Audie Award Nominee, Humor, 2013
For fans of Tina Fey and David Sedaris - Internet star Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, makes her literary debut.
Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives - the ones we'd like to pretend never happened - are in fact the ones that define us. In Let's Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes listeners on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor.
Chapters include: "Stanley the Magical, Talking Squirrel", "A Series of Angry Post-It Notes to My Husband", "My Vagina Is Fine. Thanks for Asking", and "And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane".
©2012 Jenny Lawson (P)2012 Penguin
Oh, I do so adore The Bloggess! She has the most amazingly twisted and wonderful way of looking at the world that I’ve ever encountered. And since the audiobook is narrated by the woman herself, it makes the book that much better. She swears! She screams! She has silly asides! And to cap it all off, she has out-takes at the end! My only problem listening to this book is that I listen while I’m driving (I should have known better, probably), and there were several times I feared for my life, driving down the road with tears streaming, face contorted in laughter, afraid I’d crash the car at any moment. She’s just that damned funny. BUY THIS AUDIOBOOK!
My favorite genres are absurdist humor, Sci-fi & modern fantasy, but, as you can see, I'll read just about anything. Don't mind the typos.
Super fun, bright and refreshing. Jenny Lawson is like your best friend/alter ego with no filter, ADHD and a blogging problem who says the things that you are embarrassed to even think about. I loved every minute of it.
Jenny's no Sarah Vowell or Tina Fey but the story is an enjoyable romp through her life. Not a rib splitter but rather a light, easy story with some fun and humorous interludes. This is one of those books that I can't imagine being read by other than the author and Jenny does a fine job of narration. I'd give it a 3.5 overall if that were allowed.
Prolific reader, writer of short stories, novels and non-fiction.
Never. Aside from the bizarre tales of her upbringing (roadkill, anyone), I found this to be a too-long story about the life of a self-absorbed woman without a lot of outside interests. I stopped listening halfway through because Jenny just did not have the knack for genuinely connecting with the people in her life or with me.
Yes, the content was presented in a sardonic way, marred by an unsympathetic portrayal of the other characters (real people), and with a 'look at me, I'm special' tone.
What followed after the stories about her family was presented in a such a superficial way, e.g., life in the big city, her husband, the birth of her child (which came across as unimportant rather than funny). It's not the individual scenes as much as her me-me-me perspective that quickly became annoying.
Comparing Jenny to Fey or Sedaris is wrong. She is so far NOT in their league in terms of quality of content, consistency of humour, relevance and connecting with the reader/listener. I was beginning to feel sorry for her rather than being entertained.
Unicorn Success Club
I can recite the whole thing from memory.
I'm gonna have to go with her performance of Jenny Lawson, aka "the Bloggess." She nailed it.
I'm actually legally dead, having died of laughter. In lieu of flowers, buy this book.
This book is funnier than the Bible.
I *really* wanted to like this book. Maybe diehard devotees of Jenny Lawson's blog might like it more than I. I thought some of her essays were great, but couldn't stand an entire book of her. It was just... too forced.
I would have trimmed a lot from the book as a whole. Jenny is witty and touching, but her sarcasm and schtick wore thin on me after the first half of the book. Her journey of self-awareness feels contrived and forced--- as if her editor told her that she had to summarize what she learned and how she grew from each anecdote. Her essay about miscarriage and living with chronic illness was really powerful and moving. Her father is fascinating, as is her upbringing. I would have liked to hear more about her parents.
And whoever told her to SING the chapter titles should be fired. That was just cringe-inducing.
I've always found The Blogess's writing very funny, but a lot of that is because she says off-handed, unexpected things that I read as deadpan. Hearing her read it, however, Jenny Lawson is extremely self-aware of the "funny" moments, and says them in a tone like, "HEY GUYS, THIS PART IS FUNNY," which makes it totally unfunny and just ... irritating.
This is not a memoir so much as a collection of stories that the writer thinks are funny. In the end, I didn't feel like I learned anything, it just felt like a lot of cheap laughs sewn together. The only chapter I really liked was the one where she talked about her miscarriages because it was the only one that felt real and human, like there was a point behind the jokes and not just a bunch of funny or awkward moments. Also, she's a good writer, but the tangents drove the me crazy. Listening to this book was like listening to your most ADD friend try to tell stories, but by the middle of the story you've totally forgotten what you were talking about because you've landed somewhere else entirely. That style is funny at first, and it lends itself well to conversational-toned writing in general and blogging in particular, but when an entire book is like that, and especially when you're listening to it rather than reading it, it's extremely annoying.
Everyone has read Jenny’s blog, The Bloggess (and if you haven’t, why the hell not?), and her debut memoir is just like it, full of crazy things she does, awkward conversations she has, crazy texts she shares with Victor or sometimes, dark places she finds herself when her anxiety or depression take hold. The chapters are individual stories, told in chronological order.
Jenny states in the beginning that most of the stories are true, and even though she says only names and dates have been changed, you have to wonder if everything else could really be true. If so, she’s had quite the life! There were a few stories or mentions that I recall from reading her blog, but most everything in the book was new to me.
The way she deals with the setbacks and disappointments in her life are wonderful; she is a great example of how humor can make most anything better. There are some truly sad parts, like her many miscarriages, but she continues on. Though it’s sad at the time, she can look back later and find the funny. She talks a lot about her husband, Victor, and I just adore him. He has (almost) the same sense of humor as Jenny, and he has the patience and understanding of a saint.
My only complaint is the audiobook. I adore Jenny Lawson, but her voice grates on my nerves. A lot of the time, she spoke in a monotone, with hardly any inflection. Several times, she would read a long paragraph or story (in a monotone), and her voice would get this gravelly sound. It got so bad I wanted to say “Clear your throat already!” And for some strange reason, she sang the chapter titles. Not very well. For those reasons alone, I would suggest going for the print version instead of the audio version.
If you like The Bloggess, or awkwardly funny situations, check this one. Beware the salty language.
Commuting and writing from Northern California.
The performance of the narrator is fantastic and so is the story line.
It's funny LOL, so much so tears were flowing and a tragic story, one that is all to familiar (well somewhat). I loved it so much, I bought copies for my friends and family.
Thank you for your witty story and voice to tell this. Much appreciated.
It's the shtick of all the cutesy asides to the listener, in a voice that grates on the nerves.
No. Could have been funnier with editing and someone else reading it.
She has some great material, minus the shtick and her voice.
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