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You're a Horrible Person, But I Like You: The Believer Book of Advice

Overview

A compendium of advice from the producers, writers, and actors of The Office, Saturday Night Live, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Knocked Up, Flight of the Conchords, The Daily Show, Arrested Development, Reno 911!, and The Hangover along with other people who should really never give advice.
 
In these pages Fred Armisen offers help telling your dad you’re a lesbian—give him the phone number and he’ll do it for you. Mindy Kaling ...
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You're a Horrible Person, But I Like You: The Believer Book of Advice

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Overview

A compendium of advice from the producers, writers, and actors of The Office, Saturday Night Live, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Knocked Up, Flight of the Conchords, The Daily Show, Arrested Development, Reno 911!, and The Hangover along with other people who should really never give advice.
 
In these pages Fred Armisen offers help telling your dad you’re a lesbian—give him the phone number and he’ll do it for you. Mindy Kaling provides guidance on ending things with your mistress—dude, you totally have to kill her. Rainn Wilson offers insight on contacting that girl you dreamed about last night—he has created all-purpose web portal for such interactions. Amy Sedaris identifies the best way to a man’s heart—bone saw through the chest cavity.
 
Aziz Ansari, Judd Apatow, Fred Armisen, Maria Bamford, Todd Barry, Samantha Bee, Michael Ian Black, Andy Borowitz, Michael Cera, Vernon Chatman, Rob Corddry, David Cross, Larry Doyle, Paul Feig, Jim Gaffigan, Zach Galifianakis, Janeane Garofalo, Daniel Handler, Todd Hanson, Tim Heidecker, Ed Helms, Buck Henry, Mindy Kaling, John Lee, Thomas Lennon, Al Madrigal, Aasif Mandvi, Marc Maron, Adam McKay, Eugene Mirman, Morgan Murphy, Bob Odenkirk, John Oliver, Patton Oswalt, Martha Plimpton, Harold Ramis, Amy Sedaris, Michael Showalter, Sarah Silverman, Paul F. Tompkins, Sarah Vowell, David Wain, Eric Wareheim, Rainn Wilson, Lizz Winstead
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Comedians have a reputation for being dark, bitter and angry. And that’s exactly why their advice . . . is so entertaining to read. . . . Good advice? No. Fun reading material? Yes.” —The Observer’s Very Short List
 
“An apt hipster bathroom book.” —Details 
 
“Funny-funny.”—The Onion’s A.V. Club
 
“For a swift, re-motivating kick to the rear, I’ve never read anything like the gems dished out [in] You’re a Horrible Person, But I Like You.” —Caitlin Donohue, San Francisco Bay Guardian
 
“A smart, fun addition to any literary enthusiast’s artfully cluttered bedside table.” —Marie Claire
 
“Dark, offensive and insulting. And really, really funny. By the end of David Cross’s introduction, you’ll be ROFL. And yes, that inane Internet lingo is righteously ridiculed in here.” —All Headline News
Library Journal
This is an offshoot compendium of The Believer magazine, a monthly publication dedicated to books and book criticism. The reviewed titles may not be current, and the reviews may be lengthy. Other article and interview subjects are eclectic, to say the least, as is the host of advice givers assembled to provide answers to burning questions. An introduction by David Cross sets the absurdist tone of the work, with contributions from Sarah Silverman, Daniel Handler, Janeane Garofalo, Bob Odenkirk, and Amy Sedaris (who helms The Believer's monthly advice column, Sedaratives), among others. The questions asked (and their respective answers) have no unifying theme—anything goes. The only constant is the high level of snark in the answers. While much of The Believer's content is substantive, its advice column usually provides some levity. There's plenty of levity here but not much substance. VERDICT Readers of The Believer's advice column will enjoy this title; larger public libraries should consider this as a worthy addition to their humor sections.—Audrey Snowden, Cleveland P.L.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307475237
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/6/2010
  • Series: Vintage Original Series
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 347,952
  • Product dimensions: 5.16 (w) x 7.95 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

About The Believer magazine:
 
The Believer is a monthly magazine devoted to providing an amiable yet rigorous forum for books and book criticism. The magazine extends the ever-shortening shelf life of new books, revives interest in books long overlooked, and stresses the interconnectivity of books to pop culture, politics, art, and music. The magazine includes essays on these topics, as well as lengthy interviews with philosophers, politicians, poets, and ninjas. We offer our readers an eclectic range of articles and interview subjects to underscore our belief that books are an interactive and vital medium.
 
About the Editor:
 
Eric Spitznagel is a contributing editor for The Believer magazine, where he co-created (along with Amy Sedaris) the Sedaratives column. He's also the author of six books and a frequent contributor to Playboy and Vanity Fair. He has one more testicle than Hitler, which he considers a moral victory.
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Read an Excerpt

A selection of advice from You're a Horrible Person, But I Like You:

Fred Armisen

Dear Fred: 

What do you think is the best way to tell my dad I'm a lesbian? I'm thinking he's already suspicious since I'm thirty-one and haven't yet brought a guy home.

   
    Jennifer Alfonso
    Tampa, FL
 
Dear Jennifer:
 
I'll tell him. What's his number? Let me practice what I'm going to say to him. "Hi, Mr. Alfonso? I'm Fred Armisen from Saturday Night Live on NBC." No, no, no. "Hey! Señor Alfonso! Whatchoo' doin'? Slap me five!" No. "Mr. Alfonso, this is an amazing, weird planet we live on. Look at that sky. Is there a name for such a beautiful color? Let's talk about your daughter." No. I'll figure it out. But again, his number, please.
   
