A hilariously funny, touching, and revelatory book from one of America's preeminent humorists
In his plays, his screenplays, and his writing for the "New Yorker" and "Premiere," Paul Rudnick has established himself as a comic master whose talents transcend genre. Now, in "I Shudder," he trains his wickedly perceptive eye on everything from his New Jersey family to Hollywood...more
I picked this up at the library because Rudnick is one of the few actually funny writers in the New Yorker's humor column. Here's a sample (not in the book) from the January 27, 2014 issue, titled New Jersey: the Quiz:
5. The slogan of New Jersey’s capital, which appears in glowing letters on one of the city’s bridges, is “Trenton Makes, the World Takes.” What were the three runners-up?
(a) “Trenton Pees, the World Sees.”
(b) “Trenton Poops, the World Scoops.”
(c) “If You Lived in Trenton, You’d Be ...more
So I suppose it's better to talk about the author here, Paul Rudnick. Apparently, he is a playwright, a novelist, and a screenplay writer. So he has written several movies, including Sister Act an ...more
This isn’t just one of those collections of “funny stories” about my wacky family. Rudnick has had a fabulous career, he knows everyone who’s anyone, and has the supreme talent to report his observations honestly an ...more
Overall, I liked the Elliot Vionet stories; Rudnick skewers NYC arrivistes to a tee (although I could've done without the morbidity).
The segment regarding his trip to a convent in search of the girl who gave up a promising acting career to become a nun was pretty good, but I fast-forwarded through pretty much everything else show-biz related.
As someone (roughly) the same age who grew up in New Jersey, his childhood anecdotes pretty much fell flat on me. Moreover, even if ...more
He can’t help but notice a 30s-ish neighbor who is constantly on her cellphone, rudely ignoring everything going on around her. He decides to call her and ...more
I'm not a fan of David Sedaris; he's too mean and arch for my taste. In contrast, Rudnick is very sweet both in his portrayals of his family and in his discussions of people in and out of show biz. He doesn't have a mean bone in his body. Rudni ...more
One thing I didn't like: interspaced with the memoir-type anecdotes were fictio ...more
But tho ...more
Absolutely read he book for the essays, though; he's an incredible story teller. For example, he writes about how he came to pen the screenplay for "Sister Act," the Whoopi Goldberg veh ...more
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, part memoir, part short story. I liked reading about Rudnick's family and the people he worked with and new during his early career. His humor is genuine, unforced -- never mean-spirited -- and I laughed out loud while reading several times. I'd love to read more stories about the fictional ...more
Overall, I did enjoy this book. If you want a light read about NYC, working in Hollywood, and just some entertaining fiction- pick up this book ...more
I also liked the periodic changes from autobiographical style to fiction; they were a nice change of pace.
And ... I shuddered as I read it. It contained numerous R-rated situations, and had quite a bit of profanity. And it wasn't even funny. Or interesting. I suppose someone out there would enjoy this book, but it's not me.