I've gone on record in the past at proclaiming how much I appreciate the work of Kevin Smith, so, it's not surprising that I'm reviewing yet another Smith release.
About two and a half years ago, Smith brought us SModcast. SModcast is a (somewhat) weekly podcast where you are treated to a two person (sometimes three) conversation featuring Smith and his life long friend and producer, Scott Mosier. Smith and Mosier usually talk about what's going on in each other's life, various pop culture topics or do a fair bit of role playing. The role playing aspect is by far the most entertaining aspect of the show, usually having to do with Scott Mosier's various accents and characters (Gordo the righteously indignant Canadian, or the lead singer of Foreigner). At times, Smith is joined by childhood friends, Bryan Johnson and Walt Flanagan as well as Canadian acquaintance, Malcolm Ingram. Johnson is razor sharp and ridiculously funny most times while Walt is usually there to enable him with some great stories and Malcolm just comes across as perpetually angry.
A few weeks ago, Smith published the best conversations from around 80 SModcast episodes bringing you "Shootin' The Sh*t with Kevin Smith: The Best of SModcast". The book is about 350+ pages of transcribed audio with the addition of artwork depicting some of the wildest scenarios created in conversation between Smith and his many friends.
While I did enjoy reading all 350+ pages of this book, I kept thinking how pointless this release is. Well, on one hand, I loved it. However, I would be hard pressed to find someone who is really going to want to throw down $20 for an extensive amount of material you can download from iTunes for free. Granted, yes, most items today can be pirated and therefore can be considered "free" but SModcast (as with all podcasts) are free. The material in the book transfers really well from source material to the page but I think you would get a more enjoyable experience by listening to the podcast, if only for Scott's accents.