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When You Lie About Your Age, the Terrorists Win: Reflections on Looking in the Mirror
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When You Lie About Your Age, the Terrorists Win: Reflections on Looking in the Mirror

3.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  409 Ratings  ·  79 Reviews
Stand-up comic and comedy writer Carol Leifer faced a critical dilemma and had only two options: either continue sharing her greatest childhood memory (seeing the Beatles at Shea Stadium in 1966) or lie about her age. But the choice soon became clear: “I see now that when you deny your age, you deny yourself, and when you lie about your age, you become your inauthentic twi ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published January 26th 2010 by Villard (first published 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 772)
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Cindy Prevost
Jun 10, 2009 Cindy Prevost rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this book after reading "When You are Engulfed in Flames" by David Sedaris. Leifer gives the lesbian view of life. She is not as irreverant as Sedaris, but she is funny. I loved her take on bumper stickers.
Scott
Oct 25, 2012 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely enjoyed this book, a nice collection of some laughs, insight, and some suprisingly moving vignettes. Carol Leifer avoids the pitfall that other stand-up comedians tend to fall into when writing an autobiography - writing your act out instead of a narrative. Sure, there's a few jokes that could have come from the stage here and there, but this selection of life stories and thoughts feel very natural. She makes even the most ordinary aspects of her life hilarious, as well as making the ...more
Marcy
Jul 12, 2009 Marcy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written comical essays written by a woman whom I met at a resort in New Zealand and then later discovered to be a fine stand-up comedienne. I remember laughing lots at the dinner table we shared in Rota Rua and was not at all disappointed by the book. The fact that she focused many pages on the aging process and all that implies made me identify even more with her writing.
Judith
Apr 08, 2010 Judith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a short delightful, funny book by a stand up comedienne. In addition to laughing out loud at her humor, I enjoyed her story which was all about change. At the age of 40+ she went from being a heterosexual to a committed lesbian relationship. From a person who could barely tolerate animals, she became a person who eventually adopted 7 dogs and (of course) absolutely adores them. Her love for her dogs started her on the path to becoming a veagan. Then she and her partner adopted a 10 mont ...more
Tami
Aug 20, 2009 Tami rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When You Lie about Your Age, the Terrorists Win is absolutely hilarious. In this book, comedian Carol Leifer, talks openly about her life. Like us all, life has thrown her a few curve balls. For instance she found her life partner by having a lesbian fling, she decided to become a parent in her late forties, and realized that she was an animal person (subsequently rescuing quite a pack of pets).

Life is full of surprises. At the time, some may seem tragic or utterly confusing. Yet, Carol shows t
...more
Kathy McC
Recommended in the AARP Magazine.
Light-hearted essays. I didn't find the writing as humorous as advertised, but it was an enjoyable read. Plus, the author lives with seven dogs from various dog rescue organizations.

"But I don't want to erase the pictures while they're still in the camera. I want to get the pictures back from the weird lady at the photo place, look through them, and then toss the ones I don't want into my garbage can."
"I learned what all animal people know.There is a pureness
...more
Sjcapanna
Feb 08, 2010 Sjcapanna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
I wanted this book to be hilarious, because the author was a head writer for Seinfeld, and, according to IMDB, the Elaine character was based on her. But it just wasn't all that funny, and in some parts it was serious. Which, it's not like serious is a bad thing, but this comedian has no business spouting her theories about the meaning of life. I think this book would have been more appealing if I were in my 50s, which seems to be the demographic at which it is aimed. But I finished it within 48 ...more
JR
Jun 05, 2013 JR rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've always enjoyed Leifer's stand up comedy as well as her writing for sitcoms like Seinfeld, so maybe I had higher expectations for this book than I should have. I think I am finding that few books by comedians live up to my expectations for laugh out loud humor. To sum up...I liked the book, but did not love it. There were some truly touching and thoughtful stories, and some with mild humor. But uproarious it was not.
Klongo
May 17, 2009 Klongo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was disappointed when I expected this to be a laff riot because it's Carol Leifer. When I accepted that it's a pretty straight-forward memoir, I liked it more. It's basically a love letter to her parents and family, with some sane observations about aging, and about coming out and becoming an observant Jew after 40.
Margaret
Jun 18, 2009 Margaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fabulous airplane read, even though the plane landed three hours late. Lots of funny quips, and many serious observations about life, death, and love. A few of the chapters seemed disjointed from the rest or disappointed me by not having much substance (for instance, the piece dedicated to menstruation).
Cursingmama
Note that this book is not all fun and games, because it isn't. No, When You Lie About Your Age the Terrorists Win is also a lot about growing up, figuring out who you are, and being happy with it. Carols thoughts, insights and and honesty are not only fun & funny to read; but also touching and often heart warming.
Sarah
Jun 08, 2009 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was good. Not as funny as I was hoping but it may have been that the last few chapters dealt with death and grief. Hard to walk away laughing when you are still crying about her fathers brown shoes.
Nita
May 04, 2009 Nita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this on my Kindle and enjoyed it. It was a quick and fun read.
Lauren
Aug 28, 2015 Lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-reads, memoirs
Carol Leifer is a stand-up comedian who has collected many humorous stories about her experiences growing up and coming to terms with aging as a woman. In her 50’s, she’s now at the age where she can impart those words of wisdom in humorous lessons to her readers.

