Actress and humorist Annabelle Gurwitch returns with I See You Made an Effort, a collection of essays so wickedly funny it may make you forget your last birthday. Not one to shy away from the grisly realities of middle age, the “slyly subversive” (O: The Oprah Magazine) Gurwitch confronts the various indignities faced by femmes d’un certain âge with candor, wit, and a healthy dose of hilarious self-deprecation.
Whether falling in lust at the Genius Bar, navigating the extensive - and treacherously expensive - anti-aging offerings at a department store beauty counter, coping with the assisted suicide of her best friend, negotiating the ins and outs of acceptable behavior with her teenage kid or the thudding financial reality of the “never-tirement” generation that leads her to petty theft, Gurwitch’s essays prove her a remarkably astute writer in her prime (in so many ways). Is this the beginning of the Eileen Fisher years? Where does one conduct an affair with a younger man? Is 50 the new 40? Or is 50 still just…50? Scorchingly honest, surreally and riotously funny, I See You Made an Effort is the ultimate coming-of-middle-age story and a must listen for women of all ages.
©2014 Annabelle Gurwitch (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. Recorded by arrangement with Blue Rider Press, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.
Nurse, mother, wife, Catholic and avid reader!
This is a great "coming of age" memoir, but just a different age than we are used to. Covers the full spectrum of life from the competing demands from kids and parents, career and family, financial security versus artistic satisfaction. While she is often funny, this is not a comedy so some people may be put off by that. But comediennes are people and they have real lives that includes more than telling jokes.
She goes into brutal detail about the indignities of aging. Not only the physical shortcomings of failing eyesight, sleep creases that don't go away for hours, vaginal dryness to the diminishing respect when aging in a youth obsessed industry. I am 45 so I am just starting this god forsaken chapter, don't know if I would appreciate it as much if I were too much younger.
The only thing I didn't like was the coverage of her time in a cult. It was ancient history but somehow she put it in, perhaps feeling like she had to cover it to be honest about her past but I didn't think it added anything. Also, I wanted to know who her rich successful friend was!!! I thought maybe Bill Maher because they are close, but then she mentioned wife. Didn't think it was Seinfeld, but maybe. Anyway rich and famous friend- your secret is safe with Annabelle!!
Anne in Happy Valley
One of the best performed, funniest memoirs I've listened to. Right up there with David Sedaris, Kristen Johnson (Guts) and that wonderful British woman (How to Be a Woman, I think).
This is a book for late female boomers -- I was born in 1960 and I think Gurwitch was born in 1961 or '62.
Her cadence, pacing, wry tone.
Yes, it was genuinely both funny and touching. I'd like to revisit this book in about 10 years, when I'm well into my 60s, to see if what I think about my 50s has changed.
Listening to Gurwitch talk about watching her dear friend dying of cancer was a tearful counterpoint to the overall hilarity of the book, but you can't talk about turning 50 without discussing death.
I think the whole dating consultant chapter had me in stitches from start to finish. A custom-made perfume that was "a Proustian blend of bubble gum and vagina"--sheer genius.
In a world where everyone is a beautiful 20 something, hidden away by media and those who can jump on trampolines without peeing their pants, is an entire society of *gasp* people in middle age.
I really loved this book, and I was so glad to hear Gurwitch herself reading it. If I were as funny and as insightful as the author, I could have written this book. Arthritis, raising teens, middle aged sex, dating over 40, aging parents, career stereotypes, and the threat of not having enough money for retirement--she covered it all. Most of it was laugh-out-loud hysterical, and a few sections will have you weeping. As funny as "Fired" with the pathos that only being 50 can bring. Recommend.
Expected more LOL moments - Wait, I expected at least one...I was disappointed.
I really like Annabelle as an actress. It was news to me that she was a self professed atheist. As I was listening I couldn't help but think that maybe if she knew the love of the Holy Spirit, she wouldn't be so pessimistic.
My impression was that it was a stand up comedy routine stretched out to fill the pages of a book. Not great literature but a few funny spots.
I read it as a book club member and was glad I had gotten through it.
Nope....stoped being funny after a very short time.
Audio quality was not great. Did not sound professional.
It had its moments, but all in all, it left me cold. The author has had a long career in Hollywood, and I would have been interested to hear more about that, but the focus of the book- how awful it is to be almost 50, and what it means for her nether regions, pretty much dominated the book. Why do those in Hollywood think its suddenly really funny to say the word 'vagina' casually? I don't get it. I thought the idea that women have causal and funny conversations with each other about their most intimate body parts was an invention of Judd Apatow and his crew. I would say her ubiquitous use of the phrase 'my vagina' was a generational thing but she is only 3 years younger than me. Its just not funny. I don't accept the misogynistic view that women are not as funny as men- but I also know that women who try to be as funny as men by trying to out-gross them are just not very interesting.
The author has a good stand -up comedy routine that is amusing for all of 10 minutes of self deprecating humor....After that, I completely lost patience with the hyperbole and complaining. And, by the way, it's not that I am too young to 'get it'....I'm 80! I would like to 'return' this book for my 1 credit refund
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