I was never really a fan of Sarah Silverman, nor was I truly familiar with her work at The Sarah Silverman Program on Comedy Central. I do, however, remember that she was dating Jimmy Kimmel at some point and created a really funny video for his show that went viral called, “I’m F***ing Matt Damon”.
Check out that video here.
“She is a comedienne, her book should be funny, right?” That was one of the thoughts that crossed my mind when I got this book. Also, it was on the Top 10 list of New York Times Non-fiction Bestsellers for awhile and I only recently picked up the e-book.
Ms Silverman has decided to write her own foreword, which is usually reserved for other book critics to input quotes on their opinion of the book. She was also rather candid in explaining that she only got this book deal because she is a famous comedian, and not because she wanted to inspire people or impart any wisdom.
The book was off to a good start.
Here’s the (supposedly funny) warning from publisher before you purchase the book:-
At HarperCollins, we are committed to customer satisfaction. Before proceeding with your purchase, please take the following questionnaire to determine your likelihood of enjoying this book:
1. Which of the following do you appreciate?
(a) Women with somewhat horse-ish facial features.
(b) Women who, while not super Jew-y, are more identifiably Jewish than, say, Natalie Portman.
(c) Frequent discussion of unwanted body hair.
2. Are you offended by the following behavior?
(a) Instructing one’s grandmother to place baked goods in her rectal cavity.
(b) Stripping naked in public—eleven times in a row.
(c) Stabbing one’s boss in the head with a writing implement.
3. The best way to treat an emotionally fragile young girl is:
(a) Murder the main course of her Thanksgiving dinner before her very eyes.
(b) Tell her that her older sister is prettier than she, and then immediately die.
(c) Prevent her suicide by recommending she stay away from open windows.
For the record, that was not particularly funny or intriguing to me.
Without spoiling it for you, should you be thinking about picking up this book, it takes you through her childhood being a bedwetter (no spoilers here, obviously – that’s the title of the book). What you wouldn’t have thought, was that Ms Silverman was a bedwetter way into her teens.
I applaud her courage in coming out with this information and sharing her emotions and experience going through this… condition (???) growing up. I can try to understand that it must not have been easy for herself or her family growing up. How that inspired her to create more attention to herself into a form of comedy and laughs, is beyond me.
Nevertheless, she grew up making people laugh and she has now successfully turned it into her career. She takes you through her journey working in comedy clubs, doing a short writing stint with Saturday Night Live (where none of her written jokes was ever produced) and getting her own show on Comedy Central (which lasted over 3 seasons now).
What I dislike about the book is too much to point out. But I shall try…
- Her constant reminder that she is Jewish. I don’t know why she felt she needed to highlight this so many times?
- Her (way too) honest insight in the process of writing this book. It made chapters feel very choppy, where you can actually feel interrupted by her train of thoughts and being able to imagine she probably took long breaks in between chapters.
- The insane amount of poop, arse and dick jokes. They can be funny in the beginning and kinda gets lame the more she talks about them. Oh. And there is a picture of a phallus of one of her writing crew in there, too – in case you forgot how a male genital (apparently) always humours her.
- There were a number of name dropping. Which I guess she did to share her influence and inspiration from people around her. Also, considering she’s now 39, she has probably met a number of funnymen.
- She tried to avoid the self-pity route retelling her somewhat broken past, and attempted humour and her spin to make the book. Which felt a little (if not, a lot) disjointed in many ways. I won’t call her the best writer when it comes to story-telling here.
I found out that I am not the only one who dislikes her book. Read about the Guardian’s review here. It assured me that I wasn’t the only one disliking it, especially when the Amazon comments were … errr…. favourable.
It was a blessing in disguise that I got this as an e-book, where I didn’t really feel the weight of the book nor noticed how many more pages I have to go before I finish the book. I get the idea it wasn’t a thick autobiography. Mental note to check it out in the bookstore next time. Basically, it wasn’t really one of those books where I dread to count the pages, hoping the book would end soon. Like Tyra Banks’ Modelland (which I will get to soon).
In summary, I would only rate this book a measly 2 out of 5. I’m not a fan of the book at all, but I somehow feel that any fan of her work would disagree. Although I also did read that you needn’t be a fan of her to find this book enjoyable.
Nevertheless, if you are intrigued and don’t believe me or value my opinion much, go ahead and pick up the book. You might like it.
If you have read it and disagree with me, let me know in the comments.
I’m just thankful that I will likely forget about ever having read this book as soon as I hit the “Publish” button on this blog post.