One Sentence Review: Amazingly weird stories with a really long wind down to the conclusion, funny overall but not necessarily laugh out loud.
This is one of those memoirs that make me realize I’m NEVER going to be cool enough to write a memoir. I’m relatively new to the memoir genre reading-wise (I knew they existed and what they were) and reading celebrity memoirs of course you kind of feel like, wow, they have a cool life, of course I want to read about them! But when a regular person writes about things that never in a million years will happen to you, it takes you back a step.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want my arm crushed in a retracted cow-vagina, nor do I want to have debilitating physical or mental issues, but it does make me question my daily routine.
Jenny Lawson’s life has been far from routine, starting with her back-country background with dead squirrel puppets from her father and the cow-vagina incident, and ending with her nerd fame as “The Bloggess.” As someone who was read the book first and the blog second, I would recommend some background blog reading first, only because I think you’re supposed to go in with the fore-knowledge that she may be whacky/funny/crass on the internet, but her home life is very different. After she tells about the craziness that was growing up she starts to lift the veil on her social disorder and her then following physical disorder. Her previous stories now are made a bit more clear, her being the only goth girl in the county, hell, maybe the whole of East Texas, because she wasn’t JUST an introvert.
This doesn’t become a downer of a book though, once this is revealed. She shows her strength by continuing to be funny, retelling her domestic adventures of buying 5 foot tall metal roosters.
I only have two real criticisms: first is that there seems to be a few points where the book could have ended. Now, I listened to the audio book and while entertaining, it got a bit long. She seems to wrap it up in the first real return to her family’s home (in the book) and she and her sister sit on the porch realizing this family home isn’t THEIR family home, so therefore they’re not responsible for getting the goats out of the house. But the book keeps going for the equivalent of at least an hour on the audio book. The stories are still good, but feel a bit redundant.
The other is that once they’re married, much of the interactions between her and her husband make her seem like someone I would not want to live with. She doesn’t ever seem to explain things to him as he walks in on her sprawled out flat on the floor, stuff scattered everywhere and the dog barking his head off. Instead of giving him the real and reasonable explanation, she answers questions with questions and finally flippant, sarcastic answers that are only half the story, then rolls her eyes and gives up on really letting him in. She comes off as superior and never taking responsibility. I have a feeling that this isn’t how things actually happen between them, though. I think it may just be a funnier version of a not-funny-at-the-time situation. When it came to those stories, I had to remind myself of what she’s really going through, the mentally and physically draining problems she has. In this way she’s actually holding the reader at arms length, even though she’s let us inside the many layers of her world.
To that I say, continue to let us in, or else what’s the point? Still a really good book and I definitely recommend it to anyone who has ever felt weird and is okay with the word Vagina being repeated multiple times. 🙂