Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Review of "Let's Pretend This Never Happened"

I mostly read serious books. Last month, I read an entire book all about salt. (Titled Salt by Mark Kurlanksy- my students now think I have even less of a life than they thought I had in the first place, but honestly, it was a really good book!) Usually, if a novel is old, the author dead, and the title on some mandatory college reading list from the 1950's, then I'm excited about it. I love Faulkner and Steinbeck and Hemingway and Fitzgerald. I love Of Human Bondage, The Wings of the Dove, Sister Carrie and other such novels that make most people want to step in front of a speeding semi-truck rather than read to the second chapter. But hey, I love more recent novels, too. I've read every single book that Cormac McCarthy has ever written....

I guess what I'm trying to say is that when I read, I'm not looking to laugh. And then I picked up Jenny Lawson's Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir. And I almost peed my pants. I became that person who is sitting alone at Starbuck's, laughing her ass off by herself and making the people sitting around her very uncomfortable. From the taxidermied animals, to the dysfunctional, but well-meaning, family anecdotes, to the most awkward high school experiences ever: this book will literally have you laughing so hard you'll cry. Not for the faint of heart or easily offended, but if you appreciate dark humor spiced with a tell-it-like-it-is tone and a wicked knack for classic storytelling, then this novel will be right up your alley.

 In short, this is the funniest book I have ever read. Seriously.

6 comments:

  1. Yes, totally! It was hilarious. And relateable. How did she do that?? Loved the book. Hadn't read her blog before, but now I have a new place to go when I need a laugh.

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    1. I think there must be a special gift to writing comedy that is both raw and touching... and Jenny Lawson certainly has that gift!

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  2. I picked this up at the airport... It was pretty funny, it kept me reading. The newest paperback version comes with a list of suggested questions for discussion like "Were you surprised by the ending of 'Stanley, the Magical Talking Squirrel'? Is it possible to find laughter in such horrific stories?" and a bonus chapter entitled "There's a Serious Lack of Prostitutes on This Tour."

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  3. Ha ha- I love the title of the bonus chapter (I read the hard back version)!

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  4. Hilarious! Great recommendation. My Goodreads review:
    An extremely entertaining read, but not for the faint of heart when it comes to prim and proper language. Jenny Lawson makes Richard Pryor look downright Amish in comparison! I have to admit, I've been to The Bloggess's site a few times, but am not one of her regular readers and devoted fans. Still, the situations she finds herself in are I-Love-Lucyesque ... if Lucy had a fetish for taxidermy and cursed like a sailor. This is situational comedy at it's best. Lawson does a great job of painting a picture ... though it's pictures of things like her arm stuck up a cow's vagina ... nothing I'd want hanging in MY home! I laughed out loud at her vivid anecdotes and ludicrous rants. I love how she lets you be a fly on the wall at conversations with her husband and gives an even scarier glimpse at the conversations going on inside her own head. If you think you're neurotic, physically imperfect, a social misfit or just find yourself occasionally whining, "Why does X always happen to me?" you'll walk away from this book feeling pretty darn good about your own life! Laugh out loud funny, right from the gynecologist anecdote on page one of chapter one!

    Thanks for the recommendation!

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    1. I'm so glad you read this book, Parri! It so reminded me of you (well, NOT the actual incidents in the book, but her tone and story-telling style). Great review, too!

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Thanks for your comments!