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Book Review: The Bedwetter by Sarah Silerman (Bottom of TBR Pile Challenge)

Sarah Silverman in a uniform.Summary:
Sarah Silverman is a petite, Jewish comedienne from New Hampshire who has written for SNL and has her own show The Sarah Silverman Program. This is her memoir.

Review:
This review needs a bit of backstory.

Once upon a time, I was dating a guy who is now so universally loathed by myself and my friends that we usually just refer to him as The Douche. Sometimes The Dickwad.  One of his all-time favorite comics was (is?) Sarah Silverman, I’m not sure if that’s because A) he finds her funny B) she’s from NH and Jewish and he’s from NH and Jewish or C) he secretly wants to bang her. It is possible it is all three.

Sarah Silverman's signatureIn any case, I am not a fan of Sarah Silverman myself, but when I saw that she was coming to Brookline Booksmith to do a live reading and signing of her new book, I bought tickets for us to surprise him with. Because I am seriously that awesome of a girlfriend. I kid you not.  In any case, I did also buy myself a book to have signed because who goes to a book signing and reading doesn’t get a copy signed?

When I say that I’m not a fan of Sarah Silverman I don’t mean oh I don’t really know I never watched or heard or blah de blah. That’s not how my relationship with my ex (The Douche) worked. He liked her, ergo I wound up watching basically everything she ever did. I don’t dislike the woman, but honestly her sense of humor is not my style. It doesn’t offend me, but it also doesn’t make me laugh. The most she might get is a snort.

You can see how non-plussed I was by the whole event from this Friday Fun! post I did about it. (You may notice that post doesn’t mention my ex at all. Painting on the wall, Amanda. But I digress).  In fact, the main things that stood out to me at the event were A) how poor Sarah seemed like an introvert who really just needed to be given a cup of tea and sent away from this huge crowd and B) how mortified I was by my ex trying desperately to be all “Hey I’m from NH too!” during the book signing. Dear Sarah, if you are reading this, I was the girl cringing next in line while you somehow managed to not be like “Wow another Jew in Brookline who has been to NH. I am shocked.” Also, we compared signatures later and my name got an exclamation point and a heart, which his did not. I told him that meant you liked me better. Possibly not true, but it was fun to use during fights, so.  Brownie points to you, girlfriend.

In any case!  Oddly, I still had this book, unread, on my shelf, signed by Sarah, over a year after my relationship with the ex dissolved. If that doesn’t say Bottom of TBR Pile I don’t know what does.  But, I think it’s important to know the backstory of I’m not a fan and I got this book going to a book signing with my douchey ex who embarrassed me in front of a celebrity and I couldn’t pick it up for over a year due to a combination of first missing my ex while simultaneously loathing him then after that faded to just not being a fan so why would I pick up a book I would probably find not funny anyway?

Because I’m ocd about my tbr pile that’s why.

So. Knowing all of this, you will understand why my review you are about to read is more like “hey I’m a librarian so who might want to read this and what would they think” as opposed to “omg I love Sarah Silverman and here’s what I think of her book.” Capiche?

This is a memoir that says a lot without actually saying all that much.  Sarah tells us some things about her childhood and adult life without actually getting into the nitty gritty real details of who Sarah is.  The deeper moments we get are the best in the book–when she talks about struggling with depression in her pre and early teens and about being a long-term bedwetter.  Beyond that, we don’t really get to know Sarah. What makes Sarah tick. How does she feel about being an agnostic while her sister is a rabbi on a kibbutz, for instance? Or how did it feel to have a relationship so abundantly in the public eye? (Hers with Jimmy Kimmel. Side-note: I’m Fucking Matt Damon is the only thing she’s done that I find uproariously funny).

Ok, I get it, some people aren’t comfortable talking about more personal stuff (even though that’s what people want in a memoir).  But she’s a celebrity. She’s got unique experiences that can’t be all *that* personal.  Like maybe she could talk a bit more about what being backstage at the MTV VMAs was like. But all we get is “oh the comics don’t get to see the act right before them.”  Kind of disappointing.

There’s also the fact that the memoir is not particularly linear.  It kind of swoops around in an ADD manner.  Some readers might enjoy that. Others might be turned off. Again, that could be the sense of humor that I just don’t get.

Overall, it’s not a bad memoir. It’s not like it was torturesome to read.  It just falls short of the level of information that people kind of expect from a celebrity memoir.  It’s possible that it’s an uproariously funny piece of writing, but you’d have to be a fan of Sarah Silverman’s sense of humor to be able to determine that, which I am not.

Recommended for fans of Sarah Silverman with the understanding that it’s more a piece of comedic work than a revealing memoir.

3 out of 5 stars

Source: Brookline Booksmith

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Friday Fun! (Sarah Silverman)

April 30, 2010 3 comments

Hello my lovely readers!  Sorry there was no Friday Fun post last week.  I had the day off and was staying as far away from the computer as possible.  🙂

Last weekend I got to meet Sarah Silverman!  She was in town for her book tour for The Bedwetter.  She read a portion of the book featuring her father’s hilarious voice mails to her.  This was followed by a Q+A session that I’m pretty sure nobody in the audience was aware was going to happen.  It took us a bit to come up with semi-good questions.  Among the things I learned:

  • She doesn’t drink. (Say what?!)
  • Her feelings were hurt by the whole TED fiasco, and her presentation for it is still unavailable online.
  • She originally mocked twitter, but now loves it as a “message in a bottle” feature for her life.
  • The only topic she personally has boundaries for is making “fat women” the butt of jokes.  She said that “America as a society has this idea that fat women don’t deserve to be loved or happy, and I just think that’s really wrong, so I don’t go there, but other comedians have the right to do what they want to do.”  Classy lady.
  • She wants to adopt a mentally challenged kid, but she doesn’t want to feel guilty for dying and leaving a mentally challenged adult with no one to care for him/her, so she decided she should adopt a mentally challenged child with a terminal illness. Lolz.

After the reading was the book signing.  There were probably around 150 people in line.  She was sweet, but a lot more demure in person than I was expecting.  I suspect she’s got the classic case of a shy person who comes alive when performing.  She was nice to everyone, and I’m pleased to say I came away still glad to be a fan.

Also last weekend I dropped off my bike to be repaired and now it is all shiny and awesome!  I was shocked to ride it and discover the gears are supposed to be smooth, not difficult to cope with.  I’m hoping to start biking my commute soon.  I just need to practice the route on a non-work day to get the hang of it.

As for grad school, my final projects for the semester are done!  Now I just have to attend one more class session for each of my classes, and then I am home free with two months of vacation. Oh happy day!

What have you guys been up to in the last two weeks?  Anything exciting or awesome?

Happy weekends!