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Et Tu, Babe

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  1,321 ratings  ·  124 reviews
In this fiendishly original new novel, Mark Leyner is a leather-blazer-wearing, Piranha 793-driving, narcotic-guzzling monster who has potential rivals eliminated by his bionically enhanced bodyguards, has his internal organs tattooed, and eavesdrops on the erotic fantasies of Victoria's Secret models -- which naturally revolve around him.

Leyner's jet-propelled roller derb
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Paperback, 176 pages
Published August 24th 1993 by Vintage
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,140)
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Steve
Mar 22, 2014 Steve added it
In this book, at least, Mark Leyner is a late 20th century Hennie Youngman. Who the hell is Hennie Youngman, you ask? If you aren't older than dirt, you may well ask. Monsieur Youngman was a stand up comedian whose schtick was telling an infinite number of 2- or 3-line jokes in an extremely rapid-fire manner; almost all of them were as old as he was, but there were so many that a few were funny, by accident.

Like I said, Mark Leyner is a late 20th century Hennie Youngman, at least in this book. M
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Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Here's your hyperbolic fun. Easier to read, more traditionally narrative, than his previous two. The televisual equivalent is Metalocalypse. Seriously.

Also important for the Leyner fan is his not-to-be-missed movie War Inc.

Books Ring Mah Bell
ug. there was a reason this was half off in the used book section.
James Griffiths


I'm not entirely sure whether I enjoyed this. It was the first by Leyner I've read and it wasn't a good introduction to his work, I don't think. Probably the best thing about it is that it's short.
Leyner has created a parodic version of himself and the main orders of the day are megalomania and celebrity. Some of it is very, very random. The writing style goes of on a tangent and it's quite disconcerting.
Even though I knew to expect this from Leyner's writing, I don't think it worked for me.
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Ben Loory
just as much fun as My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist-- in fact, maybe even more so-- but as a novel, it actually has a structure and therefore (after a while) gets somewhat, um, OKAY SO "PREDICTABLE" IS DEFINITELY NOT THE WORD... i guess it just has more of a one-note feel. but still, whatever, the guy is brilliant. though i fear he might be driving me insane.

Like ballistic war-cannoli that fly through the sky and plunge into people's mouths at incredible speeds, rigid microscopic larval creatur
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David
I've heard it said that this was Leyner's best, but Tetherballs is still my favorite so far. I really wish that I could rate this a 5 on language, leaps, and reflection of the modern phenomenon of popular culture and then separately rate it four on my overall impression. It really has some impressive and enjoyable aspects, but I felt I had to rate it a little lower just because I didn't grok it as much as Tetherballs and Nutsack. Still, it is marvelous writing and Leyner truly moshes to the rhyt ...more
Julia Long
This is a hard book for me to rate. Unfortunately, I think I'm gonna have to go with 3/5 stars.
I rated My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist 5 stars and I stand by that. Maybe I would've rated Et Tu, Babe 5 stars, too, had it been the first of Leyner's works I'd come across. The thing is, for me, it's the type of thing that only works once.
I read Et Tu, Babe after loving MC, MG and thinking "Wow, I'd really like to see what else Leyner has to offer" but Et Tu, Babe didn't offer much *else.* There w
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David
A great, fresh, funny novel with a gripping voice all its own. I’m kind of surprised I hadn’t heard of Leyner before, because his brand of absolute dry devotion to demented premise resonates really strongly with the comedy canon I identify most strongly with – think Douglas Adams, Monty Python, Firesign Theater, They Might Be Giants; not in content per se, but in finding a new way to be outlandishly silly and running with it in a way that immediately feels familiar and makes you feel a little ap ...more
Max Zumstein
"Et Tu, Babe" is exhausting. In a good way. Every one of Mark Leyner's sentences in the 170 page book is not only a meticulously constructed punchline, but a slyly insightful meditation on and/or critique of...literary culture, pop culture, consumer culture, American culture, take your pick really. The reader is left wondering how a book can be so obnoxious, hilarious, profound, and stupid all at once.

