Eat It Raw: The Joe Queenan Directory

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  • Information on True Believers, Joe's latest book

    Last updated: 17/10/2003

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  • Joe's latest: True Believers

    OK, I've been very slack about adding True Believers to this page: it isn't because I have an aversion to sports (though I do); it's simply been neglected along with everything else on this site!

    About this directory

    Joe Queenan is, in all probability, the funniest writer on the planet. I don't want to go all gushy here, so let me just say this: we're all damn lucky that so much of his work is available online, and, to ensure we appreciate just how damn lucky that makes us, this page is an attempt to create a complete list of everything Joe's written that's available on the Web, plus sites featuring interviews or reviews of his work (especially his seven books). Read it all and try not to piss yourself. Remember also that this only represents a fraction of Joe's phenomenal output.

    If you find anything worth adding, please let me know. Spanky gets a special note of thanks for locating many of the articles listed here. FYI, the message 'this is a bootleg posting' indicates that the article has been republished without authorisation.

    This list is divided into several categories for easier navigation, and articles are (roughly) listed within reverse chronological order in each category. The JQ101 list cites Joe works to read if you want to get a feel for the man's range as a writer.

    Incidentally, if you were wondering about the name for this page, it was inspired by the following paragraph in Joe's infamous account of how he made a $7,000 movie for $65,193.67, The Unkindest Cut:

    In the back of my mind, I accepted the fact that once we started shooting, a couple of cast members probably would prove to have real acting ability while several others would eat it raw. (p. 32)

    It's the kind of phrase that sticks with you, and I'm keeping it despite Joe's claim in My Goodness that not many people actually read the book. Joe himself also subsequently used it as the title of an article on movies featuring cannibalism for Movieline which has been anthologised in Cineplex Heckler.


    New to Joe's work? Here's our recommended reading list, covering some of his best (and funniest) stuff in a range of genres. (Originally, all these links went to external sites, but over time as stuff disappears we've ended up posting it directly at Gusworld. If copyright holders object to this, please let us know and we'll remove the offending items.)

    The Books

    As well as writing a prodigious number of articles, Joe has also authored eight books: True Believers, Balsamic Dreams, My Goodness, Confessions Of A Cineplex Heckler, Joe Queenan's America, The Unkindest Cut, If You're Talking To Me, Your Career Must Be In Trouble and Imperial Caddy, and edited one anthology. All of these books have a colon in their title, incidentally.

    True Believers: The Tragic Inner Life Of Sports Fans

    Joe continues to expand his range, offering up an acerbic commentary on why sports fans continue to follow appalling teams. A hysterical read even if (like me) you know nothing about the teams involved, it also has rather more biographical detail than any of his earlier works.

    The Malcontents: The Best Bitter, Cynical, and Satirical Writing in the World

    While this anthology has Joe's name on the cover, his contribution seems largely limited to an amusing introductory essay. The selection itself is amusing, though it's noticeable that everything included is in the public domain: one suspects the publisher's didn't want to spend up big on rights!

    Balsamic Dreams: A Short But Self-Important History Of The Baby Boomer Generation

    In which Joe switches (at least partially) away from movies and attacks all things baby boomer, despite having emerged from that period himself. Issued in 2001, this is Joe's first book to be published by Holt (according to Inside, his editor from Hyperion, Jennifer Barth, moved, and he moved with her). It also drops the customary index in favour of a humorous acknowledgements section.

    My Goodness: A Cynic's Short-Lived Search For Sainthood

    Joe decides to try being a good person ('good' in this context meaning friendly to whales, the environment, and Sting) in this 2000 volume (published more or less simultaneously with Cineplex Heckler. The sections on Senseless Acts of Beauty are particularly amusing. Also lots about the mechanics of Joe's writing career (including jealousy-inducing indications of how much money he makes).

    Confessions Of A Cineplex Heckler: Celluloid Tirades And Escapades

    Published in 2000, this is a further collection of Joe pieces on cinema, largely written for Movieline. Good fun, although the technique is perhaps less varied than in If You're Talking To Me . . .

    Joe Queenan's America: Red Lobster, White Trash And The Blue Lagoon

    Originally titled How Bad Could It Be?, this 1998 volume sees Queenan attempt to sample the very worst of American culture. Also sports a particularly fine example of the sarcastic Queenan index.

    The Unkindest Cut: How A Hatchet-Man Critic Made His Own $7,000 Movie And Put It All On His Credit Card

    In which Joe writes the tremendously funny script for 12 Steps To Death and then proceeds to prove that you can't make a movie for $7,000. This 1996 work is essential reading, and a total classic. No longer in print.

    If You're Talking To Me, Your Career Must Be In Trouble: Movies, Mayhem, And Malice

    A collection of articles about movies and movie stars. This 1994 volume probably remains, along with America, Joe's best-known work. No longer in print.

    Imperial Caddy: The Rise of Dan Quayle in America and the Decline and Fall of Practically Everything Else

    OK, so the topic in general (and the assumption that Clinton would never get elected in particular) dates this 1992 volume. However, it's very funny, probably the most-heavily researched of Joe's books, and gives you some idea of the way in which his approach differed before he hit on celebrities as subject matter. No longer in print.

    Audio Joe

    There's still a reasonable selection of Joe streaming audio online, although some early examples have now disappeared:


    Mostly sarcastic financial journalism and social commentary. Articles are still available online, but you need to sign up as a member of the site (no fee) to access them.

    The American Spectator

    A re-organisation of the Spectator site in 2001 means that many of the older Queenan articles have disappeared (see Dead and Buried for further details). Just one piece is currently available, and it's a book extract. Curses.

    The Guardian

    An ongoing selection of movie reviews from this UK newspaper.

