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Lizz Free or Die: Essays | [Lizz Winstead]

Lizz Free or Die: Essays

Lizz Winstead, co-creator of The Daily Show and one of today's most hilarious comedians and insightful social critics, pens a brilliant account of how she discovered her comedic voice. In this collection of autobiographical essays, Winstead vividly recounts how she fought to find her own voice, both as a comedian and as a woman, and how humor became her most powerful weapon in confronting life's challenges.
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Publisher's Summary

Lizz Winstead, co-creator of The Daily Show and one of today's most hilarious comedians and insightful social critics, pens a brilliant account of how she discovered her comedic voice. In this collection of autobiographical essays, Winstead vividly recounts how she fought to find her own voice, both as a comedian and as a woman, and how humor became her most powerful weapon in confronting life's challenges.

Growing up in the Midwest, the youngest child of conservative Catholic parents, Winstead learned early in her life that the straightforward questions she posed to various authority figures around her - her parents, her parish priest, even an anti-abortion counselor - prompted many startled looks and uncomfortable silences, but few answers. Her questions rattled people because they exposed the inconsistencies and hypocrisies in the people and institutions she confronted. Yet she didn't let that stop her from pursuing her dreams.

Funny and biting, honest and poignant, this no-holds-barred collection gives an in-depth look into the life of one of today's most influential comic voices. In writing about her childhood longing to be a priest, her role in developing The Daily Show, and of her often problematic habit of diving into everything head first, asking questions later (resulting in multiple rescue-dog adoptions and travel disasters), Lizz Winstead has tapped an outrageous and heartfelt vein of the all-too-human comedy.

©2012 Lizz Winstead (P)2012 Penguin Audio

What Members Say

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  •  
    Diane United States 08-13-12
    Diane United States 08-13-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    166
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    "Loved it!"
    Any additional comments?

    Disclaimer: Memoirs by smart funny people are my favorite kind of book. They’re easy to listen to (meaning, I can do other things while I listen), entertaining and, when they’re well done, I learn something.

    Lizz Winstead IS smart and funny, she’s had an interesting life and her writing is honest and engaging. I was not disappointed.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susie Bright Santa Cruz, CA USA 06-27-12
    Susie Bright Santa Cruz, CA USA 06-27-12 Listener Since 2001

    http://susiebright.com

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    6
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    Story
    "I Could Listen to Lizz All Day"
    Any additional comments?

    Of course you expect Lizz Winstead to be funny. But she also brought me to tears with her stories of her family-- her late parents were strict Catholics addicted to Fox News-- and yet they loved each other so dearly. Her family are Irish Catholics from Minnesota, and when she channels their voices, I can hear my own relatives...

    If you love the Daily Show, (she was the co-creator... and so much more) if you dig feminist funny, if you love to talk about sex, politics, and how life is ALWAYS stranger than fiction, you will love Lizz's memoir as much as I did.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    glamazon The Coast of Rhode Island 06-19-12
    glamazon The Coast of Rhode Island 06-19-12 Member Since 2003

    glam

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very Funny But a Difficult Listen"

    Hard to reconcile the paradox in the title of this review.

    I found Lizz Winstead's story/stories very relatable - I empathize with her affinity for the non-traditional path for women, and, indeed, for people in general whatever their gender, and I think she is extremely funny.

    Her achievements are admirable.

    However, her rapid staccato sing-songy delivery in this book made me a little dizzy. It's like she needs to lower her caffeine intake or try "Sleepytime" tea instead. I have no idea what her drink of choice may be, but I definitely couldn't listen for very long segments without getting comedic whiplash.

    Lizz - calm down! You're funny, amusing, entertaining, and we're not going anywhere.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adrian Beeville, TX, United States 07-14-14
    Adrian Beeville, TX, United States 07-14-14 Member Since 2011

    Author of Kindertransport

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Laugh 'til I Die!"
    What did you love best about Lizz Free or Die?

    I knew I would love this book, but it wildly exceeded my expectations.


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

    If I could have quit my job, drove to the beach and listened to this book straight through, I would totally have done that. Yes, it was that good!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Art by Hui Boston, MA USA 05-17-13
    Art by Hui Boston, MA USA 05-17-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
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    5
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    "One of my favorite audiobooks."
    If you could sum up Lizz Free or Die in three words, what would they be?

    Funny, poignant, real.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Winstead's stories brought humility to day to day experiences and loved how Winstead explained how the right wing religious group's rhetoric is inexplicably flawed. It was also great to share her experience of making it in the comedy world and the hilarity that ensued. Loved Lizz Winstead's stories!


    What about Lizz Winstead’s performance did you like?

    Her performance was like I was sitting across from her, sharing all the funny and sometimes cringe-worthy experiences of a friend.


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

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    I wish the new material in the paperback can be updated here too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L.C. Meredith Durham, NC USA 02-23-13
    L.C. Meredith Durham, NC USA 02-23-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    12
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    Story
    "Drive Carefully"
    If you could sum up Lizz Free or Die in three words, what would they be?

    So damn funny


    What did you like best about this story?

    I listened on the way home from work to cheer myself up. It worked amazingly well!

    One note of caution: I had to pull over a few times because I laughed so hard my eyes filled with tears. It's probably not a good choice if you're in a hurry.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Candy/Edie the "clean and passionate" rescue dog


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

    Yes, but I made it last. It cheered me up about 10 separate times.


    Any additional comments?

    I hope she writes another!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom Eagle, CO, United States 12-24-12
    Tom Eagle, CO, United States 12-24-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Laughing and Crying with Lizz"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. I want them to laugh.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Lizz-She is so real in a whacky way.


    What about Lizz Winstead’s performance did you like?

    Her funny tales


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

    Yes,


    Any additional comments?

    I loved Lizz's impersonation of her mother. A perfect MN accent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Placitas, NM, United States 11-16-12
    Robert Placitas, NM, United States 11-16-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Not funny"

    This book as a whole is not funny and whatever else it is is hard to figure out. What is worse is that Lizz has an awful voice. Keep the narration for the professionals!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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