You don't really think much of a person's speech patterns until you see it written down. In college I had a linguistics assignment that required I record three minutes of casual conversation and transcribe it precisely — every "um," "like," and pause. It is hard to believe the number of run-on sentences and unfinished thoughts.
Shooting the Shit With Kevin Smith takes me back to that class. This book is a straight-up transcription of the podcast Smith does with producer and BFF Scott Mosier. I am a big Kevin Smith fan. I even saw him doing his live Q&A show a couple weeks ago. He is one funny fucker — a great storyteller. But he is less so when transcribed word for word.
That is all this book is: transcription. No attempt to clean up the text and make it readable is made. I have conducted interviews with people; you don't write it word-for-word. You take out the stutters and half-thoughts to make it readable. It is not difficult to do while still maintaining the voice of the subject and integrity of the topic. Purists may enjoy that, but it made my brain hurt to make sense of the rambling anecdotes. What makes it even more difficult to get through is the fact that it isn't even entire podcasts that ate transcribed; it is selected pieces, ranging from half a page to several pages in length. Half the time I feel like I am walking in on the middle of an in-joke. For the most part, Mosier's only contributions are to interrupt Smith with some random comment that may have been humorous at the time but now only serves to derail the narrative. I know that Mosier contributes more during the actual podcast (and the editor obviously made the book very Smith-centric), but it kind of made him seem like a sad hanger-on.
One "chapter" started with Smith talking about sucking dick, then veered into a lengthy discussion about how cool it would be if cum could act like a safe tapeworm and help you lose weight. One story I did enjoy was the tale of Smith's four dogs (other than the fact that all were "designer" dogs and at least two came from puppy mills). That was a story that had a beginning, middle, and end.
Completists may feel the need to buy this book for their Kevin Smith collection, but it is just not worth it. In fact, the more of the book I read, the more annoyed I became. Go download the podcasts in their entirety. They are free, and a hell of a lot more entertaining.