Book Review: L.A. Nuts – A Collection of the Cult-Hit Columns – brought tears to my eyes

Title: L.A. Nuts – A Collection of the Cult-Hit Columns
Author: Joe Dungan
Publisher: Trinco Publishing
ISBN: 978-0-9820345-6-9

I’m from New Hampshire, we have wild turkeys and an occasional moose passing through our backyard. I’m about as far away from Los Angeles as you can get so when I received L.A. Nuts – a collection of the cult-hit columns, I expected I would be reading the typical stories about the “strange” people and their antics from “over there”.

What I didn’t expect was to literally laugh out loud enough to tear up at some of these characters and stories. Joe Dungan writes with such a sharp wit that you’ll have to be careful how you hold this book.

From the introduction of Clyde Langtry, the scientologist neighbor whose cats keep running away because Clyde doesn’t think cats should eat meat especially the processed stuff made by pet food companies and so offers the felines only vegetables instead – to the homeless man in the driveway who publically urinates with the longest uninterrupted whiz ever seen (or heard) we are treated to some of the greatest characters in recent literature. (oh and by the way – if you publically urinate that qualifies you for being a sex offender so don’t go there. Thanks for the warning, Joe.).

It is the biting sophomoric and yet on some other remote level highly sophisticated humor that propels this book forward. Dungan holds nothing back and is free in his damnation of all as he adeptly demonstrates in this passage:

“Celebrity is rampant in this town. This month alone, I saw Walter Koenig the guy who played Chekov on Star Trek, coming out of my post office. I saw Leonard Maltin at my Trader Joe’s – where last week, I also saw William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman getting out of their car. At my coffeehouse, Morgan Fairchild made one of her regular visits, to the regular excitement of approximately no one. Also at the same coffee house, I saw some guy claiming to be a music producer hit on a pretty blonde who herself was claiming to have been the star of Bring It On Again, the straight-to-video sequel to Bring it On. I don’t know what the star of Bring It On Again looks like, so no telling if it was really her. Then again, who’d lie about such a thing?”

L.A. Nuts is crude, it’s brash, it’s delightfully addictive. Simply put, it’s a treat.

A native of Los Angeles, Joe Dungan has been a writer and editor for over a decade. In addition to humor writing, he’s also written, edited, and proofread business copy for a number of clients and businesses in Southern California. He has written articles for various publications including Games, Written By, and SkyWest Magazine. He also directed a short film that won as award at a film festival and co-wrote a feature film that didn’t.

This collection of short pieces started as a blog in which Dungan ranted against his neighbors. The blog then morphed into a regular column for In October 2009 Dungan was awarded First Place in the Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book awards for humor.

This is his first book. He needs to write another one. Soon.


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