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Mental: Funny In The Head
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Mental: Funny In The Head

3.26 of 5 stars 3.26  ·  rating details  ·  150 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Perfect for fans of David Sedaris, Sarfaty translates his astute and acerbic standup into a hilarious essay collection that explores career lows, schizophrenic felines, and much more.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 1st 2009 by Kensington (first published 2009)
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My feelings on Mental are mixed. When it’s at its best, such as when Sarfaty writes about his relationships with older relatives, it’s both funny and touching. But too much of the book doesn’t measure up to its best parts, and I found myself impatient for chapters on the comedian’s sex life to end so I could get to the good bits about his European vacation with his parents. The nice part of a book like this is that you can skip past chapters you don’t like without worrying that you won’t be able ...more
The humor didn't always work for me. Like standup in general, there are funny lines, amusing anecdotes, but many lines fall flat. Given the length of these stories, it's not surprising that the humor isn't sustainable throughout each page. I don't know what it is with comedy writing: Enjoyable and easy to read, yes, but afterwards not matter how much I laugh - even out loud - while reading it, I always feel disappointment and the humor just isn't so memorable (I recall my reaction to Confederacy ...more
Liza Gilbert
I truly loved most of this book. It is arranged in a series of short stories that are all extremely autobiographical and deal with being gay in the age of AIDS, being a stand-up comedian, and trying to find Mr. Right.

Many of the stories are snort-worthy funny and have moments of genuine, heart-breaking connections and truths. The last story, however, was a deal breaker. After talking on and off for a few stories about how he used to have a weight problem and has issues with people who pick on t
John Bateman
Thoroughly enjoyed this writer's first book of comic essays. The mother, the (ex)boyfriends, the pets, the jobs, the insanity, hit close enough to home to make me laugh, but not so close to home to make me shutter my windows and cry.
This was a delight from start to finish.

I usually don't care for collections of humorous essays because I feel like they're trying WAY TOO HARD, but Sarfaty does something really smart ... he just goes for the human truth in each of these essays and allows the humor to come in organically. There were several times I had to put my Kindle down because I was laughing so hard--and each and every time those were situations where I thought "there but for the grace of God . . ." I also appreciate the
This was definitely a funny, entertaining, and easy-to-read book. Unfortunately, I also found it a little forced and inappropriate at times. There was too much sex - I suppose I sound like a prude saying that, but I don't really need to read about every time a writer has hot sex, and I didn't really feel that it was necessary to all of the stories, which is the reason I learned in writing class why you're allowed to write about sex.
I did, however, thoroughly enjoy the story "Can I Tell You Some
Although I didn't find it as funny as the hype suggested, this did get a chuckle out of me on more than one occasion. Sarfaty has a knack for describing people; his use of simile is impressive. He describes how the costume of a chain-smoking actress "makes her look like one of the few survivors of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire." Kudos for working history into the humor!

Didn't need all the sex references and descriptions, though. It just didn't seem like they needed to be included in every story.
Although it's easy to compare Eddie Sarfaty to David Sedaris, he has a voice of his own. He's frank and funny, and his recollections read like good stories you want to hear at a party. He peppers his memoir with too many one-liners from his stand-up act, and it would be nice to see him smooth those out into fuller examinations of his life. But he has a good ear for knowing when to stop the stand-up and get serious.
Some interesting stories...but not a laugh riot like the description implies. More of a humorish memoir of a middle-aged gay comedian who freely discusses his sexual proclivities with his boyfriend(s). Not that there's anything wrong with that. Actually turns out to be more depressing than anything.
I thought the first essay in Mental was absolutely amazing. The next few were energetic and funny in an acerbic/self-deprecating way, but Eddie Sarfaty isn't David Sedaris, and subsequent essays don't have the fine crafting, insight or tidy conclusion of the stellar "Second Guessing Grandma."
The first story was fantastic! I gave it to multiple to read because it was so moving. Witty, sometimes self-deprecating chapters that always kept me smiling and even laughing out loud. Not your traditional book of funny stories--great combo of gay/Jewish themes.
Alice Warren-gregory
At its high points, this book reaches near-Sedaris levels of humor, wit and pathos. At is low points, it is crass, immature, unfunny and unenlightening. Read “My Tale of Two Cities,” “Can I Tell You Something?” and “The Eton Club,” and skip the rest.
Funny, intriguing, and a good read. Met Eddie a year ago and has become a friend of mine. He's a great guy and I look forward to reading more from him. If you haven't seen his live show I suggest you go! You're missing out on a fun ride.
I enjoyed this book. It was a quick and easy read. From the first chapter, I was sucked into his funny stories and all too real characters.

Maybe I liked it so much because he's from Long Island. :)
There were some great stories in this book w/ a few gems that delightfully twist at the very end. My favorite was the first in which Sarfaty comes out to his grandmother.
nonfiction; memoir shorts. First couple stories were pretty funny; the last were more serious and dark. Not as funny as David Sedaris but a talented storyteller.
Great read. Several short stories as told my standup commedian Eddie Sarfaty. What makes this book differet is that it wasn't political, but autobiographical.
Some of the essays in this book are amusing and interesting, but the necessary work to make the separate pieces adhere as a book (qua book) has not been done.
cute and funnier than expected. Only 3 instead of 4 stars because I did skip a page or a chapter here and there. But overally really good.
Feb 02, 2012 Rebekkila marked it as to-read
I registered a book at!
Renee Rothhaas
Pleasant read. I was disappointed with the last story, otherwise i enjoyed his humor and observations.
McGriddle  Pants
Really funny. Makes you realize nobody's life is perfect. And that its important to laugh at yourself.
Laughed my ass off!! When you are in a restaurant eating lunch by yourself you do tend to get strange looks.
Jeffrey Ballam
Very humorous! An enjoyable read!
Jen marked it as to-read
Mar 14, 2015
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Comedian and writer Eddie Sarfaty has appeared on The Today Show, Comedy Central's Premium Blend, Logos Wisecrack, and can currently be seen in the documentary, Laughing MattersThe Men.

Eddies first book, a collection of humorous essays entitled Mental: Funny in the Head was released by Kensington Press on July 1, 2009.

Eddie is on the faculty of The Theatre Lab in Washington, DC and New York Univ

More about Eddie Sarfaty...

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