Sleepwalk With Me and Other Painfully True Stories
I’m Mike Birbiglia and I’m a comedian. You may know me from Comedy Central or This American Life or The Bob & Tom Show, but you’ve never seen me like this before.
Wait, that’s the name of another book. Also I’m not naked as there are no pictures in my book. Al...more
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The book was hilarious. It had some similar themes that he has in his stand-up, and a few familiar jokes, but I thought most of the stuff was different enough from what I'd already heard from him that it didn't feel stale. The whole thing ...more
So I went into this book with guarded expectations. After all, I'd already heard the ...more
I liked it. Sort of.
I have to confess.. I liked the first half a lot better than the second half. I found it funnier, laughed out loud more.. The second half was ok, but I wasn't laughing as often, and I wasn't as drawn into it.. And there might just be a reason for that. How do I say this... I might have been slightly drunk when I read the first half of the book. I remember thinking it was so funny, definitely a four star rating.. And then the next day it was just.. I d ...more
The book tells many stories that I have heard in his standup acts, but also includes a deeper look into his progression through the slog of becoming a professional comedian. Those views were my favorite parts of th ...more
In the AV Club interview that persuaded me to buy the book, I took notice when Birbiglia explained that his writing’s guiding principle is that it no ...more
There were a few less-exciting chapters, but overall this book had me smiling and sometimes even laughing out loud late at night when I should have been asleep but I was awake because sometimes Mike just really make ...more
Most of Sleepwalk with Me deals less with 'painfully true' and more with painfully ordinary: distant dads, being picked on at school, discovering masturbation, that lousy summer job, realizing that Catholic belief is kind of silly, and let's not f ...more
a) as a short story told live at The Moth (via This American Life);
b) as a one man show (captured on CD, Sleepwalk with Me Live);
c) dramatized in the 2012 movie, Sleepwalk with Me.
So I picked up this book because I'm a fan.
Does the story survive the transition from verbal to literary? Yes, but I really think his stories work best as part of Birbiglia's verbal repertoire. Some of the low-key ...more
I'm a follower of the NPR program This American Life, where I first started hearing some of Mike Birbiglia's comedy routines. Admittedly, Ira Glass has a lot of pull with me, if Ira Glass said it, or liked it, I usually can't help myself in at least giving it a chance. I generally don't like comedians. I might begrudgingly laugh, but I have a hard time enjoying myself, because the flipside of what makes a comedian a good one...is so often their downfall. Their lives often seem - well, bipolar, t ...more
If you read this book as your introduction to him, however, you may find yourself a little cooler on him than I do. A significant portion of the comedy comes from his delivery. This would be an ideal thing to be an audiobook. Luckily, I've heard versions of many of these pieces on T ...more
This was a delightful read. Birbiglia combines poignancy and humor, my favorite combination on This American Life stories as well. For the most part, he is incredibly effective. I really did laugh out loud, which is something I rarely do while reading. My favorite part was when h ...more
Part of the lack of hilarity stems from the fact that he focused SO MUCH of the book on his awkward childhood. Don't think you cornered the market on awkward childhoods, Mr. Birbiglia. I ca ...more
This may be a little off topic, but comedians must be the most self-critical people on the planet. If I didn't know who Tina Fey was, after reading Bossypants, I'd just assume that she looks like some ugly monster with big hairy forearms and not a ridiculously beautiful person. And all comedians who write books like this seem to have really socially awkward childhoods, but they all gloss over that pa ...more
This book is worth reading for Birbiglia's epic stories of sleepwalking alone. There are several other stories that are classics in the making, too. Plus, if you were a Mit ...more
I found the book rather interesting and it was good how Mike matured over time and was able to accomplish his goals. By working hard and believing he coul ...more
“‘Growing up, I was discouraged from telling personal stories.’ My dad often used the phrase ‘Don’t tell anyone.’ But not about creepy things. I don’t want to lead you down the wrong path. It would be about insignificant things. Like I wouldn’t make the soccer team and my father would say, ‘Don’t tell anyone.’ And I would say, ‘They’re gonna know when they show up to the games and I’m not on the team and I’m crying’” (Birbiglia 14). For those who like to connect to oth ...more
Mr. Birbiglia is a better comedian than he is a writer and it shows in this book. There are some very funny moments in this text, but the funny moments are much more frequent in his standup routine. The book takes about 100 pages to warm up, the first 50 pages being rather dull, and extremely repetitive. Then Birbiglia seems to hit his stride and the book picks up a little steam. However, sinc ...more
All in all, it was a fun book, and quite enjoyable :)
Some comedians write books and it ends up just being their jokes on paper, but this book is actually a lot more, and one of the better of the types I have read.