Thyre, an actress, fashions a somewhat flat memoir about growing up in the middle-class South of the 1970s. Corny and unfocused, her work ambles episodically, from the early years living with her parents and younger sisters in Kansas City, Mo., where her mother took turns holding the Catholic Prayer Group at their house and mixing up the martinis for Father Don, to their move to the sticks of Louisiana and celebrating their hostile parents' eventual divorce. Thyre as the young narrator is a kid with moxie, known as the "liar in the family" and not above correcting her teacher's grammar. The memoir proceeds by anecdotes (stealing money from their skinflint father's bank account for camp and vacation, managing her asthma medication, watching her mom run over a turtle with the lawn mower, losing her virginity to Tommy Cusimano after her Our Lady of Prompt Succor's Autumn Celebration), but Thyre's writing lacks a cohesion determined by strong, memorable characterization. There are, however, many iconic '70s moments, e.g., listening to "Little Willy" on her mother's Gremlin AM radio, learning about rape from a Barnaby JonesTV episode, reading Paul Zindel books; and experiencing her sexual awakening while watching Looking for Mr. Goodbar. Packed with dippy dialogue and only a little raunchy and irreverent, Thyre's work amuses in small doses. (Apr.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Witty, mildly raunchy memoir of a precociously perceptive child who grows into a smart and smart-mouthed adolescent. Comedian Thyre (Late Night with Conan O'Brien; Strangers with Candy) uses caricature and exaggeration to create a funny picture of growing up in the 1970s and '80s. At first, she's part of a middle-class Catholic family with a quick-tempered, blue-collar father and an environmentally correct mother, but when her parents divorce, the Thyres slip down a notch or two on the economic scale. To keep up appearances, her resourceful mother resorts to reattaching the same Lacoste alligator to garment after cheap garment. Thyre derives much humor from bodily functions, writing about vomit, asthma attacks, the contents of her sibling's diapers and feminine-hygiene products. Her youthful explorations of pornography and the mental and physical shortcomings of others provide further grist for her humor mill. She has a sharp ear for dialogue and a keen eye for the slights and cruelties that children and adolescents blithely inflict on each other and on the adults around them. Her wit turns what might, in other hands, have been a self-pitying memoir into a bright, amusing story. When shit happens-her father is disappointingly indifferent to her needs, the family vacation ends disastrously-Thyre doesn't bemoan the situation. Rather, she reports it with zest and a twist of wry. Chick-lit with zingers.