My Less Than Secret Life: A Diary, Fiction, Essays

( 6 )

Overview


My Less Than Secret Life is the companion volume to Jonathan Ames's first memoirish endeavor, "the mildly perverted and wildly amusing" (Vanity Fair) What's Not to Love? This collection of the cult author's fiction and essays includes Ames's public diary, the bi-weekly columns he penned for the New York Press. The entries of this diary are a record of his mad adventures: his ill-fated debut as an amateur boxer fighting as ‘The Herring Wonder', a faltering liaison with a Cuban prostitute, his public outing of ...
See more details below
Paperback
$12.12
BN.com price
(Save 32%)$17.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (31) from $1.99   
  • New (10) from $9.90   
  • Used (21) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview


My Less Than Secret Life is the companion volume to Jonathan Ames's first memoirish endeavor, "the mildly perverted and wildly amusing" (Vanity Fair) What's Not to Love? This collection of the cult author's fiction and essays includes Ames's public diary, the bi-weekly columns he penned for the New York Press. The entries of this diary are a record of his mad adventures: his ill-fated debut as an amateur boxer fighting as ‘The Herring Wonder', a faltering liaison with a Cuban prostitute, his public outing of George Plimpton as a Jew, his discussion with Eve Ensler about his dear friend The Mangina, a renegade mission as a Jew into the heart of Waspy Maine, and other such harrowing escapades. Whether trying to round up a partner for an orgy, politely assisting in an animal sacrifice, or scamming tickets to the WWF's Royal Rumble for his son, Jonathan Ames proves himself a ballsier Everyman whose transgressions and compassionate meditations will satisfy the voyeur and encourage the halfhearted. But be warned. As Jonathan says, "I don't like to be a bad influence. It's bad enough that I have influence over myself." "...Ames has always been one of my favorite contemporary writers ... for his ... fearless commitment to the most demanding psychosexual comedies."—Rick Moody
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Brooklyn-based Ames's wild follow-up to What's Not to Love? is an entertaining salmagundi that tosses five short stories in among 42 essays, including past New York Press column installments, book reviews and e-zine contributions. A 1987 invitation to a nonexistent literary symposium sent Ames to a paranoid precipice, and his vivid, noir-style recollection of that mystery, The Nista Affair, makes a fine centerpiece. But the author is a man of appetites for sex, for self-examination, for performance, for weird experiences and this makes his book irresistible. He's like the dirtiest, smartest kid on the playground you might cringe, but you can't help being transfixed. In Booty and the Beast, he waxes rhapsodic on waitress watching; The Orgy chronicles his failed attempts to attend one. With bodily functions and sexuality the dominant themes, Ames's public diary his New York Press columns often feels more like a pubic diary. When he meets Eve Ensler (The Vagina Monologues), they discuss the Mangina, a prosthetic vagina worn by performance artist Harry Chandler; Gear magazine assignments send him into a session with a female hypnotist specializing in penis enlargement and onto the set of a porn film. From recollections of prostitutes to reflections on an s&m support group, he documents numerous erotic encounters: When it comes to sexual fetishes, I can't be pigeonholed. Ames lays his soul bare here, and those who are easily offended should stay away. But for readers who don't mind the occasional squirm for the sake of the frequent belly laugh, this hodgepodge of oddities is highly recommended. (July) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Clever, self-involved performer and author Ames (What’s Not to Love?, 2000, etc.) can’t seem to let himself alone, mentally or physically, and he gleefully tells us all about it in this gathering of newspaper essays, journal entries, fiction, and miscellany. His solipsistic record of naughty adventures home alone or out with ladies of the night, porn stars, tranny hookers, and various kinky people is certainly not Mr. Pepys's kind of diary. Ames is Alexander Portnoy come to life: lascivious, overwrought, and funny, though not nearly as funny as Portnoy, even if he does label his personality disorder as “Comic-Depressive.” His giddy depression and manic misery are always first-person, up-front, and in-your-face. He is partial to drinking and shtupping, drag queens and masturbation, beautiful breasts and behinds, oral sex and phone sex. Even the putative book reviews are self-centered, with a determinedly raunchy affect. If you haven’t heard about his pal’s invention of a sexual artifact called “the mangina,” you haven’t been paying attention—and you’re lucky. Granted, Ames can write. His recounting of his adventures as “The Herring Wonder” (a supposed incarnation of a Lower East Side Jewish boxer), a visit to a gathering of S&M groupies, and a purloined manuscript demonstrate his talent. But all the palaver about anatomy (male, female, or indeterminate) and all the stream of consciousness concerning the diverse uses of body parts (his or not) are essentially variations on one note and, as such, become a tad tedious. Though Ames mentions his editors, his text seems never to have crossed any editor’s desk. It isn’t entirely trash talk, but it isn’t mainstream material that will please thelocal Watch and Ward Society or General Ashcroft. For the rest of us, as Ames says, “When something’s not your hobby, you can only take so much”—for instance, the author’s report that he needs to grasp his penis when he is writing. Just once, Jonathan, let go and try writing with both fists.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560253754
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2002
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,474,079
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 5 of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2003

    Pure comedy!!!!

    This book is funny as hell. Non stop laughs. I finished this book while traveling in Eastern Europe over the winter. Well worth the money I spent for it. Jonathan Ames is a great story teller, from his love of whores to his great adventures in New York and abroad. This is a great read for sure and one of the best books that I have read in a long time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2003

    AWESOME BOOK!!!!!

    This book is amazing!! No novel has ever made me laugh out loud except this one. You wont believe the things that this man says. He is a true comice genius!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2002

    My Less Than Secret Life

    Often beset by existential and sexual angst, Jonathan Ames personifies a postmodernist and Beat version of what the German sociologist Georg Simmel termed ¿the stranger,¿ a marginal urban man who by his alienation from the mainstream social and moral orders can have an unusual perspective and objectivity on the absurdities of life. Ames¿ conundrums draw him both to introverted self-absorption and outward to a variety of extroverted escapades which often seem to be based in a longing for some kind of meaning but which tend to end at their starting points of emptiness and absurdity. He tells his stories with great humor while sometimes stumbling upon profound sociological and psychological insights which are expressed with artful simplicity. That a writer of Ames¿ talent and wit has not by now gained greater notoriety reflects poorly on a society which puts premiums on complacency but in which nonconformity and humorous introspection are in relatively short supply and little demand.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 5 of 6 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)