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

3.24  ·  Rating Details ·  167 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Eddie Sarfaty's astute and acerbic stand-up effortlessly captures the everyday absurdities of life, blending self-deprecation and sarcasm with a razor-sharp instinct for the ridiculous. In Mental, he expands his hilarious insights into a collection of autobiographical essays that explore career lows, cheapskate exes, the wonder and hell of family, psychopathic felines, and ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 1st 2009 by Kensington (first published 2009)
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Oct 20, 2009 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 18, 2011 Lawrence rated it liked it
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
Feb 28, 2015 John Bateman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 02, 2013 Alejandro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 26, 2009 Heather rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
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
Jan 14, 2016 Michael rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
Typo, page 232: "...those duties now full under my purview."

Typo, page 230: "'s unpleasantness, I also I have a terrible..."

Feb 22, 2010 Virginia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
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.
Aug 02, 2009 Greg rated it really liked it
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.
Oct 12, 2009 Mark rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 04, 2009 Beth rated it it was ok
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."
Sep 18, 2009 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 24, 2009 Tim rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 06, 2009 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. :)
Jan 29, 2010 Eliot rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 02, 2010 Tracey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 20, 2009 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 23, 2009 Trent rated it it was ok
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.
Sep 03, 2010 Letty rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Jun 18, 2011 Yasmin rated it it was amazing
My review can be found here:
Renee Rothhaas
Nov 14, 2009 Renee Rothhaas rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
Pleasant read. I was disappointed with the last story, otherwise i enjoyed his humor and observations.
McGriddle  Pants
Dec 01, 2009 McGriddle Pants rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really funny. Makes you realize nobody's life is perfect. And that its important to laugh at yourself.
Sep 15, 2011 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Laughed my ass off!! When you are in a restaurant eating lunch by yourself you do tend to get strange looks.
Jeffrey Ballam
Nov 14, 2010 Jeffrey Ballam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt-interest
Very humorous! An enjoyable read!
Sara Soper
Sara Soper rated it really liked it
Sep 23, 2016
Eva Andersson
Eva Andersson marked it as to-read
Sep 13, 2016
Elin Barnes
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Aug 21, 2016
Marianne marked it as to-read
Aug 18, 2016
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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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