I Love You More than You Know

I Love You More than You Know

3.5 2
by Jonathan Ames
     
 

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Jonathan Ames has drawn comparisons across the literary spectrum, from David Sedaris to F. Scott Fitzgerald to Woody Allen to P.G. Wodehouse, and his books, as well as his abilities as a performer, have made him a favorite on the Late Show with David Letterman. Whether he's chasing deranged cockroaches around his apartment, kissing a beautiful actress on the set of

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Overview

Jonathan Ames has drawn comparisons across the literary spectrum, from David Sedaris to F. Scott Fitzgerald to Woody Allen to P.G. Wodehouse, and his books, as well as his abilities as a performer, have made him a favorite on the Late Show with David Letterman. Whether he's chasing deranged cockroaches around his apartment, kissing a beautiful actress on the set of an avant-garde film, finding himself stuck perilously on top of a fence in Memphis in the middle of the night, or provoking fights with huge German men, Jonathan Ames has an uncanny knack for getting himself into outlandish situations. In his latest collection, I Love You More Than You Know, Ames proves once again his immense talent for turning his own adventures, neuroses, joys, heartaches, and insights into profound and hilarious tales. Alive with love and tenderness for his son, his parents, his great-aunt — and even strangers in bars late at night — in I Love You More Than You Know Ames looks beneath the surface of our world to find the beauty in the perverse, the sweetness in loneliness, and the humor in pain.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Novelist and humorist Ames writes: "My whole oeuvre has become one big dysfunctional personal ad," and this uneven collection of essays often feels that way. Ames (Wake Up, Sir!) informs readers several times of his height/weight vital stats. He is straight, but with a pansexual horniness that leads to inopportune erections, sordid encounters with prostitutes and an s&m session with a dominatrix and her transsexual boyfriend that makes him late for a play date with his son. He forthrightly, indeed obsessively, discloses details of his chronic rectal itch, his "explosive episodes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome" and every other gross bodily eruption and excretion that plagues him. And there's a note of self-deprecatory preening as Ames marvels at the young lovelies he still manages to attract and the other celebrity writers he hangs with on his book tours. Sometimes Ames's trademark combination of (literal) bathroom gags, hipster grotesquerie and neurotic free association achieves an inspired synthesis of confessional humor, but with overuse its hilarity and freshness decays into a lazy reliance on shock effects and embarrassment laughs. When Ames manages to wrench his gaze from his navel (and other orifices) and connect with outside reality, his prose sparkles with offhand comic insights. Photos. Agent, Rosalie Siegel. (Feb.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal - Library Journal
The world is sick, imbalanced, and lunatic, according to storyteller/comedian Ames (I Pass Like Night), a self-described crooked literary clown. Ames's collection of 30 essays, many previously published, is inundated with scatological references that the reader comes to expect with each additional insight into the author's peccadilloes. These references do not detract from the quality of his collection, but readers with no knowledge of Ames's previous works may not give him a chance because of the coarseness. Tributes to George Plimpton and Jack Kerouac appear between tales of the author's family trips to northern New Jersey, book tours in Europe, and press credentials for a Tyson-Lewis fight in Memphis. Ames also includes the definitions he created for The Future Dictionary of America (McSweeney's, 2004), a work compiled by contemporary authors to raise money to promote progressive causes during the 2004 presidential election. While not all readers will appreciate the oddball humor, Ames is a fine contemporary writer not to be ignored. For larger public and all academic libraries.-Joyce Sparrow, Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas Cty. Lib., FL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Humorist Ames (Wake Up, Sir!, 2004, etc.) presents previously published essays detailing the various ways in which he's stumbled, failed, disappointed himself and others and, occasionally, triumphed. Ames seems to forever be searching for new ways to reveal his foibles to the reading public; for this author, there is no topic too intimate, sexual or scatological to share. But his latest collection lacks verve, drive and focus. Mostly, it feels lazy, or in need of a strong editor. Here, Ames rambles through personal anecdotes, discussing, among other things, a depressing interaction with a French prostitute, his irritable bowel syndrome, the details of a sex show in Amsterdam and a funny but still melancholy encounter with a suburban dominatrix, made more poignant by the fact that Ames had told his mother and child that he'd be at the library, working (the essay is made correspondingly less poignant by the maudlin way Ames beats his breast over his iniquities). Picking cysts, scratching his crotch, pondering the cause of his perplexingly itchy posterior, Ames invites readers along for all of it. He also frequently discusses his penis, in essays such as "Oh, Pardon my Hard-On," "My Wiener Is Damaged!" and "How I Almost Committed Suicide Because of a Wart." There are a couple of strong pieces-the titular essay is a warm reminiscence of visiting a beloved elderly aunt, and "Called Myself El Cid" is a lively account of Ames's days on the Princeton fencing team. In general, however, the author discusses his various shortcomings in a tone exuding regret, longing, gnawing professional envy and a self-absorption that allows him to publish work that is both exhibitionist and deeply self-critical.Rare flashes of wit and energy, mostly drowned out by a sea of self-indulgent ramblings.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802170170
Publisher:
Grove Press, Black Cat
Publication date:
02/09/2006
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
593,539
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 7.28(h) x 0.75(d)

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