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The Joys of Smoking Cigarettes - James Fitzgerald

I’m not sure if this book needs to exist.

This book is an ode to smoking, which is fine, but it is filled up with a lot of unnecessary stuff, like pages of pictures of hands holding cigarettes, and fictional stereotyped descriptions of typical smokers who use various American brands.

Prior to tobacco advertising bans, I’m sure those brand identities would have been stronger, and I might have understood those jokes (in Canada there is definitely no typical type of person who uses a specific brand of cigarette). I can’t really blame the book for using those dated references, because it was first released in 1983.

I gave another smoking ode book (Cigarettes Are Sublime - Klein) mixed reviews recently as well, though that book included a detailed compilation of historical writings on the subject. I didn’t like that book very much, but it definitely has value.

I can’t see myself needing to revisit this book, and I can’t say that I learned anything or gained new perspective. It had very brief historical descriptions having to do with tobacco, which were not bad, but there wasn’t much there.

I did chuckle a a few times. The book clearly isn’t meant to be taken seriously, and it was somewhat enjoyable. But, I like to get more from a book than some mild entertainment.

I only paid a few dollars for this book and I don’t think it was worth it.