    Fred
 
 
Samantha Bee
 
Dear Samantha:

I was wondering if you could give me some investment advice. I'm about to retire and I'm a little freaked.
   
    Leah Dawson
    Sarasota, FL
 
Dear Leah:
 
I'm freaked for you. I'm so freaked I don't even have any jokes. I was trying to think of a kind of jokey answer and then I just felt like a horrible person and I deleted it. I am really scared for you. Seriously scared. You are in serious trouble. I hope you've been hoarding conflict diamonds and Cipro, because you are about to enter the s-h-i-t, the Heart of Darkness. Take everything you ever thought you knew about investing and do the exact opposite. The currency of the future will be heirloom seeds, so good luck with that one. Panic. Learn how to field dress a wild pig and distill your urine into potable water. Most importantly, if you take anything away from this response at all, just know that the best thing for you to do is to exercise a lot and stay really sinewy, so that when the cannibals come they will not want to eat you.

I should probably also mention that I just finished reading The Road. I don't know if that makes a difference at all.
   
     Samantha
 
Michael Cera
 
Dear Michael:
 
Do you think turtles tell jokes? It seems like they could be really funny.

   
    Rilo
    Akron, OH
 
Dear Rilo:
 
I think that turtles definitely do not tell jokes. They could still be funny I think, but it would be purely based on their appearance and the way that they move really slowly. But if we scrutinize further, we find that the humor ends there, and the sadness of the turtle's existence washes away all the jokes, culminating as the ultimate truth of the animal.
   
    Michael
 
Zach Galifianakis
 
Dear Zach:
 
A friend recently gave me a twice-used Weber grill for my birthday. The instructions are fairly clear that it is only to be used outdoors. I never leave the house, however, because my neighbors are all government spies. Is there a way that I can enjoy the delicious taste of charcoal-grilled meat within the confines of my sanctum?
   
    Brooke James Saucier
    Evanston, IL
 
Dear Brooke:
 
So the government is hassling you, huh? Not surprising. I get followed all the time because I wrote a memo to my assistant saying that I used to date Dakota Fanning, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives thinks it's their business. Anyway, as for your question, grilling inside is dangerous but rewarding. I usually grill in the bathroom, since it's the only room with a built-in fan. Sitting on the toilet while checking the progress of your wiener is a Fourth of July tradition in the Galifianakis home.
   
    Zach
 
Mindy Kaling

Dear Mindy:
 
My husband is a terrible author. He's been working on the same novel for almost a decade, and I'm so tired of reading his "latest revision." I just can't fake it anymore, and he gets suspicious when I claim to have a headache or eye cramps. How can I avoid his sloppy prose while also sparing his feelings?
   
    Guilty Wife in Baton Rouge
 
Dear Guilty Wife:
 
You think the fact that he's bad is the reason you hate reading his stuff, but it's not. When I carried on my decades-long affair with Tom Wolfe—you should've seen the two of us, nattily dressed in matching white suits—he always asked me to read his work. It was dreadful. It got to the point where I had to put down chapter two of The Right Stuff and say: "They go to space, they don't go to space, I don't care anymore!" And he's a good writer. It's torture. I would check in to a women's shelter.
   
    Regards,
    Mindy
 
John Oliver

Dear John:
 
The future is unknowable, the past is regrettable. How do you reconcile the present and get dinner on the table?
   
    Mike Rose
    Albuquerque, N.M.
 
Dear Mike:
 
First of all, you may be under the impression that you have blown my mind with that question. You would be wrong.
As a citizen of New Mexico, I'm not sure you should be concerning yourself too much with the future. Why? You people live in a desert. I would imagine that you are already in the process of preparing for your Mad Max-style existence, which will be taking place at some point in the next two-to-five years. When oil hits five dollars a barrel, make sure that you've got your spiky shoulder pads and face paint ready. It's Thunderdome time.

As for putting dinner on the table—let's not sugar-coat this. You're going to be living on road kill. My advice would be "always remove the squirrel's tail." That's a memory of cuteness you do not want to conjure up as you raise the stick towards your mouth.
   
    All the best,
    John
 
 
Amy Sedaris

Dear Amy:

 
I've been single for about a year now, after a long-term relationship fizzled. All of a sudden, I'm starting to get those co-dependency urges again. Should I suppress these unwanted feelings without the use of pills or alcohol?
   
    Sincerely,
    Looking for an Out without Slipping In 
 
Dear Slippy:
 
What's wrong with pills and alcohol? Are you judging me? Whatever helps me through the hard times is a-OK with me. It kills the pain. I hate it when people start spewing out bullshit like, "You're going to have to deal with it sooner or later." Well, not really, because by the time "later" comes, my problem will be over because of the booze and pills. I'm not stupid. You codependent people are all the same!

Are you selling any pills?
   
    Amy
 
 

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  • Posted May 8, 2010

    Smart, twisted, and hilarious

    I read a good review in Entertainment Weekly or somewhere, and I'm always looking for amusing books to put on my bedside table to read before I go to sleep. (Quick tip: laughing before sleeping helps insomnia.) So I picked this up and -- tragically for my sleep hygiene -- read the whole thing in one gulp, in the middle of the day. I was laughing so hard that my across-the-street neighbor stopped pruning a hedge and looked at my house, puzzled. Imagine the elegant Miss Manners holed up in a cheap hotel room after a week of slamming speed, Southern Comfort, and mushrooms, and now imagine the kind of advice she'd give you. I've given copies to friends and to my niece in Santa Cruz (go Banana Slugs).

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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