In terms of content, this is Mark Leyner's postmodern autobiography. With every page Leyner pu
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G. Brown
This book may cause me to go back and demote all other books I've rated 5 stars to 4. That's how much I liked this book: it redefined LOVE for me.
Dmcsween
"If you squander your precious beautiful days on meaningless labor whose ultimate purpose is to further enrich the ruling elite or solidify the hegemony of the state ... you're a sucker." Yes, I've memorized entire sections of this book. It's one of my top ten all-time favorites. It was recommended by Matt Groenig, and Blurbed by Tom Robbins, little more need be said.
Jessica Balaschak
this guy was hilarious for like five years in the mid-90s, and now for some reason, he is guest writing the fashion dos and don'ts in us weekly ("mariah carey... more like mariah scarey!!!") or some bullshit like that. it makes me sad. don't ever buy the audiobook version of this because they take out all of the swearing and the dirty parts, so it's like 15 minutes long.
Tosh Dawson
I couldn't even finish this book, it was so grating. I came close, but realized three-quarters through that it wasn't getting any better. Reading it felt like I was with a date who was trying to hard to be something she wasn't, and didn't or wouldn't take my hints that that approach wasn't impressing me. Tosh
regina
Feb 27, 2015 regina rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: sedaris fans who crave harder drugs
I can't remember when I last read this, but like a junkie, I had to have more. Surreal, twisted, perceptive and completely unpredictable. That can be said for all of his books.

Think of Sedaris on peyote.
Splashconception
I picked up a copy of this book after reading about it in a literary essay by the late David Foster Wallace about postmodern fiction vs. television and a discussion of image-fiction in general. This book is about Mark Leyner as the meglomaniac writer in charge of his own super-ego corporation of flipper babies, idiotic blonde women, super-enhanced octogenarians with bionic weightlifter arms, product endorsements within books (Team Leyner gets an edorsement from Pepsi-Cola to mention drinking the ...more
Jeroen Kraan
This is one of the most unconventional books I have ever read. Mark Leyner's writing is not easy to categorise, or even describe, but here goes.

