Review – Kevin Seccia’s “Punching Tom Hanks”

Kevin Seccia’s instructional guide to beating up everything is an exercise in absurdity.

Raghav Mehta

 

âÄúPunching Tom Hanks

Author: Kevin Seccia

Publisher: St. MartinâÄôs Press

Without giving it much thought, the premise behind âÄúPunching Tom HanksâÄù seems like a throwaway concept. But over the course of 200 pages, New York-based comedy writer Kevin Seccia delivers enough wit, nonsense and comedic machismo to keep you laughing the whole way through.

Born out of a blog started by Seccia three years ago, âÄúPunching Tom HanksâÄù is a screamingly hilarious collection of rambling, how-to absurdity that acts as a guide to beating up, well, pretty much anything. Cutting into everything from time-traveling cavemen to alligators to the ever-charming George Clooney, there are few demographics ­âÄî real or not âÄî that Seccia shies away from. It seems like an absurd concept, but thatâÄôs kind of the point. The book colors outside the lines of reality too with Seccia even explaining how to defend oneself from Trojan horses. An enemy that he describes as an âÄúall-too-common foe.âÄù

Because of the discursive nature of the book, there are moments where SecciaâÄôs essays become more focused on the subject itself rather than step-by-step punch-out instructions. And while there are some occasional lulls in hilarity, SecciaâÄôs imagination and knack for pop-culture musings makes the bulk of it entertaining.

Unlike so many other comedy books nowadays, âÄúPunching Tom HanksâÄù doesnâÄôt waste time any time taking itself too seriously. With dozens of subjects, a two-part âÄúNote On WeaponsâÄù section and a conclusion that outlines the ten cardinal rules for beating up anything, âÄúPunching Tom HanksâÄù is the kind of book you can put down and return to later at any given hour. ItâÄôs gut-punching nonsense thatâÄôs bound to get even the most hardened cynics shutting up for a few minutes âÄì this one included.

3 out of 4 stars