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I'm the One That I Want
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I'm the One That I Want

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  1,027 ratings  ·  98 reviews
Comedian. Icon. TV star. Role model. Trash talker. Fag hag. Gypsy. Tramp. Thief. Margaret Cho displays her numerous sides in this funny, fierce, and honest memoir. As one of the country’s most visible Asian Americans, she has a unique perspective on identity and acceptance. As one of the country’s funniest and most quoted personalities, she takes no prisoners. And as a war ...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published December 18th 2007 by Ballantine Books (first published 2001)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,836)
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Lain
I am always interested in memoirs by famous people. Tracking their path to fame is usually enlightening and entertaining.

I've found that books by comics are particularly difficult to read. So much of their entertainment value comes from non-verbal communications. This was true of Cho as well. The book felt flat to me, and it was disjointed, jumping from timeframe to timeframe with no particular rhyme or reason. While many of the anecdotes conveyed were interesting, I had trouble following along.
...more
Rekha
Margaret Cho expands upon the material of her popular stand-up routine and film of the same name in this memoir. Less outrageously funny and downright sad in many instances, Cho writes about her lonely childhood and the odd jobs she worked at the beginning of her stand up career. She discusses her career ups and downs, her experiences with drugs, sex, and alcohol, and her family with the fearlessly honest tone that permeates her comedy persona.
Mark
While this book shares a title with her late-90s comedy show, this is not a comic memoir. Not surprisingly, since Cho's humor works more with timing and exaggerated effect rather than one-liners, but there is enough humor laced throughout to keep these slices of life from becoming too grim.

These tales of living with bullying and the self-destructive behaviors that can result should be on every high school reading list, but it won't be, because she swears and has an abortion and because parents a
...more
Liz
I LOVE Margaret Cho. When she's making fun of her mother, she's making fun of MY mother, and there's something about knowing that there are other girls out there who've "suffered" under a Korean run household in America that makes me warm inside. (I too have used rice when we didn't have glue at home.) That said, I only made it through the first handful of chapters before I had to put the book down. This must say something about her stand up delivery. To read her is NOT at all as funny as to hea ...more
Jen
If I hadn't had to read this book for a class, I would not have finished it. Although some parts of it were legitimately funny/poignant/insightful, the vast majority of the book was a pity-party about how much Cho was picked on as a kid, her drinking and drug problems, and her annoying self-loathing she experienced through the majority of her life. I imagine that, by including all the negative parts about ex-boyfriends and substance abuse, she was meaning to instill in people the idea that it is ...more
Alex
I really like Margaret Cho, and I liked the idea of this book, mostly from the self-empowerment title. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting. Less funny, and a lot more dark and depressing. A lot of the book focuses on her addiction to drugs and alcohol, and her self-image issues. And if it was a fictional book, I would probably have got frustrated with her as a protagonist and told her to get over it. But it was real, and she really went through it, and I can see why some people are put off th ...more
DubaiReader
A comedienne narrates her life.

I listened to this version of Margaret Cho's life, as an unabridged audiobook, read by the author. I liked that the author narrated it herself, especially when she impersonated her mother, but her male voices were painful.

I enjoyed the early part of the story the most; Margaret was a loner, picked on by the other children for being different, but she told her story without sounding overly sorry for herself. Unfortunately the second part of the book was Margaret's
...more
Tina
"I was a bit disappointed that it was forgotten so easily, but I learned something very important that day: When you are on a stage and you wave, people wave back. This information would become very important for me later on."

"I was stoic, silent, nonviolent even back then. I didn't pay attention. But I stayed at that same school for five more years, which is forever when you are a kid, and I must admit, it wore me down. I think I lost something there--an interior brightness. The luster and the
...more
Megan
This book took me by surprise. It took a few chapters for me to really understand Cho's style and appreciate it. Initially, it appeared to me that she was trying too hard to be "weird" and "out there." However, as I got into it, it grew on me, and it only added to her amazing character.

You want to be friends with her, root for her. Her life is so dramatic and twisted and you want so badly for her to win the fight. She's brutally honest and says the things that most women are too hesitant to say-
...more
Jason
Funny, well written and a no holds barred account of Margaret Cho's life.
Magadored in search of the world's crappiest romance
I haven't read this book in years but I wanted to leave some kind of a reminder to myself not to do it again. I love Margaret Cho and think she's hilarious. I'm grew up surrounded by Asians, of all kinds, and it amazes me how much her comedy rings true for all of them. Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese, Filipino, or whatever: there seems to be a deep thread of shared cultural absurdity that manifests itself in surprisingly similar ways. I also get this feeling whenever I listen to Carlos Men ...more
Sarah
"I'm the one that I want" by Margaret Cho is one of the funniest books I've read. It's a halarious story of how she was raised by drag queens, was thrown into show business, and how cruel the real world can be. Cho shows her true strength in how she was able to over come critical managers, tv directors, and her audience. When she was very young she starred in a tv show about being Asian in America. Everything was going well until she was informed by her manager that she was "too fat to play hers ...more
Louise
The book begins with some very painful childhood experiences... she was not just bullied, she was reviled. Even at a church sponsored summer camp, she was traded off by girls who should have been her friends, but sought social acceptance by joining in Margaret's (Moran's) humiliation. There are no adults around to intercede. Her parents seem to agree with the world's negative opinion of her. It is no surprise that she drops (flunks) out of school and finds companionship among those in society's ...more
Yolanda


In her brilliant memoir, comedienne Margaret Cho analyzes her life with the skill of an offbeat poet-philosopher.

I’M THE ONE THAT I WANT is a tiny gem, hard, tough, searing and unrelenting in its honesty. (It’s that unrelenting honesty that made me feel weary by the end of the book. But I felt I’d accomplished something.)

Ms. Cho re-lives a litany of bad relationships with boyfriends she dislikes/hates and can’t wait to dump. Three men stand out. Jon and Glenn—the two men she fell in love with—a
...more
Bunny
I love Margaret Cho. I am convinced she and I would be BFFs. Not even kidding. She's amazing. I watched her show when I was much younger, and saw a few of her performances on television. I always liked her.

I didn't know what to expect going into this. I didn't know if it was going to be a straight memoir, or if it was going to be funny, or sad. It was all of the above. She had me cracking up at one point, thoughtful at another. The harder parts of her life, she tells in a very real way, without
...more
Trin
The written version of Cho's fabulously funny (and now classic) one-woman show, this book is alternately hilarious and excruciating. A lot of the material will be familiar to those who know Cho's act (though she left out the lesbian cruise/"Where's MY parade?" bit! WHY?), but there's also lots--and lots and lots and lots--of Cho's struggles with body issues, with drugs, with disastrously low self-esteem. I appreciate that Cho went through all of that, and that she overcame it, but it is painful ...more
Diana180
I want to like Margaret Cho, but far too much of this book is an addict memoir and those get tedious if you haven't been there. The publishing company does not seem to have given her the good editors, either. The episode about a church youth group retreat, however, is one of the most unsparing victim's eye descriptions of teenage bullying I have ever read, and should be required reading for youth workers.
Kesha
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sheena
I really like Margaret Cho and have explored her works while studying and writing about feminist political thought for my undergrad. The beginning of the book works well, maybe because all the crap of being an outcast child and teenager was so distant at the time she wrote it. The second half, being so much closer at the time of writing, makes for a bit of an uncomfortable read. Despite concluding with profound statements about loving and accepting oneself, after reading through the final chapte ...more
Claire
It's a really interesting read about representation and the process of getting a show on the air and what stand-up life is like. But it's weirdly paced and almost every chapter ends on a "one to grow on note" that it really didn't need; her experiences speak for themselves.
Kristal Cooper
This is a brutal, honest memoir about every painful event that made Margaret Cho the comedy diva that she is today. There is an amazing lot of introspection here -- levels of understanding that usually come from long hours in a psychiatrist's office, or from the pen of a ghost writer. For some reason, I get the feeling that neither apply here -- that Margaret is strong enough and smart enough to have come to these realizations on her own.

The book starts with her birth and goes right up to the t
...more
Traci  Medeiros
Jul 24, 2008 Traci Medeiros rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: my mom... and I did! :)
Shelves: feminist
I was definitely not a fan of Margaret Cho in the beginning... All American Girl days... but after reading this book and giving her another chance, with all my queer feminist girlfriends raving about her, I get that what I didn't like about the show was also largely what Cho didn't like about the show either. This book also helps you come to realize that the All American Girl days... weren't nearly The Beginning. I love her as a comedian, respect her so much as an activist, and am constantly ama ...more
Maggie
I guess I was expecting something more like Chelsea Handler's My Horizontal Life, but this book is anything but that. There were definitely times when I was laughing-- she's always good at that-- but this book was more a memoir than a comedy book. I think that writing this must have been part of a cathartic process for her, judging by the problems she's been through in her life. I really get the impression from this book that it's supposed to be a lesson to the people who read it (though not in ...more
Lisa
I enjoy Margaret Cho's stand up comedy immensely. This book reveals the source of much of her material and the pain from which it evolved, but without nearly the level of humor in her live performances. Many parts get bogged down in TMI, such as those detailing her past, rather uninteresting, but degrading, relationships. I guess she's hoping others will learn from her mistakes and avoid making similar ones. She also makes some blanket statements that appear meant to convey universal truths that ...more
Archie
This book made me like her a lot less as an overall human.
Brittany
I remember always looking up to Margaret Cho as a little girl, and this book explains why I felt that way. She chronicles her struggles with drugs, relationships, and self-esteem as a woman who spent years getting over the fact that media executives had a problem with the fullness of her face. (Besides, the fact that she also worked in a sex toy store somehow makes some of who the woman I am today make sense!) A very interesting and quick read, certainly reminiscent of her old stand-up routines ...more
Josh
first half is much better than the second half
Laura
This is not a script for Cho's I'm the One That I Want CD. This is her biography, painful and honest. It is funny at times, but is also heart wrenching. Cho talks about her childhood, her success and failures, her addictions to drugs and alcohol, her constant struggles with weight, and then men that have come and gone in her life. It is an excellent read, especially if you are a fan of Cho's work. If you want something to just make you laugh all the way through, however, go listen to her CD or w ...more
Jamie
Very funny, outspoken, and honest.
Winter Rose
Powerful & Brutally Honest!
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Margaret Cho is an American comedian, fashion designer and actress. Cho is known for her stage performances, recordings, and concert movies. Her shows are a mixture of her comedy stylings with strong political and cultural commentary. Apart from these shows she has also directed and appeared in music videos, and started her own clothing line. She has frequently supported gay rights and identifies ...more
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