Thursday, 30 September 2021 13:39

“I Know This Looks Bad” A New Book by Saratoga Springs’ John Oliver

By Thomas Dimopoulos | Entertainment

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Local resident John Oliver has published a new book of words - 365 vignettes, creating a vibrant picture of an astonishing life, he says. 

Not to be confused with John Oliver of TV fame - “I spend hours explaining I’m not the HBO guy,” he created a decade ago the character of JPV Oliver, whom he explains as “an overweening snob who’s posh, eccentric, deeply ridiculous and who drinks too much…” 

The book - “I Know This Looks Bad: Errors and Graces in a Louche Life” – boasts a flair for internationalism and a proper-dripping cadence that melts 190 pages of verse into soothing tones that manifest in the inner ear, inscribed perhaps, from his graduate school days in Canterbury.    

Oliver was born in nearby Amsterdam, NY in 1953, seven months after his parents were wed. “Students of nuptial norms and human gestation will note a squiggle in the timeline,” he writes. “I was the giddy-up around their wedding.” 

His working life began as a beer truck driver in Albany during the 1970s, before catching a gig as a PR director for the NYS Nurses’ Association. “Soon after I signed on, 5,500 NYSNA union members walked out of New York City hospitals in a wildly illegal job action,” he explains.

For locals there are breakfasts on Broadway at posh Spa City hotels -“the bill was equal to the 2018 GDP of Belgium,” Church Street patios lined with the men wearing Brooks Brothers jackets and $190 jeans,    and upstate funerals “in a down-at-the-heels river town, where tiny houses smell of cigarettes and heartbreak.” There is something for just about everyone. “(And) if you don’t like the page you’re on, try another one,” he points out. “I mean, some of this stuff is good.”  Indeed. 

“I Know This Looks Bad: Errors and Graces in a Louche Life,” published by Epigraph Books is available directly from Oliver. For more information, and to purchase the book, drop him a line via email at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

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