Books

The Rants, Raves & Thoughts of Osama bin Laden
Edited by Julian Smith
OYO Publications/$9.95

If the al-Qaida organization had an official quote book, this would be it. I can imagine bin Laden addressing his newest group of trainees:

"Listen up, people! Welcome to the al-Qaida Organization. I'd like you all to form a single line and come forward one at a time to receive your semi-automatic rifle, sandals, robe, fake beard — if applicable — and a copy of the official al-Qaida quote bible, The Rants, Raves & Thoughts of Osama bin Laden. We expect you to make arrangements to return these items to us upon your suicide mission, and you are monetarily responsible for any lost or misplaced items."

Well, maybe that's a little far-fetched. After all, Rants, Raves & Thoughts — although indeed crammed with Osama sound bites from taped statements and interviews with CNN, ABC, Newsweek, Frontline and other news outlets — also includes comments from bin Laden detractors, along with several amusing jokes of the Internet circulation-variety, that I'm sure the terrorist leader would be none too pleased with.

Now, some militant types are reading this thinking, "Holy Moses, girl! What in tarnation you doin' tellin' folks ta buy copies a this infernal book?! Yer supportin' terrorism!!"

Calm down Soldier Sam, and don't bust out the homemade bombs just yet. I'm actually supporting the makers of Rants, Raves & Thoughts, Jeff Brauer and his small, New York City-based On Your Own Publications. In addition to putting out titillating tomes like the annual NYC erotica guide, Sexy New York City, Brauer and crew utilize the design and illustrating skills of recent grads from various NYC colleges. The layout alone, if you can imagine, gives the book a more fun, lighthearted feel, kinda softening the blow as bin Laden goes off on everything from the U.S. to Afghanistan to Islam to himself.

The real goal of the book, however, is to allow readers the (dis)pleasure of stepping inside the head of this notorious terrorist. Part of a series that includes the musings of such unappealing dictators and terrorists as Fidel Castro, Saddam Hussein, Moammer Khadafy and Yasser Arafat, The Rants, Raves & Thoughts of Osama bin Laden reveals who this psychotic man is, what he believes in and what he ultimately hope to achieve. You won't feel any more secure after reading it, but you'll definitely feel a little better about your own fucked up psyche.

—Kelli K

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