Carol is an interesting woman, but not one I felt like I could relate to very much at all. She’s middle aged. A lesbian. Jewish. Vegan. While all those are awesome, none of those words describe me at all. And yet, I found her book compe
...more
Michelle
Jan 01, 2010 Michelle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"I typically do not read this genre, and I was concerned that I wasn't in the correct age bracket to truly enjoy the book. It was presented to me that the book is about coming to terms with yourself, coming into your own, and becoming the person you are meant to be. Since turning thirty a few years ago, I am all about coming to terms with myself and coming into my own, so I took the plunge.[return][return]I wasn't disappointed. While I might not have been able to relate to some of the stories Ms ...more
Beverly
Jul 23, 2014 Beverly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Stand-up comic Carol Leifer faced a critical dilemma and had only two options: either continue sharing her greatest childhood memory (seeing the Beatles at Shea Stadium in 1966) or lie about her age. But the choice soon became clear and you must read the book to find out. OK book, but not too funny - more poignant.
Tracy
May 26, 2012 Tracy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Probably more relevant for my mom's generation, but an entertaining read all the same.

The only thing that bugged me was that she took a chapter to (somewhat jokingly) scold younger women for not getting more involved in women's issues (I wonder if she would still say that post-Sandra Fluke) yet in various places throughout the book she was rather outspoken about her own lack of interest other important issues. And some of her language wasn't particularly pro-women (or pro-change-our-expectation
...more
Helen
May 15, 2010 Helen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not as funny as I thought it would be. The book also did not seem to flow - seemed more like a collection of essays (case in point - the author reexplained her relationship with animals twice - that was annoying). And it seemed a bit antiquated.

The saving grace:

* [sic:] "in middle age, your life starts being written in pen, when your younger it is written in pencil" meaning you can erase and rewrite your life when younger. This line really stuck with me.

* The author's feeling that younger women
...more
Patricia
Dec 26, 2014 Patricia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
I bought this book and a used book store to read as fluff between some more serious book in my stack. It served its purpose and affirmed many of my own my own decisions on the aging process.
Anna
Aug 13, 2009 Anna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am clearly not the target audience (fifty-something, Jewish, liberal gay feminist--none of which describe me at all) for this book--I really didn't enjoy her humor at all. I probably should have realized that it wouldn't be my style based on who was quoted on the back cover, but it didn't occur to me until later that I wasn't particularly familiar with those people's humor, either; they were simply names that were familiar to me. I believe if I enjoyed those comedians more, I would have enjoye ...more
Cherie Kephart
Apr 03, 2015 Cherie Kephart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Leifer amuses and delights with this book and the reflections we can all identify with.
Kathleen Gillis
I wanted to love this book, but I didn't. I liked it okay, but I'd never marry it, although I might let it take me out to the planetarium to see the laser show of Pink Floyd's "The Wall" and then make out with it in a cemetery on the way home. Most likely I'd then pretend I didn't recognize it when I later saw it sitting on the remainder pile at Barnes and Noble. There were some shiny moments in here to be sure, but too much of it felt tepid, like Carol Leifer was holding the good stuff back and ...more
Patricia
Quick read about a part of Carol Leifer's life
Kathryn
May 31, 2015 Kathryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
comedienne's who write books always seem super wise. this book wasn't particularly funny, but is worth a read.
Jill
Nov 11, 2013 Jill rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt
This book was so bad that even though I facilitate the book group that picked this book to read, I decided not to finish it. I don't like comedy that takes shortcuts with stereotypes, overgeneralizations, etc. and this book did that and did it poorly. It was a collection of globalized generalizations that conveyed very little actual introspection and was just plain annoying. The only reason why I'll ever even remember this book is because I met my soon to be wife (she also hated the book).
Suzanne
Dec 04, 2009 Suzanne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A comedian's memoirs about growing up on Long Island? I thought for sure this would be hilarious. But it wasn't. It was more Carol Leifer soap boxing about her various beliefs (political, religious, animal, vegetable, etc). I think it would have been funnier had I actually read it instead of listening to it because Leifer's "delivery" was awful. If it was any longer than 4 discs I would have bailed but I have a long commute so I stuck it out.
Marcia
Jul 05, 2010 Marcia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grown-up-books
Another grab off the library new shelf (thank you Erving Public Library!) A collection of short humorous pieces. Some were funny, others not at all. I'm not familiar with Leifer's TV work, but here she is heavy on the Jewish and lesbian humor which I couldn't really relate to. I think you have to have some connection, where you are nodding your head in agreement, for that type of humor to work.
Elise
Jul 23, 2010 Elise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book and I were obviously destined to be good friends. It was written by a woman who said: "I recently became vegan because I felt that as a Jewish lesbian, I wasn’t part of a small enough minority. So now I’m a Jewish lesbian vegan."

Fantastic book - hilarious (of course), but also surprisingly poignant and wise. I laughed. I cried. I laughed some more.
David Jay
May 26, 2010 David Jay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Carol Leifer is a real comic gem and I think her long ago cancelled series, "Alright Already," was brilliant. This book is a series of comic essays, mostly about aging but also about coming out later in life (she realized she was a lesbian at 40), being an animal mommy (she has seven dogs!!) and being Jewish. Very, very funny, and my favorite title ever.
Sofia
Oct 28, 2012 Sofia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Isabel
Recommended to Sofia by: Mr. Fowler
Shelves: favorite-books
I really liked this book. Carol Leifer is hilarious, since she is a comedian. This book was recommended to me and i thought it would be a good book to read because it has a similar style to the book "Bossypants" by Tina Fey. If you look at my review on "Bossypants", you will see that I enjoyed that book very much, as well as this book.
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Carol Leifer is an American comedian, writer, producer and actor whose career as a stand-up comedian started in the 1970s when she was in college.

David Letterman discovered her performing in a comedy club in the 1980s and she has since been a guest on Late Night With David Letterman over twenty-five times as well as numerous other shows and venues.

She has written many television scripts including
...more
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