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Senseless behavior - that's mishegas. According to Harley Dresner, it means life with overbearing, obstreperous, melodramatic parents and a pugilistic, caffeine-addicted, octogenarian uncle. Blend Jerry Seinfeld's and Raymond Barone's parents together and the result is the Vesuvian mess that Dresner calls his family.
In one vignette, social graces are callously thrown to the Las Vegas desert wind when Gerry and Uncle Bernard offend everyone from hotel receptionists to street hookers. Further listening finds doctoring for sport, a new American pastime through obsessions with colonoscopies, and wars waged against phlegm.
Dresner's unmistakable, take-no-prisoners sarcasm and wit shine through this dysfunctional Cruise to Nowhere. His memoir is a fresh, laugh-out-loud study of life-long relationships that proves one can embrace familial roots while maintaining perspective and sanity.
Listeners will revel in the uncomfortable, squirming circumstances in which a family routinely embroils a child. Anyone who wouldn't dream of running away from the family they would love to escape understands Mishegas.
What listeners say about Mishegas: A Concrete Tale of Family Quicksand
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A meticulous Maven of Mishegas
This well performed Audio book is a sweet Memoir of a typical New York Jewish family and its eventual evolution. It is a entertaining read and will be enjoyed by all listeners regardless of their Religion or Ethnic background. This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.
1 person found this helpful
- Tina Gundy
Stories everyone can relate & laugh out loud to!
Mishegas: A Concrete Tale of Family Quicksand by Harley Dresner is a fun, laugh out loud, don’t eat or drink when listening kind of book. 4 ½ solid stars. The book contains stories everyone can relate to or at least can say “I know someone like that” (and if you find yourself saying I don’t have someone like that in my family, it just might be you). The book is filled with various stories told from Harley’s point of view on outings or dealings with his parents, Gerry and Sydelle, and his uncle Bern. There is a good variety, ranging from his younger days to adult days. By the end, you’re left wanting a little more (in a good way) and it’s bittersweet. The narrator has potential and was easy to listen to with only a couple hiccups throughout the book. I would listen to another one of his narrations no problem. Some of quotes I enjoyed: (In reference to Bern) "I never tired of hearing them. His stories were repeated often but they never got old. I miss those stories terribly. I would give anything to hear them one more time." Bern is someone everyone should have in their lives. His stories helped to make the book as great as it is, especially “The Gouche” incidents. If the author decides to write another book, I hope it is on Bern. "Mishegas may change, but it never goes away." The things I didn’t care for: At times, a couple of the stories were long-winded. The narrator use a few voices I could’ve went without (two very small parts). These things did not ruin the book by any means, but were enough for me to deduct a half a star. Overall, I recommend the book. Do yourself a favor and listen to this book, especially if you’re having a bad day. Parental warnings/trigger advisory: a couple words such as bastard or slurs due to religion or ethnicity (dirty Jew, no good drunk Irishman, etc.- told during two of the Bern stories), two fights resulting from the slurs, cancer, death, brief mention of Korean War (Bern served), the author siding with doctors, and upper nudity of male at doctor’s office. *I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. Thank you for allowing me to listen and review the book!