Not that You Asked: Rants, Exploits, and Obsessions

Front Cover
Random House, 2007 - Humor - 288 pages
250 Reviews
How does Steve Almond get himself into so much trouble? Could it be his incessant moralizing? His generally poor posture? The fact that he was raised by a pack of wolves? Frankly, we haven’t got a clue. What we do know is that Almond has a knack for converting his dustups into essays that are both funny and furious. In(Not that You Asked), he squares off against Sean Hannity on national TV, nearly gets arrested for stealing “Sta-Hard” gel from his local pharmacy, and winds up in Boston, where he quickly enrages the entire population of the Red Sox Nation. Almond is, as they say in Yiddish, a tummler.

Almond on personal grooming: “Why, exactly, did I feel it would be ‘sexy’ and ‘hot’ to have my girlfriend wax my chest? I can offer no good answer to this question today. I could offer no good answer at the time.”
On sports: “To be a fan is to live in a condition of willed helplessness. We are (for the most part) men who sit around and watch other men run and leap and sweat and grapple each other. It is a deeply homoerotic pattern of conduct, often interracial in nature, and essentially humiliating.”
On popular culture: “I have never actually owned a TV, a fact I mention whenever possible, in the hopes that it will make me seem noble and possibly lead to oral sex.”
On his literary hero, Kurt Vonnegut: “His books perform the greatest feat of alchemy known to man: the conversion of grief into laughter by means of courageous imagination.”
On religion: “Every year, when Chanukah season rolled around, my brothers and I would make the suburban pilgrimage to the home of our grandparents, where we would ring in the holiday with a big, juicy Chanukah ham.”

The essays in(Not that You Asked)will make you laugh out loud, or, maybe just as likely, hurl the book across the room. Either way, you’ll find Steve Almond savagely entertaining. Not that you asked.

“A pop-culture-saturated intellectual, a kindly grouch, vitriolic Boston Red Sox hater, neurotic new father and Kurt Vonnegut fanatic… [Almond] scores big in every chapter of this must-have collection. Biting humor, honesty, smarts and heart: Vonnegut himself would have been proud.”
——Kirkus Reviews(starred review)

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

It was well-researched and the writing is beautiful. - Goodreads
He relates these painful stories with wit and insight. - Goodreads
Steve Almond, a Boston-based writer, is hilarious. - Goodreads
The first selection in the sample is hilarious. - LibraryThing
He told me he thought maybe he wanted to be a writer. - Goodreads
User Review - Flag as inappropriate

I enjoyed this book of essays very much. It had parts that were laugh-out-loud funny, but it was not on the same caliber as David Sedaris. Actually, it was closer along the lines to Chuck Klosterman, but with more of a political slant. I would read his other books, but I wouldn't go far out of my way to seek them out. 

Review: (Not that You Asked): Rants, Exploits, and Obsessions

User Review  - Alaric Pratt - Goodreads

Good writing sarcastic but fun I especially loved the Kurt Voneget section the Oprah letter's' Read full review


Concerning the Laughable Nature
A Recipe to Die for A Band to Worship 187
In Tribute to My Republican Homeys 205

2 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2007)

Steve Almond is the author of the story collections My Life in Heavy Metal and The Evil B.B. Chow, the nonfiction book Candyfreak, and the novel Which Brings Me to You, co-written with Julianna Baggott. He lives outside Boston with his wife, Erin, and daughter, Josephine, whom he cannot stop kissing. Visit the author at

Bibliographic information