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The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death: Reflections on Revenge, Germophobia, and Laser Hair Removal

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3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,497 Ratings  ·  520 Reviews
Laurie Notaro has an uncanny ability to attract insanity–and leave readers doubled over with laughter. In The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death, she experiences the popular phenomenon of laser hair removal (because at least one of her chins should be stubble-free); bemoans the scourge of the Open Mouth Coughers on America’s airplanes; welcomes the newest ex-con ( ...more
Paperback, 218 pages
Published April 28th 2009 by Villard Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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thefourthvine
Jan 12, 2009 thefourthvine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays, humor, kindle
I admit it. I picked this up only and solely because it was available for free on the Kindle from Amazon. And this probably biased me pretty heavily - to say my expectations were lowered (especially after some of the other books I've gotten for free for the Kindle) is really understating things.

And yet. This book had me truly, helplessly laughing out loud on several occasions, and for that, four stars are basically guaranteed.

I'm not saying it's perfect. Notaro's voice has strong echoes of Erm
...more
Elevate Difference
The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death is a strong anthology of essays, which Laurie Notaro presents with an utterly unique sense of humor and insight. What may initially appear to be a random collection of humorous and unrelated anecdotes soon unfolds to expose a thoughtful and revealing look at the larger emotional and social issues that underpin the lives of people in general, and women in particular. Notaro treats each of these personal narratives with a biting and self-deprecating ...more
Terry
Sep 09, 2008 Terry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
Meh. I've enjoyed Notaro's earlier books (though I wasn't crazy about her novel), but this book probably suffers from Augusten Burroughs/David Sedaris syndrome---the more books of essays one writes, the more desperate one becomes for material, and the strain of forced hilarity shows.
Rebecca
Jan 01, 2016 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I did fully delight in Laurie's quick quips and razor sharp humor this book is not for everyone. She is far far from politically correct and those more sensitive readers will be easily offended. I, myself, am not easily offended and had some guilty laughs (a lot of laughs actually) over these short stories. Remember, the title of the book is "The Idiot Girl" and you may come away agreeing, I simply came away snickering. :-)

Just a couple of personal note:

In the chapter titled "Ready or Not
...more
Caitlin
Jul 01, 2012 Caitlin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
When I read "I Love Everybody (and Other Atrocious Lies)" I found myself near tears with laughter on more than one occasion. Naturally, I've been waiting to read another book by Notaro, and so I was delighted to find "The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death" at B&N on sale for $5. Unfortunately it seems that I got exactly what I paid for. "Idiot Girl" comes accross as overblown and formulaic--almost unbelievable at times. Most vignettes are centered around what should (rightly) be un ...more
Nora aka Diva
Aug 06, 2011 Nora aka Diva rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oh wow, I haven't "seen" anyone whine so much since my kids where toddlers. Yikes this woman whines like a 2 year old needing a nap but who can't find her blankie. I disapointingly didn't see the humor in any of this book. Where is the humor in unfortunate family also wanting to have a meal, oh well Ms. Notaro was there to laugh at their disabilities and malformities. what is wrong with the world when that's exceptable? Taking her dog to a dog birthday party? funny? Not sure how. It's not that I ...more
Cheryl C.
A funny, light collection of new essays from New York Times bestselling author Laura Notaro fills the pages of "The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death". Her reflections on revenge, germophobis, laser hair removal and more, will have you laughing out loud, and curious onlookers asking what you're reading.

I'm fairly certain if I opted for laser hair removal, my experience would match Notaro's, if not be worse--which is probably why I'll never try it. Oh, and by the way, my primary care ph
...more
Debbie
Dec 27, 2013 Debbie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very funny. I found myself literally laughing out loudly throughout this book.

I was looking for something just not serious and less than light to end my year of book reading on a fun note. What I got with this book was just about that. I'd say 90%. Which was good. This is a non fiction, a little different for me but hey, life is non fiction and that is what author Laurie Notaro writes about. The random hilarity of life. I really enjoyed it. This book is full of all those random situations we al
...more
Marisa
Oct 17, 2015 Marisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, essays
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Adrienne Kiser
For the most part I found this book a fun read, but in some chapters I found it off-putting that Notaro made jokes about people rather than about situations. While hopefully not intended to be so, a few descriptions came off as mean-spirited and it diminished my enjoyment of the book as a whole.
Kate
Jan 17, 2009 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a free kindle book so I downloaded it to switch to when I've had enough of the Brothers Karamazov. Of course, I've finished this after only a few days. Other reviewers compare her to Sedaris and Rakoff but her stories remind me more of the best kind of personal blog.

I've heard this isn't her best book so I can't wait to download her others. I didn't care for the first stories (in fact, I'm glad I got past the first story b/c I found it kind of offensive) but I was hooked after the dog t
...more
Megan
Jan 19, 2016 Megan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was between a 3 and a 4 for me. Some of the essays were amusing and her style reminded me a lot of Jen Lancaster. It was a quick, fun vacation read that sometimes made me chuckle.
Krisanne
Jan 17, 2016 Krisanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quirky, funny and ironic observations about life. An enjoyable read on a cold winter day
Nicole Wagner
It was okay. Some parts were truly laugh-out-loud funny but most of it was just alright.
REBECCA
Jan 03, 2015 REBECCA rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a great way to start my year!
Belinda
Meh...got this one on my Kindle for free, so I can't complain too much. I know a lot of people lovelovelove this author, and I suspect that this collection isn't one of her best, so I may try something else from her before giving her up. There were moments that had me laughing, and some that resonated with me in a familiar way, but overall I found the tone a bit tiring.

