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There's a (Slight) Chance I Might Be Going to Hell: A Novel of Sewer Pipes, Pageant Queens, and Big Trouble
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There's a (Slight) Chance I Might Be Going to Hell: A Novel of Sewer Pipes, Pageant Queens, and Big Trouble

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3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  5,249 Ratings  ·  718 Reviews
The first novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Idiot Girls’ Action-Adventure Club is a rollicking tale of small-town peculiarity, dark secrets, and one extraordinary beauty pageant.

When her husband is offered a post at a small university, Maye is only too happy to pack up and leave the relentless Phoenix heat for the lush green quietude of Spaulding, Was
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ebook, 0 pages
Published May 29th 2007 by Villard (first published January 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Madeline
Jul 24, 2008 Madeline rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: no-judgements
First off, let me just say that I love Laurie Notaro. I've read and loved four of her previous books, and find just about every short story she writes completely hilarious. With this in mind, I was really excited to read this book, her first experiment with fiction - I figured if the nonfiction stories Notaro wrote nearly made me pee myself laughing, just imagine what she could write if she were allowed to make everything up!
And that's the problem: Laurie Notaro's first novel is about a woman na
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Dioscita
Apr 01, 2008 Dioscita rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blech
Already I am disappointed by the overwrought overwriting and the constipated way sentences are constructed in this story. I'd probably like it a lot better if the author (whose name I haven't even bothered to remember) didn't work so hard at trying to make me like it. But I can be contrary that way, too. Anyway, I won't finish this book which is in perfect condition. If you'd like a go at it, let me know what you have to swap and let's see if we can't find something better for each of us.
Lizz
May 25, 2010 Lizz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OMG this book is laugh out loud, spew coffee out your nose funny!! Just fabulous. Reviews of her stuff seem to be fairly divisive -- you either get her or you don't apparently. I totally get her. Any of y'all who read my book musing here know that I don't "do" reviews. I figure if you wanna know what the book is about you'll trundle on over to Amazon like everyone else does, so I just give you my view of what I read. Hey! My Goodreads page, my rules.

Give this one a try. I just downloaded her ne
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Michele
Jun 20, 2007 Michele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absurd . . . But Pure Laurie Notaro

Change the names, create an absurd little scenario, and call it fiction. As a fan of Notaro's essay collections, this story, There's a (Slight) Change I Might Be Going to Hell, didn't surprise or disappoint. It doesn't stretch too far from her roots in writing first person vignettes about a funny, irreverent woman, however, the woman in this story happens to be named "Maye." Maye is clearly a Laurie alter ego, and it helped to have read her earlier collections
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Megan RFA
Sep 02, 2008 Megan RFA rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up because I'd been searching for Confessions of a Fat Bride but no one ever seems to have it in stock.

I have several complaints:

Notaro's writing style is gimmicky. I can't think of a better word, unfortunately. Her jokes are all formulaic a la Family Guy, but Family Guy still gets a chuckle or more out of me at least once per episode in spite of the obvious plot device being used over and over again. It reads like it written by an adolescent boy, which is an odd choice of s
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Marian
Jan 15, 2009 Marian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book had everything, including the kitchen sink, thrown in--metaphors, similes, stereotypes, and an underlying Karate Kid theme (only less inspiring for all the dog poop). Sometimes it all worked and sometimes it didn't.

The story is over the top, for sure. Some of it is really funny. For example, the main character, Maye, having moved to a recycling, no meat eating town in Oregon finds herself telling lies to find friends. This, she reflects, is earning her places in the different degrees o
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The Listmaker
Nov 30, 2008 The Listmaker rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
A somewhat disappointing read.

I wanted to like this book as much as I've liked Ms. Notaro's other books, but her first foray into fiction wasn't very compelling, nor was it all that funny. Sure, it had its moments where you might chuckle, and while it did read a little bit on the autobiographical side, it didn't have those moments where you nearly pee your pants laughing as in her non-fiction books.

If you're looking for a harmless read, this is as good as any.

This would be one of the books wher
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Robin Rountree
Aug 03, 2007 Robin Rountree rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: looking for a light read
Shelves: pastreads
Not as funny as I had hoped, and the way the book ended made me roll my eyes.
On the plus side, it was a "light" read...just what I was looking for in the summer heat. And it gets a star just for the title.
Lisa
Aug 26, 2014 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this when it first hit the shelves in 2007, and then I read every book I could find written by Laurie Notaro . I laughed so much while reading this, people on the train wanted the title. I fave it to many friends. Thank you for making us laugh, Laurie
Mark Oppenlander
There's a (slight) chance that this may not be a very good book.

Maye Roberts is a thirty-something freelance journalist living in Phoenix, Arizona who is suddenly uprooted to a small town of Spaulding, Washington when her husband is offered a teaching post at the local University. Maye struggles to make friends in the new town and instead finds herself in several embarrassing situations. She even manages to develop an enemy or two, including the local postman who thinks her dog is a menace and t
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Mary
Sep 06, 2015 Mary rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I was up and down in my feelings for this book. I really wanted to dislike it, then I really wanted to like it, and in the end...ehhh 3 stars is fairly generous.

As a former student of fiction in college, my impulse was to workshop the heck out of this thing, making notes in the margins like "Oh, this really doesn't work," and "Way too much exposition!"

The jokes were funny...sometimes, but just came off as judgmental and cruel at other times, ultimately making me unsure if I liked the protagonis
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Lindz-o
This book gets two stars (instead of one) because I actually managed to read the whole thing. I've never read anything by Laurie Notaro before but picked this up because I was in the mood for something fun and light.

