Edmund White says of Bob Smith, "If H.G. Wells had been funny and Oscar Wilde obsessed with time travel they might have mated and produced Bob Smith..." While I kind of like the visual imagery of Wells and Wilde getting freaky and seeing what would actually happen if they were to procreate, I'm much happier that we have Bob Smith instead. If this were Japan and I had any influence I'd figure out how to name Bob a Living National Treasure.
Bob Smith is brilliantly funny. You might already know him as a famous funny-man. He was the first openly gay stand up comic to appear on the Tonight Show and in his career has written several very funny and very touching books. He has Wilde's wit and Wells' creativity (not to mention a knack for the nostalgic that I can't seem to place on any writing but his own) and all three merge in a beautiful way in his most recent book, Remembrance of Things I Forgot.
In Remembrance, Bob sends us back in time with the lovable protagonist, John where he encounters his younger self and the two embark on a mission to change the past...hopefully for the better. It's equally heart-breaking and heart-warming as Smith explores what Tolstoy considered to be the major dilemma of human existence: can people really change, and if so, do we want them to? Smith's a natural with comedy of errors and the juxtaposition of all our modern problems with the problems of 20 years ago are rich with humor, self-awareness and empathy. Oh yeah, and John's being chased through time by Dick Cheney, so your adrenaline will be pumping. You really will laugh and cry at the same time, especially through the last twenty pages.But don't just take my word for it. Check out the book trailer with footage from a reading of the book when it came out earlier this year. Watch through to the end for a special appearance of yours truly. Bob's gift is the perfect gift for your favorite reader.