I bought Al Franken, Giant of the Senate after binge-watching the latest season of House of Cards. And, of course, during all the shenanigans created by the 45th President’s administration and family. I needed to feel something other than horror about politics. Thankfully, this audiobook did the trick.
Not only is Franken a great comedian and writer, he’s a great audiobook narrator. (Um, and a great Senator.) Since audiobooks are typically released after the print book, I even think he might have made a few relevant impromptu asides you wouldn’t see in print. But I haven’t confirmed that so don’t quote me.
Every chapter includes wry humor, progressive values, and a smattering of high school civics class. It’s the perfect blend!
Franken tells about the process of transitioning from professional political wonk to elected official. I’d forgotten that his first Senate race came down to 315 votes. Imagine waiting eight months to know if you were really, really, really elected.
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be a freshman Senator, Franken fills you in here. Then the chapter on Ted Cruz even tells you everything NOT to do as a freshman Senator.
I especially liked Franken’s descriptions of what he calls “the de-humorizer.” First it’s the Republican Party dehumorizing issues and moments on the campaign trail and in the Senate. Then Franken’s staff begins to dehumorize him because, y’know, he’s a Senator. You can’t expect Senators to get your jokes during hearings. (Although he shares that some actually do get his humor.)
Franken’s kudos to his staff are genuine. Heck, he’s just a truly genuine guy. I loved his book. I love his politics. I’d vote for him if I lived in Minnesota. Maybe he’ll run for national office someday. I’d vote for him then too. In the meantime, I’m thinking about reading his backlist, and voting with my dollars.