He's doing a good job.
Frankly, I don't remember if I heard about this gaggle of loosely-formed literary Gen-X writers before or after I read Eggers' memoir, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. What I do know is that at some point in time, a large percentage of the humor in my inbox seemed to point to the McSweeney's web site.
Timothy McSweeney's Internet Tendency, which goes by a variety of other names (today it is "Timothy McSweeney's Blind Bastard Child Will Be President Someday"), is the digital version of Timothy McSweeney's Quarterly Concern. What the two publications share in content, I don't know. I've never read Timothy McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, though I understand it is unwieldy and rambling. The web site is just rambling.
Within its pages you'll find a mishmash of articles, lists, and indefinable bits and pieces of flotsam and jetsam. Mostly jetsam.
The articles are something akin to the stories on Comedy Central's The Daily Show in that they are not news and not always exactly fiction. Remember back in college when you used to spend an inordinate amount of time lounging around other people's smoke-filled rooms giggling uncontrollably at ridiculous ideas. One gets the impression that the writers at McSweeney's merely did this better than the rest of us - so much so, that they were able to take it to the next level: publishing.
I imagine it was something of a huge undertaking to whittle away the mountain of humor that the McSweeney's gang has created over the years into the manageably portable collection that is Created in Darkness. And the book is full of gems.
One of these, "It's Not Actually a Small World," describes a series of incidents in which serendipitous chance meetings never occurred. Another of my favorites is, "Group Mobilization as a Desperate Cry for Help," in which a Flash Mob is organized by a spurned boyfriend outside his ex-girlfriend's house. My favorite piece in the book, though, is John Hodgeman's, "Fire: The Next Sharp Stick?" (A play for three cavemen).
"Ineffective Ways to Subdue a Jaguar"
"International Equivalents, Cake Hole"
"Rapper or Toiletry?"
If, by this point in the review, you're shaking your head in confusion, unsure what to think about the odd bites of the articles I've only briefly glossed over here, then DON'T BUY THIS BOOK. It's not for you.
However, if you're intrigued by the descriptions of these articles and find yourself snickering at the titles of the Lists; if you grew up on Saturday Night Live and are a Monty Python fanatic, this is YOUR BOOK. Run right out and get a copy tonight. It will undoubtedly add humor to your day and literary flavor to the reading selection in your lavatory.