Et Tu, Babe is a fictional autobiography in which the author, an alternate-reality version of Mark Leyner, mostly spends a lot of time bragging about his sexual prowess, his awesome riches, and his overpowering influence on the literary fiction of the day. This version of Mr Leyner is so powerful and famous that he even has a team of bodyguards, staff an
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Suncan Stone
A strange book, which makes you think: OK so who is this Mark guy sleeping with at Vintage? How did he get this published? What convinced them? And all of these thoughts came to me while reading the first ten pages... Then you slowly get the hang of it... It still works as a list of semi-developed ideas for a cheap almost Mike Hammer style soap opera, but at least you realise that all these fantasy notes revolve around the main character named... wait... yes, you guessed it - Mark Leyner... Some ...more
Alejandro Ramirez
One of the fastest books I've ever read. Is Monthy Pyton on steroids. free from any plot, convention or sensorship, the only aim is to cram as many possible wild images and extravagant concepts as possible, in such density and rapid succession that there is room for nothing more. The only theme is the megalomania of the main character.
Perhaps not a fantastic book, but very entretaining, very original, and very wild; it makes Vicente Huidobro seem composed.
Jason
I've long considered my sense of humour to be equal parts silliness, stupidity, absurdity and triviality. This was a source of self-doubt for a long time (and continues to vex in one way: why can't I remember what Eli Whitney did -- well, okay, he invented the cotton gin, but who the hell knows what that is? -- but I have at my disposal all the names of the Facts of Life girls, and the actresses who played them?) That said, Leyner's absolute disregard for linear storytelling is something I admir ...more
Celeste
Aug 04, 2009 Celeste rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone jonesing for early 90s excesses
Shelves: literature
I used to have this book basically memorized. I had it on tape (read by Leyner) and used to listen to it a lot, and you know how it is when you hear things you remember them better than when you read them. Re-reading Et Tu, Babe after a few years of not much Leyner (though I did read the first couple Why Do Men... books) it seemed more than a little dated. That's just bound to happen when 50% of the book is pop culture references, but it made me a little sad. I hate to say it, but I think the ti ...more
Matt
Mark Leyner has a style like no other. I have seen his work labeled by others as both postmodern and cyberpunk. I'm not sure if either of these really apply, but almost all of his work makes me giddy when I read it. This book is essentially a (supposed) look into his life as a famous writer. Basically combine every story of excess that you have ever heard about William Burroughs, Hunter Thompson, and Dylan Thomas and you have a general sense of a day at the office for Mark Leyner (the character) ...more
Brandon Jones
Well, this book certainly accomplished making me feel delusional much like the fictitious Leyner but without the chaotic fun it was meant to have. I was super eager to finish this book and began reading at a Leyner-esque meth induced pace. My favorite part was the imagery of his gigantic muscles giving him odd tan lines. That will probably stick in my brain for awhile.
Kye Alfred Hillig
Leyner keeps referring to this as his autobiography throughout the book, which is awesome considering that 99% of it is obviously bullshit. I love how every character in the book simply admires him in every possible way (including celebrities). He has all these people supposedly talking about what great features he has and how women are drawn to him. Mark truly has a gift for pulling these crazy non-sequiters out of his head. That is where his talent is. It is what makes him stand apart from jus ...more
Zach
I've enjoyed two other Leyner books, found appealing both his verbal and pop cultural pyrotechnics, but this novel left me flat. For an author who creates substance through style, the style in this one was lacking, and even the level of substance, usually subjugated to other concerns, seemed diminished. As a satire, which is how his works can best be categorized, I don't think it deals with relevant enough issues to itself be relevant. On top of that, the cleverness and cunning that is Leyner's ...more
Rachael L.
Et Tu Babe is one of the funniest books I have ever read!! I've read it four times now. My ex-husband read it while on a flight somewhere and laughed the whole trip. When he finished he started right back at the beginning and started reading it again! Its not for everyone, I'm sure. You've got to just be into the absurdity of the whole thing. I spent my time laughing not so much at the text in the book but imagining what the heck the author's trip was all about. What was he on? It is brilliant. ...more
Aiden
NOT FOR EVERYONE! but if you have a high tolerance for extreme quirk, way past the point of ridiculosity and non sequituriness, this might just make you wee in your pants.
Stephen
A Mark Leyner sentence is a beautiful thing. It starts out like your average sentence but somewhere in the middle takes a plunge into complete lunacy. This book is filled with many, many such sentences, which when piled on top of each other comprise a very funny book.

A lazy comparison would be David Foster Wallace at his most absurd, but that would do no justice to the madness contained here. Leyner doesn't really care about exploring his characters' emotions, nor stirring yours, so the humor mi
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Kenneth Hoover
While I see the charm of Leyner's fictionalized version of himself, I found myself unable to overcome my initial disgust with his attitude. On one level, a reader should feel appalled at the disappearance of Leyner--considering the amount of time he spends describing his security forces, his disappearance should be as shocking as if the president were to vanish. But I felt nothing.

It's an enormously witty book, but Leyner knows that and he plays it up, leaving little room for anything else.
Lloyd
Mark Leyner seems to be torn between trying to be William S. Burroughs and Buckaroo Banzai. Using his alter ego as protagonist for his books is amusing, but does make the reader wonder if he's an egotistical bastard, or merely self-satirizing. I'm sure there are fans out there who will argue that he's poking fun at the fleeting nature of celebrity, and the ridiculous lengths to which fans will go for their heroes. They might be correct, but that still doesn't diminish the impression that he's ju ...more
Elizabeth
By far one of the strangest books I have read.
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Mark Leyner is an American postmodernist author.

Leyner employs an intense and unconventional style in his works of fiction. His stories are generally humorous and absurd: In The Tetherballs of Bougainville, Mark's father survives a lethal injection at the hands of the New Jersey penal system, and so is freed but must live the remainder of his life in fear of being executed, at New Jersey's discret
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More about Mark Leyner...
Why Do Men Have Nipples?: Hundreds of Questions You'd Only Ask a Doctor After Your Third Martini My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist Why Do Men Fall Asleep After Sex? More Questions You'd Only Ask a Doctor After Your Third Whiskey Sour The Tetherballs of Bougainville The Sugar Frosted Nutsack

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