Sleepwalk with Me: And Other Painfully True Stories [NOOK Book]

Overview

Hello, I am Mike Birbiglia and I want you to read my book. Too on the nose? Sorry. Let me dial it back.

 I’m Mike Birbiglia and I’m a comedian. You may know me from Comedy Central or This American Life or The Bob & Tom Show, but you’ve never seen me like this before.

Naked.

Wait, that’s the ...
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Sleepwalk with Me: And Other Painfully True Stories

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Overview

Hello, I am Mike Birbiglia and I want you to read my book. Too on the nose? Sorry. Let me dial it back.

 I’m Mike Birbiglia and I’m a comedian. You may know me from Comedy Central or This American Life or The Bob & Tom Show, but you’ve never seen me like this before.

Naked.

Wait, that’s the name of another book. Also I’m not naked as there are no pictures in my book. Also, if there were naked pictures of me, you definitely wouldn’t buy it, though you might sneak a copy into the back corner of the bookstore and show it to your friend and laugh. Okay, let’s get off the naked stuff.

This is my first book. It’s difficult to describe. It’s a comedic memoir, but I’m only 32 years old so I’d hate for you to think I’m “wrapping it up,” so to speak. But I tell some personal stories. Some REALLY personal stories. Stories that I considered not publishing time and time again, especially when my father said, “Michael, you might want to stay away from the per­sonal stuff.” I said, “Dad, just read the dedication.” (Which I’m telling you to do too.)

Some of the stories are about my childhood, some are about girls I made out with when I was thirteen, some are about my parents, and some are, of course, about my bouts with sleepwalking. Bring this book to bed. And sleepwalk with me.
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  • Sleepwalk with Me
    Sleepwalk with Me  

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Gas station pizza, chain-restaurant bottomless sodas, getting engaged with absolutely no intention of getting married—and his forever funny habit of sleepwalking/fighting/karate-kicking/escaping from Brad Pitt—make Mike Birbiglia's book unendingly hilarious and charming. Sometimes you laugh aloud, sometimes you spit out whatever it is you’re sipping, sometimes you have to just put the book down because you're laughing hard enough to pull a neck tendon. Buy it. And buy another one for a friend.” —Denis Leary

"Sleepwalk with Me is so funny, so smart, and so full of self-deprecating wit that for a second I thought I was reading one of my own books.” —Alan Zweibel, Thurber Prize-winning author of The Other Shulman

"Charming, brainier than he’d probably admit, and frequently poignant in spite of himself, Birbiglia throws together an alternately rollicking and warm handful of stories; the lengthy title story, of his struggle with a sleep disorder, is as fascinating as it is hilarious."
Booklist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439175651
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 10/12/2010
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 139,922
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Mike Birbiglia
Mike Birbiglia is a comedian, author, actor, and director. His one person shows Sleepwalk with Me and My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend have both run successfully off-Broadway and toured internationally. He was a finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor for this book and his feature film adaptation of it won the NEXT category’s audience award at Sundance Film Festival in 2012.
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Read an Excerpt


DON’T TELL ANYONE

I’m sitting at a Starbucks in Manhattan. Starbucks is the last public space with chairs. It’s a shower for homeless people. And it’s a place you can write all day. The baristas don’t glare at you. They don’t even look at you. Every once in a while they walk around with free samples of banana-chocolate something. “No thanks. Just the two-dollar coffee”—cheapest rent in New York. Plus, they sell CDs and even Christmas gifts. If this place sold toilet paper, I probably wouldn’t have to shop anywhere else.

Well, the reason I’m writing is that I want to tell you some stories. And they’re true. I always have to point this out because whenever I tell stories, people ask me, “Was that true?”

And I say, “Yeah.”

And they say, “Was it?”

And I don’t know how to respond to that. I guess I could say it louder. “Yeah!”

“It’s probably true. He said it louder.”

Growing up, I was discouraged from telling personal stories. My dad often used the phrase “Don’t tell anyone.” But not about creepy things. I don’t want to lead you down the wrong path. It would be about insignificant things. Like I wouldn’t make the soccer team and my father would say, “Don’t tell anyone.” And I would say, “They’re gonna know when they show up to the games and I’m not on the team and I’m crying.”

One time I built up the courage to ask him about this, which was tough because my dad is a very serious man. He’s a doctor—a neurologist. When he’s home, he spends most of his time in this one armchair reading these thick war novels. My dad goes through war novels like I go through boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

So I built up the courage to ask, “How come you play everything so close to the vest?”

My dad said, “The more people know about you, the more they can use it against you.”

This sent shivers down my spine because it had that kind of open-ended fear to it—like that feeling you get when you’re driving and you see a cop. And you’re not speeding. You don’t have drugs. But you’re just thinking, I hope he doesn’t notice I’m driving.

Once in a while I told personal stories at the dinner table and my father would say, “Hush!” I’ll give you an example. In grade school, I was a terrible reader. We used to do these things at school called Student Reading Assignments, and the teacher would post on the wall a list of how many everyone had done—which is a great way to squash a child’s self-esteem. I remember there was this girl in my class named Jamie Burson who finished 146 of these things before I finished 2. And I distinctly remember thinking, I might be retarded. And then I looked at the wall and thought, Oh yeah, I am.

