Review: Last Call at the 7-Eleven by Kevin Cowherd

711Title: Last Call at the 7-Eleven: Fine Dining at 2 A.M., The Search for Spandex People, and Other Reasons to Go On Living

Author: Kevin Cowherd

Genre/Pages: Nonfiction Essays/pages 226

Publication: The Bancroft Press; 11/22/1995

Rating: 3 BOOKMARKS

I thoroughly enjoy nonfiction, especially humorous essays and memoirs.  Last Call at the 7-Eleven is a collection of selected columns written by Kevin Cowherd, a nationally-syndicated humorist and sports writer for The Baltimore Sun. 

What a hilarious read!  Kevin Cowherd’s essays run the gamut and had me laughing out loud as I zipped through this snappy number.  Each essay is only a few pages–originally published individually in a newspaper column format in The  Baltimore Sun–and were like snack-sized bits of humor.

I giggled my way through columns with titles like “That Barney is Such a Reptile” and “Real Men Don’t Wear Pajamas”.  One of my favorites, “Surgeons Good Enough for Celebrities”, brought up a salient point–the American public tends to “measure surgeons…(by the) famous patients they have cut open.” 

I’m a huge fan of nonfiction humor writing and really enjoyed this book.  Cowherd is witty and hyper0bservant.  He’s still writing for the newspaper, though his focus seems to have shifted to a more sports-based column, I still had a chuckle while reading a recent column. 

Some of the references in this book are pretty dated–it was published back in 1995 and the columns were culled from over 1200 written from the late 80s to the mid-90s.  Cowherd also has a tendency to repurpose some of his favorite sayings and metaphors, but I’m guilty of that myself. 

The book is a breezy read that packs a humorous punch on scores of topics.  You can read a few columns here and there without a huge committment; the book lends itself to that reading style.

Kevin Cowherd, like many others, built his career writing for newspapers. With the advent of the internet (and other factors), many newspapers have seen their revenue and readership steadily decline, forcing some newspapers to cease printing.  The Rocky Mountain News in Denver and The Seattle Post-Intelligencer are some of the more recent victims of the downtrending readership and economy.  

What I’d like to know is:  Do you still get a daily paper delivered to your front door, or are you like me–an online newspaper reader?  Sometimes I’ll spring for the Sunday New York Times, but typically I only read my local (NJ) paper online.  And you? 

Thanks to Harrison at The Bancroft Press for providing me with this book.

20 Comments

  • At 2009.06.01 06:38, Positively Present said:

    Nice review! I’m glad you put it up because I saw the cover of the book on your site last week and was very curious about it. Thanks for reviewing it for your readers!

    • At 2009.06.01 10:36, Megan said:

      Sounds like an awesome read! I love humorous non-fiction, too. I’m told I need to grab Jen Lancaster in the near future.

      Since I’m an editor at a biweekly newspaper, I guess I should watch what I say here… but I can honestly say that I have home newspaper delivery! My dad subscribes to my paper and the Washington Post. I flip through them if I have time at breakfast, but mostly I get my news online. Sign of the times…

      • At 2009.06.01 10:57, vivienne said:

        I check out news online now instead of buying a paper. Even though in England they are practically giving them away either at a very low price or with lots of gifts.

        I like the sound of this book – the time period interests me as it is looking at my teenage years.

        • At 2009.06.01 12:00, chartroose said:

          Yep, online for me too. I read the NYT’s website several times a week, and I also read Mark Morford’s column from the San Francisco Chronicle.

          I listen to CNN in the morning while getting ready for work as well.

          • At 2009.06.01 14:08, connie said:

            I still like to read an actual newspaper and I know that probably isn’t very “green” of me.
            Just something about that paper…

            • At 2009.06.01 19:54, debbie said:

              I get the daily paper and love it! I am just a person who doesn’t want to give up my books or my papers.

              • At 2009.06.01 20:26, pannonica said:

                Just try lining a birdcage or wrapping fish with a Kindle and see how far it gets you.

                • At 2009.06.02 00:19, Connie said:

                  I don’t read a lot of nonfiction but this sounds like one I’ll try. Thanks for the review!

                  • At 2009.06.02 14:24, Jessica said:

                    Sounds funny. I love how 95 is already dated! The paper…..is it bad that I dont read the paper at all?! I just cruise the net, and read the paper at school. Broke is broke my friend.

                    • At 2009.06.02 14:54, Belle said:

                      This book sounds like a great read – I love books of humorous essays, and the title is so catchy. We get our local paper, which is only delivered twice a week – mainly we get it for the sales flyers and for craft projects. (Loved the Kindle comment above!)

                      • At 2009.06.03 09:16, Jenners said:

                        I like these kind of books — I call them “bathroom books” because you can read them in “one sitting” and then put it down again. I might have to check it out when our current supply of bathroom books dwindle!

                        • At 2009.06.03 09:16, Jenners said:

                          And I forgot … I do not get a daily paper. Just cannot keep up with them!

                          • […] at 2 A.M., The Search for Spandex People, and Other Reasons to Go On Living, by Kevin Cowherd. Nat at Book, Line and Sinker has a lovely review of this book – it sounds like a hilarious read, worthy of its title, and I […]

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