Well, fun and light is what this book is supposed to be and it probably is for most readers. However, this book gets two starts (instead of three) because several scenes were a little too slapsticky for my tastes. I started to get bored reading about Maye's ridiculous and desperate
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Afton Nelson
Apr 07, 2012 Afton Nelson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult
I will admit, at first the endless similes and run-on sentences bugged me. It's stuff like this, where Maye explains why she hates Pat Benatar's 80's hit "Love is a Battlefield:" "Well, um, it's not that I don't like it, but when I hear it, I'm transported back to 1983 and a red headed mongrel of an adolescent with a whitehead the size of a nickel on the tip of his nose is attempting to shove his slug of a tongue down my throat a I'm sitting in a swiveling bucket seat in the front of his dad's C ...more
Samantha
May 21, 2008 Samantha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who want to laugh
This book was a gift from my friend Liza. This got me through the strangest most boring (to date) temp job this week. I like that Notaro writes the way I think -- you know me, a little non-linear, self-deprecating - but I would really love to think -- very very funny and somewhat self aware.

You're well over a 100 pages in to the book before the real storyline begins. But if you got that far, you won't really care that much, because you'll be sufficently amused by the storyline. The story takes
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Lisa
Aug 25, 2008 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the front of my ARC was a letter from the editor warning that you dare to read this book in a public place to be aware that you WILL laugh out loud and people WILL look at you funny. I didn't believe him. And then I read the book in a public place and I DID laugh out loud and people DID look at me funny. :)

I loved Maye's character and her struggle to find friends in the small town of Spaulding (home of the sewer-pipe king and host of the annual Sewer-Pipe Queen Pageant). After mistaking the l
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Sally Bozzuto
Aug 24, 2007 Sally Bozzuto rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in a fun and funny, light-hearted story
This book was fun and ended up being better than I thought when I first started reading it. The novel thing is different from her normal style of writing, and I was open to it, but was at first disappointed with the similarity to her normal anecdotal style since none of it was actually true. I still wonder how much of it came from reality. The main characters are clearly based on her and her husband, but I assume everything else is completely fabricated. And yet, it almost has a quality of "what ...more
Mary Sue
Jul 02, 2008 Mary Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who need a laugh or are lonely.
Recommended to Mary Sue by: Cousin Kathy
If you have ever felt lonely in a new town, or workplace, this is the book for you. Maye earnestly explores different avenues in search of friends in her new location. She finds a long string of characters and hilarious situations along the way. I needed this book after reading about polotics and murder mysteries for awhile.
Jennifer
Jul 06, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a fun, fast read! Thirty-something lady with no kids has trouble making friends in a new hippie-dippie town. Odd hijinx ensue as she enters the town's all-inclusive (men, women, children, trannies) pageant in hopes of making friends. Thanks so much to Jenny for sending this my way.
Brie
Jul 21, 2009 Brie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was constantly laughing out loud while reading this book. However it was not just a meaningless funny book, the encounters and feelings described as the character deals with living in a new town are outrageous but with enough real truth to make the book relate-able.
Kim
Jan 29, 2012 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those fun books that literally makes you snort hot coffee out of your nose from laughing. Notaro has such great literary comic timing. She seems like the kind of gal I'd love to have coffee with. Maybe make that iced coffee.
Kelly
Sep 12, 2012 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very funny voice...would make an hilarious comedic movie.
Marie/laura
Jun 28, 2008 Marie/laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Funny and full of stories of the characters move to a small town which is especially entertaining if you happen to live in one!
Eryn
Sep 06, 2008 Eryn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Her characters remind me of a ariel, cindy, me, abbie hybrid. Of course she is really funny.
Marilyn
Oct 30, 2012 Marilyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were parts of this made me chuckle. Enjoyable, and I'll look for other books that Notaro has written.
Stef
Apr 14, 2011 Stef rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hilarious!!!!
Susie
Aug 22, 2007 Susie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lightweight humor with a touch of mystery. A good beach book. Again, emphasis on the lightweight.
Nicole Siemers
Feb 27, 2017 Nicole Siemers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
hilariously funny! A bit too "funny" in the beginning. Too many similes and metaphors. They were funny, but seemed to form run on sentences. The last few chapters were what the book was really all about, and all of the silliness was gone.
Dan
Aug 24, 2008 Dan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It has been said before, but I will have to agree that the title is one of the best parts of this book. While I never expected anything but fluffy reading from this book and was more than willing to suspend my disbelief for some of the plot there were still too many bumbling and awkward moments in There's a (Slight) Chance I Might Be Going to Hell: A Novel of Sewer Pipes, Pageant Queens, and Big Trouble.

Actually, take a moment to read the title again in its entiretly. In some ways this title is
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Carolyn
Feb 19, 2017 Carolyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, adult
Pretty funny!
Laura
Dec 05, 2011 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
Oh, Laurie, my wonderful, funny Laurie.... stick to memoirs, darlin'. That's what you're good at.

These reads like a novel based-on-fact, which may sound nutty in a book that involves a Sewer Pipe Queen pageant and spontaneous combustion. The thing is, so much of what "Maye" goes through in this book is what (or at least remarkably similar to) Laurie, herself, describes in her memoirs. Moving from the ghetto in Phoenix to the Pacific Northwest -- yep, Laurie did that. Working out of the houe and
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Laurie Notaro is a New York Times best-selling American writer.
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“...Everyone knows there's only one thing less welcome on a stage than a mime, and that's a clown, because everyone knows that clowns eat people.” 27 likes
“Small towns are sometimes like that; familiarity runs high, while regard for personal space is low, if nonexistent.” 25 likes
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