in his life. Rather
than simply grip-
ing, however, he,
acters will be so obvious in their neat,
one-dimensional roles, you'll think
you have the plot figured out after the
first chapter. But if you are willing to
Body checking ahead on Playstation 1 and 2
In its 10th installment, Electronic Arts shows
once again why it is the king of hockey games.
Through the years, no other company has pro-
duced a game to
For Playstation 1 &2
Daily Arts Writers
Jeff Dickerson and Matt
compete with the remarkable
gameplay of EA's hockey
The series began with the
Sega Genesis in 1991 and is
now available for both Play-
station systems. All the key
elements have, returned as
well as new additions that
make "NHL 2001" the pre-
miere hockey game on the
"NHL 2001" features a
selection of 28 NHL teams
completing tasks while earning bonus points. If
you max out your statistics, you could have the
next Wayne Gretzky on your hands. Your cus-
tomized player can then be put on your favorite
team to compete for the illustrious Stanley Cup.
Easily the most impressive aspect of "NHL
2001" for Playstation 2 is its presentation. For
starters, the player animations as realistic as any
sports game on the market.
Players look amazingly similar to the real
thing. Also, the outstanding player introductions,
footage between plays and intelligent commen-
tary by Bill Clement are nearly as impressive as
what can be seen on your local cable provider. In
addition, the in-game sounds are as good as any
sports game title.
Gamers will feel like they are at Joe Louis
Arena with unbelievable crowd and skating
sounds presented in Dolby Surround.
While the presentation of "NHL 2001" is out-
standing, the most important part of the game
is how well it plays. For the most part. "NH L
2001" lives up to the expectations of gamers who
have played the series for nearly a decade. The
game control in the game is absolutely flawless.
Shots, dekes, spins and checks are at there abso-
lute best in "NHL 2001."
Another cool aspect of "NIL 2001" is the
amount of customization gamers can make to
their gaming experience. Adjustments can be
made to skating, checking, passing and shooting
elements of the game. As a result, gainers can
create their own perfect hockey game.
Unfortunately, NHL 2001 has a few standout
flaws that hurt the overall gaming experience.
Most notable of these flaws is the reoccurring
problem with speed.
For starters, there is a good deal of slowdown
that occurs at mid-ice when too many skaters
are on the screen (most noticeable when line
changes are made).
Second, "NHL. 2001" is a little on the slow
side. Giamers will want to turn the speed up to
add intensity to the game. Finally, "NH L 2001"
suffers from terrible loading times that seem to
After picking teams, gaimers should go ahead
and heat up dinner or use the restroom before sit-
ting down play the best NHL game of the year,
despite its flaws.
unfolds the stories perfectly, giving
the reader a glimpse, than an extreme
close-up of his neurotic psyche.
With his fourth best-selling book,
"Me Talk Pretty One Day," out this
year, David Sedaris is racking up
quite a cult following, particularly
among the gay community, of which
he is a "card-carrying member."
Much of his newfound celebrity
comes from Sedar-
Radio and the
many articles he
has published in
magazines, such as
and the New
But once you
hearhis voice, you'll
never get it out of
your head. Sedans
read his work and
night to a sold out
crowd at the Mich-
igan Theatre, and it 2F
is his high-pitched 'Q"
monotone that sticks .-_
in my head.
Ie was a little more animated in
front of an audience than he is on tape.
or on NPR, but his dry misanthropy
still broke through any pause for laugh-
ter or whoop from the audience.
Misanthropy you ask? Pronounced
mis-AN-thruh-pee, the word is defined
as a hatred of humankind. David
Sedaris is not a sociopath or even
a particularly mean fellow. He does,
however, have an uncanny talent for
describing the most irritating and igno-
rant people on the face of the earth;
and his sharp tongue more than gets
them back for theirs crimes against
Take, for instance, the yokels on the
Paris metro to which Sedaris intro-
duces us in "Picka Pocketoni," a story
from "Me Talk Pretty One Day"
These obtuse Americans (Sedaris
now lives in France) are exactly the
people he loves to hate.
After calling him a "ripe little
froggy," assuming he doesn't speak
English, Sedaris silently glowers,
thinking, " ... If I said something
at this point, (they) probably would
have apologized, and I wasn't inter-
ested in that .., I didn't want to
touch these people's hands or see
things from their point of view, I just
wanted to continue hating them."
Brutally honest, yes. Rude, no.
Note that Sedarisnever actually ver-,
balizes his cranky gripes, he just
thinks them --and then publishes
them in best-sell-
"I'm not mean.
in person," Sedaris°
told the Michigar '
Daily. "You could
spit in my face an(
I'd apologize to
you. I have maybe;
like. a wicked
mind, but it's no
nected to my
"Me Talk Pretty
One Day" is hilar-
Ious even on the
cold page, but get
your hands on
tape and you'l.
really hear the
talent of the scath-
ing David Sedaris.
and more than a dozen international squads. You
can start from the beginning of the season or
jump right into the playoffs. "NHL 2001" for
Playstation now has seven different play modes
to choose from including a career mode.
The most prominent new feature in "NH L
2001" is the NHL Challenge. Players create their
own hockey star and improve his statistics by
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enough to be more than used CD bin fodder. Despite some missteps, <.. .i e . .- i . --- -h. - ...... e ...taa_._ L... ... . ... - .. . ,.. . . -.',,.- -M