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Posted November 30, 2004
fabulous.I did not want to put it down. I laughed, and was touched. I have not re-read a book intentionally ever. this one i would. I actually checked it out at the library and love it so much I'm buying it for myself and others.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 9, 2004
Hollis Gillespie is one of the funniest, wittiest, brightest writers around. This book reads like hearing a standup comedienne play to an audience for all its worth. Though I have never heard her on her gigs as NPR commentator on 'All Things Considered' or read her 'Mood Swing' column for Atlanta's CREATIVE LOAFING weekly, I am in awe of her craftsmanship with words, her outrageous analogies and metaphors, and her ability to find humor in the most mundane of circumstances and events. Yet despite the corrosive title, Gillespie does not come across as a weirdo to be avoided at all costs: if all that she writes is based on truth then she has to be one of the most endearing friends and observers around. Perhaps this richness of material comes from the fact that in addition to her 'cultural side' as an NPR commentator, she actually is a flight attendant and a linguist, so put all that background together and the sky is not even the limit for this talented writer's imagination. She peoples her 'memoirs' with friends (gay Brian and Grant whose own lives are rich in hilarity, Lary who is looney and plies her with drugs, her rocket scientist mother - who dreams of being a beautician! - and alcoholic ne're-do-well trailer salesman father, and her brothers and sisters who provide material from her incredibly weird childhood to her normalcy-challenged adulthood. The book is an easy read: chapters are rarely more than two or three pages and peppered with photos of her friends and family. Because of the nature of the layout of the book, it is a terrific traveling companion or bedside icon for chuckling the day's troubles away before sleep. I'd like to see Gillespie write a full-fledged novel, so keen is her word craftsmanship. Examples: 'I never had a pussy-pet dog. Once I temporarily inherited two Labradors named Gracie and Amber. They were sisters, and both of them were the most comical, slobbery, eye-booger encrusted, walking wads of psoriasis you ever saw. Having birthed three litters, they each had hefty leftover dugs that dangled from their underbellies like big balls of soft warm dough. Amber had a problem with her left ear too, which occasionally swelled up like an eggplant and stuck straight out from her skull, making her look like she had a furry party balloon taped to her head. etc.' and 'There must be something really wrong with the world when you can't get a buzz off your codeine cough medicine. Christ if that doesn't just suck all the fun out of being sick.' You get the picture. If there are episodes of repeated information, read them like reminders of some of the previous laughs in the book. Oddly, too, for a book format such as this, the quickie memoirs hang together with clever continuity: Gillespie usually sums up each short remembrance with an introspective bit of tenderness. This is a refreshing, well-written bit of welcome satire of our world 'and welcome to it!'Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.