From the Publisher
"Damn you, Wade!! Damn you! I missed two ebay auctions and delayed taking my Ambien every night for a week so I could finish It's All Relative, but it was so worth it. This book rocks! Charming, funny and saucy enough to make me blush. Wade's family makes mine look like the Kennedys (the ones not driving around on sleeping pills or the ones charged with felonies)."—Laurie Notaro, bestselling author of We Thought You Would be Prettier
"Wade Rouse is back and better than ever in his new memoir It's All Relative. Rouse's books combine the one-two punch of hilarity and heart and never cease to delight. Filled with uproarious one liners and enough soul to truly satisfy, readers are going to clamor for a seat at Rouse's holiday table! I can't tell you how much I loved this book."—Jen Lancaster, New York Times bestselling author of My Fair Lazy
"Wade Rouse has officially become the laugh assassin. And with his holiday masterpiece, It’s All Relative, he's getting downright dangerous, delivering even more laughs than usual. Rouse's remembrances of his family holidays are masterfully gift-wrapped in delightful dysfunction and topped with a bow of laser-sharp sentimental insight designed to help you not only laugh at but also fall in love again with your own jacked-up gene pool. This book is the gift that keeps on giving."—Josh Kilmer-Purcell, star of the hit reality series, The Fabulous Beekman Boys and New York Times bestselling author of The Bucolic Plague and I Am Not Myself These Days
Career memoirist Rouse here wrestles with the importance of family. Using the holiday calendar as a lens, he recounts humiliations and indignities visited upon him by relatives throughout the years. Rouse is funny, not mean-spirited, so the anecdotes are sweetly amusing and demonstrate his larger point: holidays help you remember what's important, even if your relatives are drunk, the decorations are flammable, and you are miserable in an inappropriate Ubangi Halloween costume.What I Am Telling My Friends This was not really my cup. It's laugh-out-loud funny at points, but we've been over this territory before. If you need a nontaxing reminder of your family's normalcy, this here's your book. . —"Memoir Short Takes", Booksmack!, 12/16/10.
A memoir of comedic holiday misadventure.
Memoirist Rouse (At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream: Misadventures in Search of the Simple Life, 2009, etc.) mashes up a lifetime of holiday debacles into a single book. Virtually every known celebration—from Christmas to Arbor Day—is exploited for humor's sake, and the author relies primarily on quick wit and artistic license to evoke a response from the reader. The results are mixed, particularly due to Rouse's insistence on alienating much of his readership. To be fair, no one is spared the sharp barbs of his jokes—not rural family members, the obese, the ugly, or even Helen Keller—though some readers could interpret this oversimplification of humanity as a form of elitism or snobbery. When describing his chivalrous decision not to drink in front of his recovering-alcoholic partner, he wrote that to do otherwise would be "like those husbands who continue to bring their eight-hundred-pound wives honey buns and two-liter jugs of Mountain Dew before...their spouses are airlifted out of the trailer park." Similarly, his pronouncement that "[i]f there is not a quality coffeehouse every one hundred feet, you're either driving in rural America or visiting a place you need to get the hell out of" is further fodder for anti-elitists. Rouse is most successful when he shows his heart alongside his humor. In "The Wonder Years," he discusses how he and his partner opened their home for a dying dog, forcing them to glimpse their own mortality in the process, and "My Holiday Miracle" explores Rouse's attempt at comforting his mother as she nears death. Both of these essays offer rare, unrestricted access into the author's emotional world.
An unbalanced collection of occasionally humorous essays that rarely strike an emotional chord.