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LAist Book Review: Patton Oswalt's 'Zombie Spaceship Wasteland'

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Okay, ladies, it's Valentine’s Day. Have you found anything fun to give your man? In L.A. there’s a little nerd in even the coolest guys and it couldn’t be more endearing. Even if your guy isn’t running off to Comic-Con every year, and undoubtedly if he is, he’ll love “Zombie Spaceship Wasteland,” a new novel by Patton Oswalt. The comedian and actor (he has appeared in more than 25 movies, including having voiced Remy the rat in Ratatouille and played the lead in the fantastic dark comedy Big Fan) now brings big laughs to the page.

LAist caught up with Patton in Hollywood recently, reading to a packed house at Book Soup from his first novel. (The 14 “Also By” novels and children’s books listed in the front of his book are made-up titles, which display Patton’s patented brand of humor before one even gets to the title page.)

In “Zombie Spaceship Wasteland,” Patton strings together a collection of stories from various stages of his life. He recalls the unequaled pleasure of building the perfect snow fort and how grown up problems trickled through its seemingly impenetrable walls, even though in his innocence he didn’t realize the signs at the time.

He takes us through sucky jobs, before and including early stand-up, and introduces us to the rather odd and odious characters he came to know by working them. There are also a few illustrated comics and a series of ridiculous greeting cards in the mix, fine nerd humor.

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Patton goes on to share how it took a pool party where he had his first real kiss to move on from his early nerd pursuits. He writes, “I made out with a girl, and the curve of her hip and the soft jut of shoulder blades in a bikini forever trumped the imagined sensation of a sword pommel or spell book.”

The book’s title is inspired by a theory Patton holds that teenage boys fall into one of three categories: those who enjoy zombie stories, those who prefer spaceship stories and those who, like Patton, tend to gravitate to stories that take place after the apocalypse. Find out which category your boyfriend falls into and you might gain a little insight into his male psyche. Now that’s a gift that will keep giving!