With a deep gravelly Oklahoma voice, Michael Wallis – historian, author, storyteller – wowed Jon Stewart’s audience on the Daily Show, with tales of his biography of Davy Crockett. If you’ve seen the Pixar film “Cars,” you may remember Wallis’s voice as the Sheriff of Radiator Springs – a 1949 Mercury Club Coupe.
In a short preview, Wallis recounted how Crockett, the man, was actually more interesting than the myth that defined him or the Disney version as “King of the Wild Frontier.” Wallis’s anecdotes about Crockett’s life, demonstrated that “truth is better than fiction.” If the book is as entertaining as the author, David Crockett: The Lion of the West, will be worth reading.
If you are a fan of the Daily Show, you will like Earth: A Visitor’s Guide to the Human Race. Not a comic (or graphic) book, this textbook has real pictures, side notations, even quizzes. You may not learn anything new, but you’ll appreciate Stewart’s usual satiric take on everything from fungi to Meg Ryan’s new lips.
The audience for the information is not you; this book is for E.T. (extraterrestrials) when they find the planet deserted of life form, presumably because we’ve finally blown ourselves up. Just so they’ll know what they missed, Stewart and his staff explain humans and the world they lived in – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in reverse – with pictures.
Better than a coffee-table book, but with that same flavor. Just open it now and then, especially on a day when you need to restore your sanity.