    The New York Times

    Book reviews from the early 1990s. Joe also wrote a regular column, 'Good Fences', for the paper, but this isn't freely available online. Some older reviews that were previously online have been dumped; see the Dead And Buried section for details.

    Chief Executive

    Joe regularly contributes to this magazine's Flip Side column, returning him to the financial commentary which dominated his output before Movieline came along.

    Expresso Tilt

    Downright strange humour.




    As the magazine most responsible for Joe's rise to fame, Movieline deserves a special place in our hearts. Much of Joe's work for the mag has ended up in his books, however, so online appearances are fairly rare.

    Serb Heat

    Joe's online novel, Serb Heat, written in three days between April 30 and May 2 1996, used to reside at Mr Showbiz. Sadly, the site itself no longer exists, but a mirror of Queenan's classic Canadian-bating story has existed intermittently online.



    About Joe

    Miscellaneous Crap

    Dead And Buried

    The stench if death is in the air. Since I started this part of Gusworld, a notable proportion of the links to Joe's writings have gone into that great Internet graveyard in the virtual sky. Previously, I maintained these links in this part of the site, but I've given this up as (a) the list threatened to be longer than the functional list of working links (b) who was I kidding? What I have maintained is the names of articles actually written by Joe, as this does serve some kind of minor reference purpose.

    TV Guide

    Joe wrote a column for TV Guide from November 1996 to some time in 1999. They used to all be available online, but a redesign by the TV Guide site cast them all into oblivion (and then eventually did the same to the column in print). All we can hope for now is that Joe puts out a book of them. These were the titles that got online:

    The Washington Legal Front - Joe replies to your mail - The X-Stars File - The Doctor Is In - If Only Numbers Counted - Titanic Potential - Conspiracy Theory - Pump It Up - What A Turnoff - They Coulda Been Contenders - The Final Frontier - Alone Again, Naturally - Dumb And Dumber - Now It Can Be Told - The Last Ally McBeal Column - Hot, Hot, Hot! - Name That Toon - Here's The Beef? - Recycling Station - Judging By The Norm - The Last Roundup - Trading Places - Pop-Up Culture - News I Can't Use - At Night - The Secret Revealed - Bean There, Done That - Crossover Dreams - Martha Stewart For A Day - Yes, And It's Good - Grading The Gridiron - Reef Madness - Dese Foolish Tings - Take It On Faith - Put To The Test - Gross National Product - Drowning In Their Own Tears - It's A George Segal World - Star Gazing - Excess Baggage - An American In Paris - Face To Face To Face To Face - Seeing Is Believing - Can Sharks Stay In The Swim? - Fergie Fever - The Retooling Channel - The King And I - Touched By A Ranger - Seals Of Approval - I'm Game - Talking Soup - The Puck Stops Here - Voicing Objections - You Say Hello, I Say 'Good Buy' - High Stakes - Justifiable Homicide - Saturday Morning Fever - The Rating Game - Long Night's Journey Into Day - Mad About Ads - Bent Out Of Shape - John Dough - Pols Apart - Get A Grip, Guys - For The Love Of Michael - Buried Treasure - Courage Under Fire - Tonight's Topic Is . . . O.J. - Jerry Mandered - Control Freak - Dweebs, Dweebs Everywhere - Xena: Role Model - What's A Mother To Do? - Déjà Vu All Over Again - Spare The Rod - Get A Grip - Don't Humor Us - Saturday Night Lies - Good Day, Sunshine

    Mr Showbiz

    Between February 13 and August 2 1996, Joe wrote 10 columns as part of Mr Showbiz's 'Unedited' section (back before the site got one of several yucky new interfaces). These were the titles:

    Slopping the Prigs - A Good Bowl of Soup - In Defense of Dave - Ode to Ann - Boom or Bust - Fit To Be Tied - Limey Bastards Take a Beating in the Movies - Folkies Board The Mystery Train - Jackie Chan is Already Passé - Why I'm a Capitalist Tool--and All for Steve Forbes

    Mr Showbiz is also where Joe's complete online novel, Serb Heat, used to reside, as well as the serial novel The Blue Tureen, which he had a hand in writing. Both have disappeared, but a mirror of Serb Heat recently returned.


    In 1996, Joe was the regular People Critic's Corner columnist. Now, why didn't Who use that stuff as well? And why did Time-Warner suddenly decide to move this stuff onto AOL? So much for the power of a free Net.

    Spin-Offs - Formulaic Retreads - Educational Television - Job Training For Movie Actresses - Cosby - Get An Election - Lost In Space - Danielle Steel - Greatest-Hits Shows - The Big Easy - Shark Week - Olympic Coverage - Spinoff Channels - Buzzkill - Rosie O'Donnell - Documentaries - Entertain Me - Fox On The Run - It's Academic - HBO - The VH1 Chip - Moesha - Daytime - Bad Jokes - The Beast - 1945

    The American Spectator

    While newer articles are (theoretically) still available, the following pieces have disappeared from the Spectator site.

    The Week of Smoking Dangerously - Geraldo Exposed: An open letter to Tom Brokaw - The John Elway of Criminal Prosecutors: Book Review: Without A Doubt - Pit Stop: Book Review: Olives: The Life and Lore of a Noble Fruit - Pollock Jokes - Close, But No Cigar - Not A Prayer

    The New York Times

    The following book reviews used to be available online, but (surprise) aren't anymore.

    And Us Without Our Spoons - Bushwhacked - Don't Scream During The Play - Drive, She Said - Hermaphrodites In Love - If You've Got It, Hide It - Imagining The Worst - Swept Away By The Hit Man's Daughter - The Curse Of Hyde Park - The Four Bikers Of The Apocalypse - The Shark Ate Wendy - There's Something About A Woman In Uniform

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