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Years of Minutes


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Rooney fans aren't the only readers who will appreciate this massive collection of missives. Anyone who's ever rolled their eyes at the absurdities of modern society will find a soul mate in the legendary curmudgeon, whose on-camera commentaries translate surprisingly well to the printed page (if you can get past his personalized punctuation, which he takes pains to explain in the foreword, but which will likely irritate grammatical purists). Perhaps because Rooney's appearances at the tail end of 60 Minutes are so brief and often caustic, it's tempting to dismiss him as a small-minded whiner who gets paid big bucks to rant about whatever has just crossed his mind. What will surprise readers is how thoughtful and well-constructed his opinions are, and that he is capable of sentimentality and bewilderment, and has a big and generous heart. Of course, it's easy to overlook that when he's lobbing politically incorrect grenades-about door-to-door census takers in Afghanistan, he writes, "Some of them dont even have doors"-, while the late Kurt Cobain is dismissed thusly: if he "applied the same brain to his music that he applied to his drug-infested life, its reasonable to think that his music may not have made much sense either." That's mean-spirited, maybe; but even at his most outrageous, there's usually a grain of truth in Rooney's taut and well-constructed musings. (Nov.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Rooney began his 26th year as the commentator for the CBS show 60 Minutes in 2003. This book collects a number of those commentaries, aired from 1982 to 2003, with most years including 15 to 20 selections. Since many of them depend on visuals, pictures from the original broadcasts are sometimes included. Otherwise, they are presented with no additional commentary. Given their place on a news show, Rooney's writings often refer to current events and thanks to his excellent job of establishing his topics, few of them suffer from the lack of introduction. The book also includes a short forward by Rooney, much of which consists of his aversion to using apostrophes with contractions. Recommended for larger libraries.-Joel W. Tscherne, Cleveland P.L. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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