Before now, I hadn't realized how very much "self-deprecating" can be overdone. Sheesh.
Lori
Jul 04, 2013 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Hysterical writer. I have read Autobiography of a Fat Bride: True Tales of a Pretend Adulthood and liked it. This next one was a gift :) I truly did laugh out loud at the descriptions of her antics. Just what I needed at the beginning of my vacation. I am going to look for more Laurie Notaro soon.
Jenn
Jul 18, 2011 Jenn marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
One of the stories almost made me cry, which I did not expect. But it was well-written, so that's allowed. I laughed in a couple of places, was annoyed several editing mistakes. Overall it was good, but not my favorite Notaro (see "Idiot Girls Action-Adventure Club" or "Autobiography of a Fat Bride").
Cathy
In The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death, Laurie Notaro shows off a wide-ranging brand of humor. She is equally adept at self-deprecating musings to biting sarcasm to outlandish parody. In this collection of essays (it's not really a single, cohesive tome), Notaro claims to reside in Phoenix, AZ followed by Eugene, OR. Really though, she dwells in the land of absurdity, conjuring up some fiendishly funny visuals in the process. In a chapter about adopting/socializing a new puppy, her d ...more
Natalie
Oct 30, 2015 Natalie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, memoir, humor
Laurie Notaro relates anecdotes from her life in her fantastically-titled book, The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death. For me, however, the best thing about this memoir was its title; the rest of this book just doesn't match up with my sense of humor. I thought her treatment of the handicapped family in "The Lodgers" a bit cruel and her treatment of her husband a bit unfair (such as when the rapist moves in and he goes out for 2-3 times a day).

That said, I liked the display of emotio
...more
Lori
Feb 22, 2016 Lori rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
My favorite of Laurie Notaro's books thus far!! This will be my go to book when I am in the need for emergency laughter. Not the giggling kind either. The I am chortling like a broodmare with ice tea spraying out of my nose and I am traumatizing my poor cat kind of laughter. This book is laughter therapy!! Stressful week? Notaro to the rescue!!
Bonnie Moore
Sep 19, 2015 Bonnie Moore rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I was younger Erma Bombeck was on of my favorite authors. Laurie Notaro is of a different generation, but she makes me laugh too. I will probably read more of her books, when I am in the mood to be cheered up.
Melissa
I picked this book up at Amazon because it was free. This book was a little more difficult for me to rate. Mostly because I feel like this book is one of those that would not appeal to everyone. That being said, I found it an enjoyable and easy read.

There is no real point to the book. Each chapter is basically a short anecdote from the author'a life. There were two or three chapters meant to be pure comedy and felt like a long-winded monologue from a late night show.

Overall, the stories were e
...more
Jessica Gancio
Mar 07, 2015 Jessica Gancio rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wear Your Depends...

...because you're going to pee yourself laughing. Laurie Notaro hits it out of the park with this hilarious collection of true IG stories!
Erika
Apr 04, 2016 Erika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really quick and fun read, though slightly limited in scope by the perspective of the narrator, whose tendency is to reduce just about every situation into...well...a joke.

But I enjoyed it, I must say. The situations were varied and interesting and the book is a fun ride. The character is incredibly down-to-earth and so easy to relate to in all her struggles. I am not sure if she wrote this semi-autobiographically or as fiction (it is difficult to tell, some situations are so humorous it is h
...more
Jen
May 26, 2009 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Could not stop laughing!!! Read most of this book outdoors in a park and was laughing out loud. Hilarious!
Lisa Hunt
Maybe 1 3/4 stars....I picked this up because Jen Lancaster mentioned her in a post or article or something as someone who was an inspiration for her writing. I love Jen Lancaster and think she is pretty hilarious so I thought this would be a fun read. I actually got three of her books from the library. As I read this I was, of course, comparing her to Jen since they write the same genre and I have to say this was a disappointment. A couple of the stories were mildly funny, but overall, not my s ...more
Elaine Meszaros
Dec 03, 2014 Elaine Meszaros rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yeah! Another Laurie Notaro book! If you haven't read Notaro's collections of short essays or her novel There's a (Slight) Chance I Might Be Going to Hell get a copy in preparation of the long dark winter. No matter how embarrassing or awful the situation, Notaro makes the whole thing screamingly funny. From laser hair removal that causes her to make wounded hippo sounds to chasing someone in a Prius while having a tantrum, anything in her life is fair game. The woman is just flat out funny and ...more
Traci
Dec 19, 2010 Traci rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely adore Laurie Notaro, and I would totally be friends with her if I ever met her (and she'd let me, that is). My good friend Wendy sent me a copy of her first book a few years back and I've been hooked every since. This installment finds Notaro doing such fun things as going dealing with naughty neighbors, extended warranties, and other strange oddities in her life - including her relocation from her beloved Phoenix to the much-moister-climbed Oregon. For anyone who has ever moved, es ...more
Nicole Frail
Dec 10, 2011 Nicole Frail rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe I'm just easily amused, but I thought this collection was hilarious. I found myself laughing so hard at some points, I had to put the book down. "The Lodgers," "Love Thy Neighbor," "The Uhhhhhmazing Dr. Wells," "The Extended Warranty, the Extended Waistband, and the Repairman Who Almost Became a Hostage," and "Come Sail Away" were my favorite essays.

I was laughing aloud by page nine, when Notaro describes her passion for dessert in "The Lodgers." While reading "The Uhhhhhmazing Dr. Wells,"
...more
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Laurie Notaro is a New York Times best-selling American writer.
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