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Ham: Slices of a Life: Essays and Stories | [Sam Harris]

Ham: Slices of a Life: Essays and Stories

In 16 brilliantly observed true stories, Sam Harris emerges as a natural humorist in league with David Sedaris, Chelsea Handler, Carrie Fisher, and Steve Martin, but with a voice uniquely his own. Praised by the Chicago Sun-Times for his "manic, witty commentary", and with a storytelling talent the New York Times calls "New Yorker - worthy," he puts a comedic spin on full-disclosure episodes from his own colorful life. What better place to find painfully funny material than in growing up gay, gifted, and ambitious in the heart of the Bible belt?
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Publisher's Summary

ham (noun) [hæm]

  • 1 the hind leg of a hog, salted, smoked, and cured
  • 2 second son of Noah
  • 3 somebody who performs in an exaggerated showy style - always hamming it up

    Just when you thought you knew everything about ham, you discover that ham is also:

    • 4 a reason to laugh about everyday life, and
    • 5 an irresistible collection of humorous essays from a man who was born to entertain us

    In 16 brilliantly observed true stories, Sam Harris emerges as a natural humorist in league with David Sedaris, Chelsea Handler, Carrie Fisher, and Steve Martin, but with a voice uniquely his own. Praised by the Chicago Sun-Times for his "manic, witty commentary", and with a storytelling talent the New York Times calls "New Yorker - worthy," he puts a comedic spin on full-disclosure episodes from his own colorful life. What better place to find painfully funny material than in growing up gay, gifted, and ambitious in the heart of the Bible belt? And that's just the first cut: From partying to parenting, from Sunday school to getting sober, these slices of Ham will have you laughing and wiping away salty tears in equal measure with their universal and down-to-earth appeal. After all, there's a little ham in all of us.

    ©2013 Sam Harris (P)2013 Simon & Schuster

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (61 )
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3.9 (56 )
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Performance
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  •  
    MAK Chicago 02-22-15
    MAK Chicago 02-22-15 Member Since 2014

    MK

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Misleadingly labeled"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, but not for the reasons I purchased it. I was searching for books by the neuroscientist Sam Harris and when I searched his name this came up. I purchased it. I soon realized I was listening to the Broadway singer/actor Sam Harris. Since I have several of his albums I was not disappointed, just annoyed that it was not properly labeled.


    Have you listened to any of Sam Harris’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Just his music performances. I love his versions of Peace Train, Drinking Again, and Blame It on My Youth.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alec Kristi 01-12-15
    Alec Kristi 01-12-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bought by accident - totally worth it!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The essays are witty, interesting, and the stories are great. Found myself laughing hysterically some moments, then getting teary eyed the next... and how many times I could relate!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Chapter 6 - Opening for Aretha Franklin


    Any additional comments?

    Thought I was buying the book by the different Sam Harris, and although felt disappointed at first, decided to give it a listen anyway - it is totally worth it!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Dillon Milwaukee, WI United States 06-12-14
    Michael Dillon Milwaukee, WI United States 06-12-14 Member Since 2014

    nearlydowntown

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The show must go on, I guess."
    Any additional comments?

    I thought I was buying a book by Sam Harris the religion writer. But this Sam Harris turns out to be an actor/singer, it is not so much a story as much as a collection of memories that are not really connected in any way except that they are about him. I really enjoyed it but Mr Harris ought to be aware that the people (particularly taxi drivers) who wear turbans are Sikhs not Muslims and the accent he uses as "middle eastern" is, in fact, Indian.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey Austin Texas, United States 02-15-14
    Jeffrey Austin Texas, United States 02-15-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Funny, warmhearted and sincere"

    I almost stopped listening to this title after just a few chapters in. I don't care for Sam Harris' singing or his Broadway career. I don't care about Liza Minnelli or Over the Rainbow. I gave it one more chapter which happened to the very first one touching on Sam's son Cooper and Sam's many pets. That hooked me and I happily finished the book. Yes, in the end, Sam wants to share snippets of celebrity sightings and experiences, but he also wants to share his journey as a gay boy and teen and then about a single gay man who falls in love and marries his lover and then raises a family. That's what I cared about, the journey from a homophobic Oklahoma to a normal family in California. The book is technically superb and Sam makes a very good narrator. One last thing, God Bless all of the "Mr. McDowells" in the world.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fai Phoenix, AZ, United States 03-27-14
    Fai Phoenix, AZ, United States 03-27-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Funny and emotional"
    What did you love best about Ham: Slices of a Life?

