A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity
By Bill O’Reilly
Well, I will say that this book was a little surprising. Most people either love Bill O’Reilly or they hate him. And to be honest, I hadn’t really formed a solid opinion before reading his book. On his television show, I have always found him blunt and opinionated (not necessarily bad things in my book). And I have always appreciated his verbosity. I am a lover of words myself, so his “word of the day” always hits a soft spot for me.
I suppose I expected this book to be a political commentary, but it really wasn’t. It was an autobiography of O’Reilly’s upbringing and early experiences that shaped his opinions and made him the person that he is today. He sums up his early childhood by saying, “Life was simple: You want it—make it happen. Somebody bothers you; deal with it.” Could life really be that simple? O’Reilly spends a lot of time lauding the virtues of lifelong friends and detailing various exploits. He spent his formative years in various Catholic schools, and after reading this book I can definitely see how his religious background comes into play with his political alignments.
I found this book quite interesting, actually. Reading about the childhood of someone who was raised so vastly differently from me is always intriguing, but when reading about it in the context of the public persona of the adult Bill O’Reilly, it was quite eye-opening.
I don’t agree with O’Reilly on all his political opinions, but after reading this book, I do feel that even though he is a brash and straight-shooting individual, he comes at it with heart and soul. And that he is one of those people who means what he says and says what he means.
There were some very lighthearted parts of the book. My favorite, I think, being the chapter called “Mysteries of the Universe” where O’Reilly details items of pop culture that he just never “got”. Items such as the movie Love Story, rap star “Snoop Dog”, and the disappointing series finales of Seinfeld and The Sopranos. I found his pithy commentary on these cultural icons to be highly entertaining.
There was definitely a somewhat conservative overtone to the book, mostly due to the religious nature of O’Reilly’s upbringing, but other than that, the political commentary was very minimal. I thought it was a pretty good “story of my life” book and would recommend it to anyone who is willing to sit through “The O’Reilly Factor” on FoxNews.