Picks and Pans Review: Loser Goes First

updated 10/13/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/13/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

By Dan Kennedy

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Befitting his slacker-meets-sad-sack pedigree, McSweeney's contributor and Atlantic Records director of creative development Kennedy recounts his 30-odd years of career pratfalls and social stumblings with insouciant self-mockery. A geeky kid, he grows up to fail entertainingly at rock stardom (there was the little problem of mastering an instrument), manning an outdoor espresso cart, fighting fires and professional bass fishing—and that's just for a start. The stories would be a hoot as is (e.g., he tries to revive a dead fish), yet his twisted wit raises the bar of hilarity. Though Kennedy sometimes hops among topics as if he were jacked up on Red Bull, by the time his epiphany strikes (duh, write a book), he is already on track to becoming the winnings loser of them all.

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