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The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club: True Tales from a Magnificent and Clumsy Life

The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club: True Tales from a Magnificent and Clumsy Life

4.4 134
by Laurie Notaro, Hillary Huber (Narrated by)

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The New York Times bestseller from author Laurie Notaro sheds hilarious light on everyday life, from hourly-wage jobs that require zero skill to horrific high school reunions.


The New York Times bestseller from author Laurie Notaro sheds hilarious light on everyday life, from hourly-wage jobs that require zero skill to horrific high school reunions.

Editorial Reviews

Laurie Notaro, who writes a popular humor column for the Arizona Republic, takes the reader on a voyage through her zany world in this riotously funny collection of biographical essays. From dealing with her mother to maneuvering through romantic entanglements, there's a little bit of Laurie in all of us!
Publishers Weekly
Notaro, who writes a weekly humor column for the Arizona Republic, has collected some of those columns into her first book. Notaro is "everywoman" not quite pretty enough, not the popular one, not good at holding a job or a man. She tells her stories about public bathrooms and high school reunions with a wicked edge that keeps us laughing at her and, of course, at ourselves. On the dreaded reunion: " 'It's time for your high school reunion!' the letter shrieked, and then went on to inform me that 546 of the people I hated most in the world were coming together at some lah-de-dah resort for the entire weekend to talk about the good old days." In "Suckers," she recalls the gym class where the girls got "the talk." "It was one of the darkest days of my life when that nurse, Mrs. Shimmer, pulled out a maxi pad that measured the width and depth of a mattress and showed us how to use it." Ahhh...the good old days. This is a great, funny read that women will love. Recommended for most humor collections. Kathy Ingels Helmond, Indianapolis-Marion Cty. P.L. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Squires, a Lawrence scholar and professor of English at Virginia Tech, and wife Talbot, coeditor with him of a projected edition of Frieda's letters, have written a joint biography of two distinctive individuals as well as a portrait of a marriage. They examine in great detail the lives of Lawrence and Frieda, showing how their different personalities were nevertheless blended into a partnership that endured despite arguments, occasional infidelities, and periods of separation. Though Lawrence's major novels and short stories are examined closely, the criticism focuses more on how the fiction reflects the couple's lives and experiences rather than on the works' literary devices or themes. The section on Lady Chatterley's Lover is especially illuminating. The many illustrations add to this general-interest book. While it does not supplant previous biographies of the couple, such as Brenda Maddox's D.H. Lawrence: The Story of a Marriage, this book's sympathy and understanding of the Lawrences' lives and the use of many unpublished letters as well as personal interviews contributes to its usefulness and readability. Recommended for large public libraries. Morris A. Hounion, New York City Technical Coll. Lib., Brooklyn Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
"This is a great, funny [listen] that women will love." ---Library Journal
Library Journal - Audio
This is the first compilation of Notaro's Arizona Republic columns, originally published in 2002. The Idiot Girls are those who were "too cool to be in the Smart Group." Notaro recounts her escapades and foibles from her teenage years to adulthood. She chain-smokes, drinks a lot (with resulting hangovers), and falls in and out of love frequently. She is chronically underemployed, going from one minimum-wage job to another. She has a love/hate relationship with her parents, whom she frequently touches up for money. There are some humorous scenes with which listeners can identify: her aversion to public restrooms, describing "bathroom terrorists" such as "the talker," whose conversations do not cease during the entire visit, and "the primper," who must style her hair and apply all her makeup. There is the sixth-grade assembly where she and her classmates learned about menstruation (with a jaunty jingle from Kotex). Notaro introduced her mother to email, which only opened up another way for mom to nag her. Narrator Hilary Huber is particularly effective in voicing Notaro's mother's gravelly tone. [The Villard pb was a New York Times best seller.—Ed.]—Nann Blaine Hilyard, Zion-Benton P.L., IL

Product Details

Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
MP3 - Unabridged CD
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.60(d)

Read an Excerpt

Wrap & Roll and the Disappearance of Nikki’s Keys

Nikki’s keys were gone.

Just gone.

“I don’t understand,” I said emphatically. “You had them yesterday.”

“I’m aware of that,” she replied. “But somewhere in between being drunk yesterday and sober today, my keys vanished.”

“And you’re going to make me help you look for them, I suppose.”

“No, you’re going to gladly help me look for them because you’re my friend and you also owe me forty dollars,” she said.

