Book Reviews From the Vault: Uncredible Thoughts – Essays, Spiels, and Poppycock

This review of Uncredible Thoughts: Essays, Spiels, and Poppycock by John Marszalkowski is the last one that I have under the From the Vault series. It was a great time showing all of you the reviews that I wrote before developing this website. However, when one chapter ends, another begins, and I will have a new series starting up very soon, so stay tuned!

Full disclosure: I was given an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

There are certain writers who are comfortable creating stories in only one genre or format. This is typically not a problem as long as they are able to expand their horizons or diversify what they tackle within said genre. John Marszalkowski skillfully expands his thoughts within the informal-essay format with his second official book Uncredible Thoughts: Essays, Spiels, and Poppycock.

In Uncredible Thoughts: Essays, Spiels, and Poppycock, John Marszalkowski rants about his life and opinions (even if he is not credible on every topic) in the informal-essay format that is just as cohesive and self-assuredas his previous book How to Punch Kids in Bathrooms. However, it does not have the same element of surprise like Buy My Book, Not Because You Should, But Because I’d Like Some Money, yet this is not the first John Marszalkowski-penned book that I have ever read. I know that he is going to rant about something, but I never know what and how. When I do find out, it always puts a smile on my face. It is like that one friend who always has something to say, but one does not know what they will discuss and how.

Some of my favorite parts are the titles and the illustrations. For the titles, Marsalkowski uses names like “White History Month Should Not Exist,” “Your Unhappiness is Stupid; Time for a Nap,” and “Everyone is a Feminist Until Proven Jerks.” These intrigued me as chapter titles should, and they accurately describe their content. The illustrations used at the beginning of each chapter were also funny and cute. In the chapter about skunks, the drawing depicts Marszalkowski in cartoon form with an adorable-looking skunk in what appears to be a dumpster. My favorite image was within the chapter entitled “My First Attempt at Fiction,” which shows Adderall covered in a Smarties-like wrapping paper.

Speaking of Marszalkowski’s attempts at writing fiction, he does this a few times throughout the book. They are admirable efforts, especially the story about a teenage boy named Rad who tries to talk to a girl whom he likes. I also loved his attempt at writing a 50,000-word book in one month, and how he expresses his frustrations in diary form. This sets the tone for the book to be intentionally full of short chapters that permits his ramblings, and that one can read out of order if they want to.

And if one was wondering, “Hey Emily, does John have any worksheets like he did in Buy My Book, Not Because You Should, But Because I’d Like Some Money?”

Yes reader, he does. In fact, he has three! They appear in the chapters, “Math Class Could Have Been More Fun,” “Assholes, And The Rest,” and “Everyone is a Feminist Until Proven Jerks.” They were just as engaging as the ones featured in his first book. 

Marszalkowski also demonstrates his sincerity in honest and funny ways. Christy Hall Watson does the foreword and talks about how he would make her feel comfortable whenever he was filming her slam story events. According to her, he even got pizza for everybody working that night, refused to take any money, and chatted about random stuff with her and anybody who happened to be in the green room. This made me like him even more. Additionally, Marszalkowski has a dedication page to his still living brother as an apology for not mentioning him in his first book.

Overall, Uncredible Thoughts: Essays, Spiels, and Poppycock is a good book that expands upon the brand of the one John Marszalkowski. Like with Buy My Book, it may not be for everyone, yet it is more palatable than the prior book. If anything, I would recommend this book to readers who are looking to get into his work. It is something not quite completely different from his previous books, yet it is still unique enough to a person not familiar with his past work.

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Published by emilymalek

I work at a public library southeast Michigan, and I facilitate two book clubs there. I also hold a Bachelor's degree in History and Theatre from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI; a Master's degree in Library and Information Science from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI; and a Graduate Certificate in Archival Administration also from Wayne. In my downtime, I love hanging out with friends, play trivia and crossword puzzles, listening to music (like classic rock and K-pop), and watching shows like "Monty Python's Flying Circus"!

5 thoughts on “Book Reviews From the Vault: Uncredible Thoughts – Essays, Spiels, and Poppycock

  1. The review eased my interest due to it sounding like a book of short stories one of my favorite styles. Unfortunately I got no results on my search in the Michigan Electronic Library Catalog (MELCAT) on the title and the author. What a shame.


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