A unique perspective on everything I devour from food to drink to books and beyond.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Short and Sweet Book Reviews - Book #1
Apologies for the lapse in time between postings, it's been a busy week. To make up for it here is number one in a series of Short and Sweet book reviews I will be doing.
Book #1 Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea
by Chelsea Handler
You love her, you hate her. It really doesn't matter because clearly she doesn't care what you think, but I personally love her. I want to be her.
Chelsea was born in Jersey as the youngest of six children to a rather dysfunctional family and she's willing to tell you every hilarious, if not uncomfortable, moment from her childhood to now.
The book is a series of tall-ish tales beginning when she was about 10 that seem to be a little much to believe, but if you've ever read her or seen her show you know it's all true.
Her antics begin in elementary school when she convinces her class that she will be playing Goldie Hawn's daughter in the sequel to Private Benjamin. They continue into her teen years and early adulthood where she ended up in prison. They then conclude in her 30's where she basically spent her days and nights drinking, doing stand-up, engaging in gratuitous one night stands and ending up famous.
Excerpt from pg. 65 (A few hours after sitting in jail, arrested on DUI suspicion)
My name was called rather quickly and I went into the office, sitting down across from a Latino woman in her forties. "Hi," I said, with a bounce in my step. "Hi, Miss...Handler?" she said, looking up at me with what I took to be sympathy. Finally. "Yup, that's me," I said, shaking my head at the injustice of it all. "Okay, there are a couple options. Do you have any special skills?" "Skills? Not really, no. I'm good at reading, I can type pretty fast...I'm not sure what you're asking me?" i asked confused. "Well, you're here for work placement, so there are different things to choose from: You could work in the kitchen, or anything from license plate to wooden wind chimes, or you can enroll in school and get your GED." "What are you talking about? No, no, no...I'm not working here, you don't seem to understand. First of all, I am supposed to be getting bailed out this morning. I do not want a job making wind chimes or fixing cars and I already graduated from high school...barely, but I did, so I don't need a GED! I want to go home! I just want to go home! What exactly is the problem with you people?" "Listen, Miss Handler, everyone thinks they are going home. But the reality of the situation is that eighty-five percent of the inmates booked end up spending a minimum of six months here, and if you want to start earning money, the thing for you to do is get a job." "That was it. I stood up and placed my hands on her desk. "Listen up, miracle ear," I told her. "I spoke with my aunt last night , and she has already paid the money to get me out, okay? I am waiting for them to release me any minute. That is the situation. So for all I care, you can put my name down to plant prison flowers, or style inmates' hair, or head up the womens' f*cking field hockey team. I am not staying here!" "Next." she said. I looked up at the ceiling. "Are you there, vodka? It's me, Chelsea. Please get me out of jail and I promise I will never drink again. Drink and drive. I will never drink and drive again. I may even start my own group fashioned after MADD, but I'll call it AWLTDASH, Alcoholic's Who Like To Drink and Stay Home."
I will sum it up like with an analogy. The beginning was like the waiter forgetting to ring in your appetizer so your entree comes and it's really good so you forgive him. The middle was like an amazing dessert, rich with character. The end was like getting that appetizer your waiter forgot about but now you're full and you don't want it anymore.
The funny just wasn't balanced throughout. It's like she had stroke of comic genius days writing and then "it'll do" days writing. I will say her 80's pop-culture references were probably the best part because I completely identified with them and could place myself in the scene with her as she told her stories. Which brings me to my last and final point. It has nothing to do with the book but when I looked up some facts of imdb.com I found out her birthday is 1975. That means she's only 1 year older then me. Huh?
Birthday: Sept. 21, 1976
Birthday: February 25, 1975
Ok, ok. Maybe that was my senior year high school yearbook picture but common! Am I that wrinkly???
Next Short and Sweet Book Review: Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain