Microthrills: True Stories from a Life of Small Highs

Microthrills: True Stories from a Life of Small Highs

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by Wendy Spero
     
 

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"Raised in Manhattan by her tiny sex-therapist mother and her two eccentric grandparents, Wendy Spero has always sought excitement in ""microthrills,"" the small, strange highs that give her life meaning.

Her story begins in the one-bedroom, Upper East Side apartment she shared with her overly protective mother, where, as a little girl, she passed the time

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Overview

"Raised in Manhattan by her tiny sex-therapist mother and her two eccentric grandparents, Wendy Spero has always sought excitement in ""microthrills,"" the small, strange highs that give her life meaning.

Her story begins in the one-bedroom, Upper East Side apartment she shared with her overly protective mother, where, as a little girl, she passed the time gnawing on strawberry-scented erasers, breaking up arguments between her imaginary friends, and being subjected to cut-throat nursery school applications.

Eventually, Wendy broke out on her own - but continued to be admonished by her mother for not having enough quality orgasms. After a stint of door-to-door knife-selling, she began her first (and last) office job, where she formed an unusual relationship with her big-time executive boss - one that involved as much pot smoking and gold glitter as it did mentoring. Now, a comedian living in L.A., Wendy grapples with such grown-up issues as trying to kick her addiction...

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
In her effervescent, delightfully neurotic memoir...Spero works...magic on paper.
Ed Helms
Microthrills will make you cringe with glee. Spero takes you inside her peculiar mind and tiny, hilarious world with a brazen vulnerability that is the rare province of truly great humorists. She has a singular and completely warped view of the world, able to find poignancy and jubilation in life's nagging minutiae. David Sedaris watch your back! (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)
Daily Candy
A hilarious memoir ... with lots of laugh-so-hard-you-snort-milk-out-of-your-nose moments.
Kirkus Reviews
These essays by up-and-coming comedian Spero, about childhood and coming-of-age in New York, are akin to David Rakoff's Fraud, but lacking that book's the wit and insight. Living with her single mother (her father died when she was ten months old), the author had an experience familiar to many Manhattan kids: trick-or-treating in apartment buildings; feeling a twinge of envy when visiting relatives in the suburbs, but always glad to return to the city; arguing, like teens everywhere, over curfew. What saves Spero's chronicle of her youthful escapades from being overwhelmingly tedious is her tender but comic portrait of her family. Her grandparents played an especially large role in her life; the author captures their bereavement over their son's early death with pathos, never sentimentality. She draws a hilarious portrait of her mother, a petite sex therapist, who constantly lectured Spero about sex: "Real lovemaking involves active communication," she told her 11-year-old. "Active, active communication. . . . And a lot of hard work." Still, the sex-therapist-mom shtick grows old quickly, and the college and early-adulthood pieces trade on cliches: the quest for a normal roommate, the ruminations over whether to marry her boyfriend, the woes of the office job, the occasional drug use. Spero's attempts at humor are often just silly. To wit, her meditation on fruit-scented markers: She loves them, but always finds their intense smell frustrating. Despite their wonderful, olfactory fruitiness, "there is simply no fruity climax . . . no, Fruity, fruity, yes, perfect, oh yeah, YES . . . Ah. Enough." These pieces may work onstage in Spero's one-woman show, but on the page,they fall flat.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780143058908
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
08/03/2006
Edition description:
Unabridged Edition
Pages:
1
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 5.72(h) x 0.82(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Jill Soloway
MICROTHRILLS was a series of micro-orgasms for me, not only in my funny bone, but throughout my brain. I love the magical minutiae of the way Wendy Spero's mind works. This book will be loved, loved, loved by all. (co-executive producer, Six Feet Under; author, Tiny Ladies in Shiny Pants)
Ed Helms
Spero takes you inside her tiny, hilarious world with a brazen vulnerability that is the rare province of truly great humorists.... David Sedaris watch your back! (Ed Helms, The Daily Show)
Sarah Silverman
Reading MICROTHRILLS is like breathing air -- it feels natural. You don't feel yourself reading. Wendy Spero paints a world both familiar and unique -- so specific that you feel implanted in her moments. What I'm trying to say is I really liked it. And I'm trying to say it in a hoity-toity way.
A. J. Jacobs
Funny and touching and insightful. Microthrills is all about the little highlights of life—and by the first chapter, I knew it was going to be a highlight of my reading year. (A. J. Jacobs, author, The Know-It-All)

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