BROOKLYN, NY, United States | Member Since 2011
There is so much to love about this memoir, which anyone who's interested in what it's really like to work your way up through the ranks of television comedy should find very illuminating, but I have to give particular kudos to the book for two reasons:
1. As a gay reviewer, I found Fey's portrait of her many young gay friends figuring out their sexual identity's a nice combination of funny, sensitive and honest. The time in a gay person's life when he/she has either figured out their sexuality but not had sex or started experimenting sexually but is not sure what it means for their identity can be very confusing. The fact that Fey both manages to create portraits of these young people that both point out their foibles while acknowledging why they might be so en-foibled (yes, I made up that term) is like a successful high-wire act that incorporates a chair and a dog.
2. Apropos of Audible, this is DEFINITELY a book that's worth hearing in the audio format, even if you've read it already. Fey's intonations, imitations and inflections are not only super-enjoyable if you're a Tina Fey fan but also add a richness to the text that's characteristic of writers who have experience writing for performers.
"It is a testament to my parents that they never reacted negatively to the 4 year Pride parade that marched through their home." -Tina Fey, "Bossypants"
After a number of books with equal or greater weight given to fables starring animals, Sedaris is back to telling the iconic stories in which he confronts the foibles of modern life and mines his past for stories of growing up Sedaris.
You get a little bit of everything - from modern day Sedaris navigating the beauracratic absurdities of living abroad to the young Sedaris family gathered around the kitchen table, trying to stop their father from attacking their friends. Sedaris finds warmth and humor in unexpected places - taxidermy, for example, and a colonoscopy. You can't help but laugh out loud.
The audiobook skillfully combines the fun of Sedaris reading before a live audience (with the - to be expected - accompanying raucous laughter) with the intimacy of Sedaris reading in a studio that made his first "Adventures in Santaland" so memorable.
Yes. Laugh and laugh and laugh!
Overall - great production. This is a fabulous collection of essays - offering lots of essays drawn from life and a few of his more over-the-top fiction pieces (relegated to the end). Intriguing musical (and other sound-based interludes) make one feel that the producers were interested in creating a coherent whole, and - as someone who enjoys both Sedaris live and Sedaris in-studio, I appreciated the mix of both.
I'd been putting off listening to "Girl Walks into a Bar" because I'd previously enjoyed other audio books that include behind-the-scenes of "Saturday Night Live" type memories (Bedwetter, Bossypants). I'm pleased to say that Ms. Dratch proves once again that each performer's time at SNL is different enough to captivate all over again; plus - here - it's part of a much larger personal narrative.
While she gets a lot of comedy mileage out of the parade of not-quite-worthy potential mates, Dratch never loses sight of what their interactions reveal about herself - without getting preachy about it.
Ms. Dratch has an uncanny sense for delivering inner monologue with all the conflicting impulses and over-the-top hilarity that so commonly marks a neurotic's conversations with oneself.
Definitely a laugh-out-loud book, and definitely a can't-put-it-down.
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