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Author Says ‘I Am Better Than Your Kids’ and Proves It [REVIEW]


All the book reading we do these days is on a cell phone in the bathroom. But we read Maddox’s I Am Better Than Your Kids, an incredibly funny tome in which the author uses blunt hostility to annihilate children’s artwork, in its physical form (hardcover!) and in one sitting.

We were pretty astounded by it. To say it’s based on Maddox’s 2002 post, which helped launched him to the stratosphere of the blogger counterculture, is like saying a sequoia is based on a seed.

‘I Am Better Than Your Kids’ could end up as the single most important work for the publishing industry. The author, whose 2006 literary debut, the bestseller ‘The Alphabet of Manliness,’ took it upon himself to handle much of the design and formatting of this book. That is crucial because the book is 90% style and 10% substance. That’s not a knock against it. It speaks to the very nature of what it felt like he was trying to accomplish, which was to critique the self-righteous, often resentful and bitter field of criticism as a whole. The reason we think this is such an important book is because it’s one of the only things out there in adult literature that justifies the format of print over digital. We needed to confirm this so we bought the ebook. We can’t see how this would work on a phone or eReader. The design is what gives the book its impact and it amplifies the one-liners and comedic rhythm to their ridiculously funny heights.

Probably the thing we love most about the book is how impossible it is to review. How does a person review a book of criticisms of kid’s drawings? We loved it. A+. How’s that?

We just hope the publisher was savvy enough to submit this for the Pulitzer Prize in humor and nonfiction by the Oct. 1st deadline, because if they weren’t, they missed an opportunity to create a watershed, game-changing moment for the industry. In the end all that matters is that this gets into peoples’ hands, gets talked about, argued over and onto the bestseller lists for the long haul.

And we hope that parents keep submitting their kid’s drawings to Maddox and those kids never see this book. Until, of course, they have kids.

Read Phil Villarreal’s blog at and follow him on Twitter: @philvillarreal

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