Let me explain right now that Nikki does not do things in a small way, she never has. Take a simple thing like losing your keys. The last time she lost them, not only couldn’t she drive anywhere, but she had also locked every door in the car for the first time in her life. This created a problem because she had left her roommate’s dry cleaning in the trunk. And that created a problem because the dry cleaning consisted of every military uniform that he possessed. And that created another problem because he needed to be at the airport in two hours, since he was flying out on an Army mission overseas. And that created yet another problem, because he couldn’t show up in civilian clothes at the Army place because he said they would immediately shoot him in the head or give him a dishonorable discharge, because the Army doesn’t fire people, they just kill them or ruin their lives forever. And we still had yet another problem on our hands, and that was that Nikki was the only ride he had to the airport.

So, because Nikki lost her keys, someone was either going to die or spend the rest of his ruined life working at the only job he could get, which would probably be working at a record store or managing a record store. But the story actually didn’t turn out too sad. After spending seventy-five dollars on a locksmith to get into the trunk, we found Nikki’s keys, leisurely placed right smack on top of an arsenal of khaki-green uniforms.

And if the reconnaissance of Nikki’s keys had a seventy-five-dollar price tag, there was a terrifying chance my forty-dollar loan might get called in, which was bad. Especially since it was most likely being deposited at that very moment in the bank account of our favorite bar.

“Please don’t tell me that you were messing around with the trunk this time, or that your kid is sitting in the backseat with all of the windows rolled up, or that you left something of mine, like my CDs, on the front seat,” I said as beads of worry were rolling down my forehead.

“I knew you’d help me! I just have to change into something yucky so I don’t get dirty,” she said before bounding up the stairs.

Whatever, I thought as I shook my head, and figured I’d get a head start by rifling through the cushions of the couch. I found a lighter right away, which I pocketed. Then I found thirty-seven cents, which I also pocketed, and a hairy LifeSaver that I left for the next couch-cushion bandit.

“Okay, I’m ready,” she said as she came down the stairs, wearing the T-shirt with my caricature and name on the back that was made up during my days at Arizona State University’s State Press Magazine.

“I thought you said you were going to put on something ‘yucky,’ ” I said immediately. “That’s my shirt. It’s got my face on it. And my name. That’s yucky? To you that’s yucky?”

“I didn’t mean yucky yucky, just, you know, yucky,” she answered.

“So I’m not yucky yucky, I’m just plain yucky?” I snapped. “What would make it yucky yucky? Maybe if I had signed it or given it to you as a gift?”

“Yeah. No, I mean, it’s my favorite shirt. I love this shirt,” she explained.

“Well, I’m just sorry that it’s so ‘yucky.’ I should have given you the ones we made out of the silk from those endangered worms.”

She smiled. “Okay, I have to get my stick, and then we can go and look for my keys,” she said.

“What do we need a stick for?” I asked. “We can break the car window with a rock.”

“No, the stick isn’t to break the window, it’s to poke at the trash.”

“We’re poking at trash? Why are we poking at trash?” I asked.

“I think my keys are in the bottom of the trash bag that I took out yesterday.”

“Let me get this straight: So you’re wearing my shirt while we dig through other people’s waste?”

“Right. See, if I thought it was yucky yucky, I’d wear it if the toilet overflowed.”

Nikki found the stick—actually a broom handle—and we journeyed to the Dumpster, which is about as big as my house and smells worse. We climbed up the side and looked down into it, down into all of Nikki’s trash as well as the trash of forty of her neighbors. That day, it was 114 degrees out, and the stench of the garbage was visible in stink lines that waved before my face in wiggly patterns, like in cartoons. Nikki started stabbing the trash with the stick, trying to find her own bag that was conveniently located at the very bottom.

Things were flying and falling everywhere—kitty litter and kitty turds, rotten vegetables and old food, used Kleenexes, and lots of dead things. Everybody in Nikki’s complex is on birth control pills, I found out. All of a sudden, a bag Nikki had poked broke open, and then this little white thing rolled right in the center of my visual zone.


“What?” Nikki asked as she started to turn toward me.

“Don’t look!” I said as I blocked her view, knowing that she has a weak stomach and gets queasy when I talk about picking noses or when I mention anything whatsoever about poo, so I knew she would get sick if she saw what I saw, which was a white, naked, and, at some point, used tampon applicator.

