Hush now -- don’t cry, my wayward son.The first two stanzas of “Had it Coming,” the first poem in Shut Up, You’re Fine (Overlook Press) do a pretty good job of illustrating the very specific taste required to enjoy this compelling and hilariously offensive little book.
You couldn’t see you were becoming
someone who’d study “Manual Arts” --
rough carpentry, not even plumbing.
Mother smelled, and Father too,
the cigarettes you’ve been bumming.
We searched beneath your bed and found
the dirty books you’ve been thumbing.
Illustrated by the distinguished artist Barry Moser, Shut Up, You’re Fine is mostly comprised of degenerate nursery rhymes crafted by the talented hands of a writer who has been nominated for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.
This is not a book that everyone will enjoy and it would not surprise me if some readers were deeply offended. Put it this way: if you think South Park is the height of humor, you’ll like Shut Up, You’re Fine... and you’ll think again.