Monday, August 20, 2012

Book Review: It Looked Different On The Model by Laurie Notaro

Laurie Notaro has always been an author that I highly recommend for humor, although I have to say that my experiences with her have been a bit iffy.  After reading this one I think I might need to reread some others and remind myself why I love her - or show myself why she was just a phase.  Since we're talking humorous essays, I'm not dividing my comments up this time, just giving you my thoughts.  Humor is way to subjective to assess from a critical point of view (at least for a non-expert like me).  I'm sure there are literary experts in the field who could give a detailed overview of what good and bad humor writing looks like, but for me its either it makes me laugh or it doesn't.

In this book, Notaro made me smile.  There weren't any laugh out loud moments like I experienced in Autobiography of a Fat Bride or We Thought You Would Be Prettier.  But I also enjoyed it much more than The Idiot Girls' Action Adventure Club.  I think it really depends for me on finding something about Notaro's essay that I can identify with.  The Idiot Girls' Action Adventure Club were about Notaro's drunken escapades as a young adult.  I had no drunken escapades, so nothing to identify with there. 

This one, however, gave me several good identifying moments, especially during the essays in which Notaro describes her Ambien habits - eating, shopping, sending emails, etc. and forgetting by the morning.  Because, yeah.  Been there, done that.  Obviously, the essays I found less funny were the ones I couldn't identify with (trying on too-small clothes in a fancy boutique - not in a million years). 

Overall, it was a hit or miss for whether or not I really found it funny.  I truly enjoyed a good 50% of the essays, but the other 50% were just meh.  They'd make good blog entries, but weren't so great for a book, unless you're already a fan of the author and get her schtick.  If you've read her before and love her, you'll want to read it.  If you haven't read her before, I'd start with We Thought You Would Be Prettier or Autobiography of a Fat Bride and see what you think from there.

I read this one in ebook form from my non-local library (Free Library of Philadelphia).

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