Select one of the keywords
The Dead Guy Interviews    by Michael A. Stusser order for
Dead Guy Interviews
by Michael A. Stusser
Order:  USA  Can
Penguin, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

In The Dead Guy Interviews, Michael A. Stusser, asks some of the biggest egos in eons - briefly resurrected for these 'Conversations with 45 of the Most Accomplished, Notorious, and Deceased Personalities in History' - the kind of smart-aleck questions we've all wondered about. Interview vignettes begin with Alexander the Great and end with Mao Zedong. Each starts with a black and white cartoonish representation of the character and a brief summary of what's in the historical record. Then comes the Q and A.

The forty-five deceased include moral and spiritual leaders, like Buddha and Confucius; artists such as Michelangelo and Vincent van Gogh; musicians including Beethoven and Mozart; scientists like Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin; and writers represented by William Shakespeare and Emily Dickinson. Warmongers include Napoléon Bonaparte, Julius Caesar, and Genghis Khan. There are the infamous - Caligula, Henry VIII, and J. Edgar Hoover - as well as admirable statesmen like Winston Churchill and George Washington, along with oddballs such as Nostradamus and Harry Houdini. The guy in the title is generic, with women well represented by personalities like Catherine the Great, Cleopatra, and Joan of Arc.

Here's an example from Stusser's chat with Shakespeare. The former comments, 'A lot of the time, when I see one of your plays, I just wish you'd have used plain English. It hurts my brain.' To which, WS replies, 'Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind. Theater is not for the faint-hearted.' The author begins his interview with Mae West: 'Miss West, I've heard so much about you ...' - to which she replies, 'Yeah, honey, but you can't prove a thing.' The Dead Guy Interviews - which take in a surprising amount of history in the entertaining process - would make a great choice for a stocking stuffer, or simply to leave around for guests to pick up and chuckle over during the holidays.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more NonFiction books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews