Gene Simmons is a Powerful and Attractive Man: And Other Irrefutable Facts

By Frank Valish / Under the Radar

Caricatures are ripe for satire. Gene Simmons, lead tongue-wagging, fire-breathing bassist/co-frontman of Kiss, is one of rock and roll's biggest caricatures. And Christina Vitagliano's book is terrific satire. Made up of Gene-related aphorisms, silly artwork depicting Simmons as the star of various movies, poems re-written to incorporate Simmons, kids' answers to questions about Simmons (e.g., "How did Gene Simmons' tongue get that long?"), and the occasional wisdom-filled quote by Simmons himself, Gene Simmons Is a Powerful and Attractive Man, is a humorous send-up of all things Simmons.

Many of the aphoristic statements are laugh-out-loud funny, such as: "When Gene Simmons puts a seashell up to his ear, he hears himself," or "God has a 'footprints in the sand' poster to remind him of all the times that Gene Simmons had to carry him." A "Gene-tionary" juxtaposes word definitions with their corresponding Gene-definitions: example, "Generate: To create or bring into being. Gene-erate: To create or bring money into being."

Vitagliano's "Gene-ius" (to borrow a term from her "Gene-tionary") is endless across 177 pages. The book won't take you long to read, but it's well worth the time. You'll get more than a chuckle, and with Simmons himself in on the joke (he writes a third person foreword), everyone will be laughing. (www.penguin.com)

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