Ever wanted to be perfect? “I can answer that question!” echoes a misty, distant voice. The hooded figure beckons closer to the limelight, cloudy substrate over the ghostly ground. A golden crescent dances above its head, dove-life feathers perched on the crest of its back.
Behold: Michael Angel. No, not Michael Angelo. It’s Michael Schur, showrunner of the celebrated “The Good Place,” and he has the answer! (Ironically, “The Good Place” episode titled “The Answer” is the best episode. Prove me wrong.)
His narrative nonfiction, “How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question,” explores ethical theory in a way that is fun, fresh and fabulously magnetic. Who would have thought that ethics and moral philosophy can be fun? Forget Chidi Anagonye. With Schur’s li’l book, Albert Camus and Immanuel Kant will become your epistemological besties!
Commencing with a light exposition on virtue ethics, utilitarianism and deontology (or, as Schur calls them, the “Big Three”), progressing into applications of his slightly cringe-worthy “moral exhaustion” neologism and concluding with a letter to his children, William and Ivy, on the virtues of moral study, “How to Be Perfect” is a breathtaking blend of comedy and thought-provoking ethics, serving as a biblical guide for any quotidian dilemma. His charismatic footnotes and snarky asides add a light, merry jingle to the book’s more analytical tenor.
Ready to snuggle up with a good read? Or, perhaps, like Amy Poehler, you’d like to send “a great, passive-aggressive gift” to a friend? Either way, Angel-Schur’s got the perfect title for you.
You will Schur-ly love it. (Yeah. Mike would not approve.)