Jesus, I thought to whomever it had belonged to, didn’t your mother ever teach you about those things? I mean, Christ Almighty, as soon as my mother suspected that my ovaries were beginning to percolate, she sat me down in the only private room in the house—which was her bathroom—broke out a roll of toilet paper and a maxi pad, and taught me how to wrap & roll. Three wraps over the middle and three wraps over the side. Roll & wrap, it’s the polite thing. Even I could figure it out at the age of eight. And, for added protection, you could stick God’s little bundle in a plastic baggie, so when the dogs got loose in the house they wouldn’t find it and tear it apart, as our dogs, Ginger and Brandy, loved to do. Immediately following the hands-on demonstration, I got the “Not-So-Fresh-Feeling” speech, after which I ran to my room and sobbed for an hour because Barbie didn’t have an outfit that came with a tiny maxi pad, tampon, or Summer’s Eve.

Well, we found Nikki’s trash bag, but, of course, the keys weren’t in it. In fact, as of this moment, Nikki lost her keys three weeks ago, and we still haven’t found them. Who knows where they are?

Maybe, somehow, in the weird way that things work in Nikki’s World, maybe someone wrapped Nikki’s keys three times over the middle and three times over the side, and some hungry dog just ate them.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"This is a great, funny [listen] that women will love." —-Library Journal

Meet the Author

Laurie Notaro is the New York Times bestselling author of several humorous memoirs, including The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club, Autobiography of a Fat Bride, I Love Everybody, We Thought You Would Be Prettier, and An Idiot Girl's Christmas, as well as the novels There's a (Slight) Chance I Might Be Going to Hell and Spooky Little Girl. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Laurie was raised in Phoenix, Arizona, and currently lives in Eugene, Oregon. Hillary Huber records audiobooks on a regular basis, garnering consistently glowing reviews and earning her several Audie Award nominations, including for A Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read, Sunrise Alley by Catherine Asaro, and What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love, and Marriage by Amy Sutherland. She also earned an AudioFile Earphones Award for her narration of This Book Is Overdue! AudioFile magazine says, "Hillary Huber's narration is lyrical enough to be set to music." Hillary lives in Los Angeles.

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Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 134 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was really funny for the first few chapters then the humor fell off. I was disappointed as I kept reading because each chapter seemed more pointless and dry than the previous. The only reason I ended up actually finishing the book was because I held on to the hope it would get better, but it didn't. Overall the book is mediocre.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Thank God I borrowed this book from the library and didn't waste one penny on it. After reading the reviews, I was really looking forward to this read. It sounded clever. I like clever. This was not clever. VERY disappointing. I like a good story about being drunk as much as the next person, but an entire book of stories about being fall-down drunk and smoking too much and poor me this and poor me that was too much whining for me. One star is being kind.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was suckered into this book by its catchy title and enticing cover-- do not make the same mistake I did by buying this book. Aside from a few chuckles here and there, Notaro's stories fall into the 'it was funny at the time' category. Her tales of drunken stupors get tired really fast. The quality of writing is no better than average and the stories aren't all that interesting. The only thing good about this book is that it is a quick read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't even finish it and the only reason I tried so hard to is because I paid for it. Boring.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading some of the reviews and the biggest majority raved about the book,I would advice you to read the sample first.It was so bad I couldn't hardly get through it.What a disapointment.
barretthansen More than 1 year ago
There are maybe 3 stories in here that resonated with me, but frankly, the main theme appeared to be getting drunk and then doing stupid stuff. Wish I had passed. Nice writing, though.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I started to read it, I thought it would be awesome. Wrong. Filled with bodily functions & drunk tales, it starts to be boring and annoying.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I agree with the reviewer who said this book deserves less than a star. It is terrible. Ms. Notaro is completely undeserving of the positive press she has received for this book. She is a sub-average, trite 'writer'. It is a shame that this book has done so well since there are so many more deserving female authors out there who don't receive 1/100th of the publicity.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you like original, funny and witty stories, then this is not the book for you. This book delivers a heaping dose of mundane writing, stereotypical gender roles, and absolutely no valuable insight into adult life. Notaro tries to emphasize her dorky and quirky aspects, but is neither charming or convincing in doing so. Her stories read much like those of a high school creative writing class taught by a substitute teacher. There are far too many captivating and intelligently funny books in this genre for Notaro's to make any waves.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this book thinking that all the blurb made it look good. Yeah right. This book is TERRIBLE. The writing and grammer is bad. The book has no purpose. I feel that I wasted my money and guess what. I have only made it to the second chapter. I guess writing for a column does help sell books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mishka_OP More than 1 year ago
I liked it, she had some really funny parts, but the character itself (which I am sure is an exaggerated version of herself) grossed me out in parts with all the smoking...but that is just me.
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It always takes me forever to read her stuff bc i laugh so hard i cry. I have never laughed while reading as much i did reading this book. I love, love this book
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