Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I Know I Am But What Are You? - Samantha Bee (Audio)


A good majority of the books I read have a general level of gravitas...people die, animals die, people struggle with their personal baggage, people fight, people get divorced, there are wars, you know. A body can only take so much of this drama, no matter how well-written. That is when I turn to a small dose of self-deprecating, sarcastic, raunchy humor...David Sedaris, Jon Stewart, and one of the correspondents from Stewart's Daily Show, Samantha Bee. The expectation isn't to be emotionally moved. I'm just looking for some comedic relief!

Synopsis: Bee has lived a fairly unconventional life thus far, and has used this book as letting it all hang out there for us to see and be entertained, as embarrassing as it might be. An only child of divorced parents, she converts her youthful awkwardness into something light-hearted and laughable:

"Dating from well before the turn of the twentieth century, if there has ever been a successful, happy marriage in my family lineage, I have yet to hear about it. When I rack my brain, I can't think of a single adult, other than myself, in my immediate or extended family who has not been painfully divorced at least once, usually twice -- even the gay ones. This inspires tremendous confidence in my husband."

Whether she is sharing stories about her crush on Jesus, on doing drugs, stealing cars, watching porn at a young age, or her knack for attracting exposed penises, she doesn't hold anything back.

My thoughts: Maybe I'm just burned out from writing what appears to be 140-ish reviews in 2010, but I don't have a whole lot of insightful commentary to reveal about this audiobook. Like the Sedaris collections, it is a series of short stories, where she reveals outlandish tales of her childhood, and not so outlandish tales but spiced up to be funny anyway. (She could probably find irony and humor in my life, she is just that type of comedian.) The segments are often rude, with all races, religions and walks of life insulted equally. I am almost unoffendable in these situations, and I laughed at every cuss word and politically incorrect slur.

A word about the audio production: The book is narrated by Bee herself, and like Sedaris, it really works. She is easy to listen to - she has an expressive voice - and she has a wicked dry sense of humor and good timing. It was a nice break from the norm, quick to listen to...I'd say it accomplished its goal!

3 out of 5 stars



19 comments:

farmlanebooks said...

I'm probably one of your only readers to be turned off by the comparison to Sedaris...

Nymeth said...

We all need comedic relief sometimes! I'm glad to hear you had fun with this :)

Julie P. said...

Sounds like a guilty pleasure.

bermudaonion said...

I need a book like this in my life right now.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I like books like this every once in a while too, especially in the car!

Zibilee said...

This sounds like it's a lot of fun, and what with all the heavier things I have been reading in the last few months, this would probably provide a good break for me. I am going to have to check it out. Glad you liked it!

marthalama said...

I love Samantha Bee and didn't know she had a book out so thank you for putting my on the trail of her audiobook. I really do think I need to hear her read it.

The Bumbles said...

You know you are burnt out from writing reviews if you dread finishing a book because you can't bear the effort of reviewing it. If you ever get to that point, read a really crummy book and write a scathing review or read a Babysitters Club installment and rag on it for kicks ;0) We love your reviews - they are always honest and let us know where you are coming from.

Serena said...

I'm not sure how many books you read for the challenge, but there are 3 giveaways up for participants of the Vietnam War Reading Challenge. I hope you'll enter and spread the word.

Marie said...

I'm looking for something light to listen to while I work on some painting in my house--this might do the trick! Thanks for the reco.

I'm not a huge Sedaris fan, but I like Samantha Bee on The Daily Show.

caite said...

love the cover...

Melissa M said...

I'm not really a Sedaris fan, but there are times that quick, mindless, funny reads are just the thing.

irisonbooks said...

Not sure if this is for me, but I am glad you enjoyed this book nonetheless.

Trisha said...

I've been having problems writing book reviews this past month! A bit of burnout it seems. My brain is just not working properly right now. :)

Beth F said...

Grrrrr Blogger just ate my insightful comment. I ended with "sometimes you just need a pick-me-up."

Jenners said...

I'm with you ... these books are pure fun and there often isn't too many things you have to say other than "It made me laugh."

Kathleen said...

It is definitely nice to break up the heavy reads with the fun ones like these!

Alice Teh said...

It's not something that I would pick up BUT I'm glad you like it. Rock on, Sandy!

Meg said...

Sounds fun -- and yes, we definitely need to just relax, laugh and not be weighed down by things like death, war and grief sometimes!