    I love hearing Sam read the book. His stories came to life because he read it and provided the emotion to make the stories come to life.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed the book bouncing around his life and it not played out chronologically. That kept the stories fresh and interesting.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I loved the story about Liza's wedding and the assembly of all the different people. Sam wrote the story in a humorous way and to hear him read it was hilarious.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed and cried because Sam not only provided humor, he provided deep emotions into the deepest parts of his life.


    Any additional comments?

    Thank for your honesty in writing this, Sam

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Auburn, AL, United States 07-29-15
    Daniel Auburn, AL, United States 07-29-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Your story is my story"

    Awesome listen! Except for the details all of the emotion pain trials and everything else we're the same for me as well as many others. Thank you for sharing a slice of your life!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mnpteach 04-29-15
    Mnpteach 04-29-15 Member Since 2011
    ratings
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    4
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    "Wonderful"
    What did you love best about Ham: Slices of a Life?

    I loved that he sings from time to time.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It's great the way the essays are told out of sequence.


    What about Sam Harris’s performance did you like?

    He blends showmanship with authenticity. It's wonderful to listen to him tell a story.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    n/a


    Any additional comments?

    I will probably buy a hard copy of the book, but I appreciate being able to hear him sing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    scott los angeles, ca, United States 06-08-14
    scott los angeles, ca, United States 06-08-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Witty, Funny and Thought-provoking"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Ham: Slices of a Life to be better than the print version?

    Yes, I bought both


    What did you like best about this story?

    The stories were very relatable and told in funny, but honest way.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Liza, of course.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    My favorite audio book this year.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda Sydney, Australia 05-12-14
    Amanda Sydney, Australia 05-12-14

    Literawesome

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    "Delicious Ham"
    Any additional comments?

    I found many of the stories funny, some touching, others brutally honest and almost awkwardly intimate. Overall, I enjoyed every one of them.

    There were moments where Sam Harris just seemed to recite names of famous people he knew, but for the most part I enjoyed the sneak peak into the life of the neurotic celebrities and kind of feel like I'm best friends with Liza Minnelli too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie 04-02-14
    Stephanie 04-02-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great performance and heartfelt, inspiring stories"
    Where does Ham: Slices of a Life rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Fun and interesting


    What other book might you compare Ham: Slices of a Life to and why?

    Tough to say, in that is autobiographical, but not a linear memoir (it's a collection of stories and experiences that are related, but don't flow in order). Once you get the hang of it though, it's very good. IUt's not all fun and games though - there are tough subjects discussed (which are handled honestly and very well).


    Have you listened to any of Sam Harris’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, this is the first one and I would definitely listen to more


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    His conversation with one of high school teachers (during a tough time in Sam's life). What an inspiration - the situation could have gone so many (negative) ways


    Any additional comments?

    Give this one a try - it's an unusual arrangement, but made me think and reflect on things.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Tim
    DARTFORD, United Kingdom
    11/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This is not the Sam Harris you are looking for"
    Would you try another book written by Sam Harris or narrated by Sam Harris?

    No


    What was most disappointing about Sam Harris’s story?

    This isn't Sam Harris, the famous atheist author


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    This isn't Sam Harris, the famous atheist author


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Anger, sadness, disappointment. This isn't Sam Harris, the famous atheist author


    Any additional comments?

    This isn't Sam Harris, the famous atheist author

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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