So one night, I sat at the dinner table and said to my dad, “I think I might be retarded.” And he said, “Hush!” Which is one way to address a problem—just keep it under wraps.

That’s what my father would say whenever anyone told uncomfortable stories. So I developed this habit of telling uncomfortable stories.

So here goes . . .

© 2010 Mike BirBiglia

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 82 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(42)

4 Star

(22)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 82 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 11, 2010

    perfect timing

    Our dog died last night, which was heartbreaking - but this book arrived today and on a day when I thought I couldn't even smile, I read it cover to cover in one sitting and actually did LOL...not just pretending. This man is a genius...and cooler than he'll ever admit.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2010

    Sleepwalk with Me... laugh with Mike

    Sleepwalk With Me... laugh with Mike Birbiglia!!!

    I am old enough to be Mike's Mom, but sadly, I am not! I do have two children of my own that are about Mike's age. What does that have to do with Sleepwalk With Me? I'll tell you later!

    Now. about the book!

    Mike's a great storyteller. I have listened to his CD's and even seen him perform on Letterman and at Caroline's in NYC, so I know! I am absolutely delighted that he writes as well as he performs!!!

    I ride the NYC subways and reading helps me pretend I am somewhere else. So, I read SWM and while reading a story about his Catholic childhood. I had to look away because I was laughing so hard. When I looked back I thought I was going to laugh my head off.right there on the #1 train! For a moment, I was just another one of those subway-riding crazy persons.a happy crazy person!

    You find out in SWM, Mike's not only HILARIOUS, he's inspirational! Mike shares his "on the road" and "his rise to the top" stories, too.
    It seems to me that Mike's success is his, home-grown style of storytelling. AND that makes him the funny guy he is. It's his gift to us.
    AND... he works blissfully hard at his sharing his gift.and this is where my 2 kids fit into this review.

    My two children are both working artists with the vision of sharing their gifts and talents and vision with the world! They too, like Mike, work blissfully hard.

    We all work hard, but we need to laugh and be entertained. Artists do that with their lives! Hooray for artists! Hooray for, Mike!

    Mike has what it takes to be funny and share it with anyone who will listen. Now you can read it at your leisure, on the beach or like me, on your ride home to or from work.

    We all need a few good laughs!!! Read this book.

    Laughter is the cure for EVERYTHING. Mike's got the cure

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2010

    Must Read!!

    Cover to cover one of the funniest and most heartfelt reads to come along in recent memory. Always been a fan of Birbiglia's stand-up, but this piece brings his storytelling to a whole new level. Read it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2014

    Not funny

    I have read a lot of humor books and not many of them make me laugh. This book is just not funny. I smiled a few times but that is about it. I wouldn't buy this again or read it again.

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

    Posted July 20, 2012

    Birbigs!

    Such a brilliant comedian! Listen to the performance too!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2012

    Great book

    This book is very funny and surprisingly touching. I highly recommend it.

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

    Posted April 7, 2012

    Hilarious read!

    This book is great, it will have you laughing from the first page to the last. Mike is my favorite comic and i was so happy when i found his book. I hope he wrights another!

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

    Posted March 31, 2012

    Exceeded expectations

    Birbiglia is a personal favorite in standup comedy for me, im happy to say his book conveys his charm and awkwardness in a style only suited to him. Love mike, and the book, read it.

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

    Posted January 17, 2012

    I LOVE Mike Birbiglia

    Great book. Hilarious. I was laughing out loud.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2011

    Funny light read

    Great laughs

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  • Posted August 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent writing, engaging & very funny

    A great book from beginning to end. Very well written & structured. I would recommend this to absolutely everyone.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 2, 2010

    Do yourself a favor and READ THIS BOOK!

    This book is, as it says, a collection of "painfully true stories" with the subtext of something not made quite clear until the final chapters. The culmination of those final chapters pays off in a way that I can honestly say I desire from every book I read, which rarely happens. This book does it. I was caught between wanting to laugh and cry. The way in which he tells each story is brutally honest, almost painful at times, but always humorous and self aware. This book was wonderful, smart, funny, and original. I've never read anything with a story quite like his. I loved it and I hope you do as well.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The thinking person's comedian

    I've listened to Mike Birbiglia's stories on both The Moth podcast and This American Life. I enjoy his style which is very conversational but with some big words thrown in. His writing style makes you feel like you are with a group of good friends telling embarassing stories about yourselves.

    I laughed out loud several times reading this book, and it reminded me a little bit of a cross between Brian Regan and David Sedaris. Not quite as edgy and raw as David Sedaris can be, but not as squeaky clean as Brian Regan's standup. Although there are some serious and awkward topics, this is a quick and fun read. Buy it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted November 19, 2010

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    Posted February 27, 2011

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    Posted July 30, 2011

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 82 Customer Reviews

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