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I Love You More Than You Know

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,233 Ratings  ·  101 Reviews
Jonathan Ames has drawn comparisons across the literary spectrum, from David Sedaris to F. Scott Fitzgerald to Woody Allen to P.G. Wodehouse, and his books, as well as his abilities as a performer, have made him a favorite on the Late Show with David Letterman. Whether he's chasing deranged cockroaches around his apartment, kissing a beautiful actress on the set of an avan ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published December 16th 2005 by Grove Press, Black Cat
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Feb 16, 2010 Lobstergirl rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Dick Button
Recommended to Lobstergirl by: Marabel Morgan
Visits to prostitutes, dominatrices, swingers clubs, tranny clubs, the Tyson-Lewis fight, and the Banana Bar in Amsterdam (non-culinary innovations with bananas); cockroaches in bathtubs; an adorable farting English child in the next bathroom stall; and endless discussions of bodily effluvia, irritable bowel syndrome, and ass-itch - such are the topics of these essays by the man who once called himself "the George Plimpton of the colon." There is some extremely funny stuff here, and there is no ...more
May 26, 2012 Janice rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, beach-reads
After furiously cramming for the New York bar exam like a maniac for two months, I decided to start this a week before the exam, as I was in desperate need of a light palate cleanser and some comic relief. And it was just that. Light, sometimes funny and sweet, (but not overly twee) but also sometimes kind of boring - hence the three stars. Yes, he’s self-deprecating, but at times it seems a bit disingenuous - like it’s a ploy to make you like him. Thus, I vacillated between rolling my eyes at h ...more
Jonathan Turner
Dec 08, 2008 Jonathan Turner rated it it was ok
The blurb on the back cover of Jonathan Ames’ essay collection, I Love You More Than You Know, reads “Whether it’s chasing deranged cockroaches around his apartment, kissing a beautiful actress on the set of an avant-garde film, finding himself stuck perilously on top of a fence in Memphis in the middle of the night, or provoking fights with scarred German men, Jonathan Ames has an uncanny knack for getting himself into outlandish situations. He’s also quite good at finding himself in banal situ ...more
Feb 11, 2010 Megankellie rated it it was ok
I have no idea how I feel about this.
a) I was upset to find out how much of my life resembles his in ways I do not want it to (credit card useage, life station, being cheap)
b) I was upset that related to a) (because of a?) he like...sees hookers and talks about his ass?
c) There was a point that I hated this book and felt like humankind is a despicable pile of garbage and I should be a hooker and everyone goes to hookers and no one is responsible for their bad habits or anything and "well, I gues
Jul 28, 2007 Kate rated it it was ok
The dirty fun of Ames' irreverent personal essays does not make up for shiteous writing.
Mar 03, 2016 SpaceBear rated it liked it
A collection of short essays and pieces written for other purposes, Ames' style is one which relies on the detail of the sexual and scatological side of things. This may not be the best place to start with Ames' writing (although it was for me), being a collection rather than a stand-alone piece. His writing is definitely engaging and entertaining, and I have the feeling might be more interesting in reading is longer stuff. Still, this definitely gives you a taste of his self-deprecating style, ...more
Feb 15, 2014 Troy rated it liked it
Can I call him a poor man's David Sedaris after having read only one book? Pffft, who cares. He kind of is. The first half of the book I found myself asking "why do I care about this?" There were no memorable insights or clever turns of phrase.

However, what was lacking in the first half, the second half made up for. I cared more about the inane happenings, perhaps because he surprised me with things like, "And so was born, I contend, Sidd Finch--born on the screen of a bedroom ceiling, long bef
Jun 15, 2011 J.C. rated it really liked it
Recommended to J.C. by: Samantha Valdez
I was drunk at my friend Sam's place one time. We were drinking and having a merry time as usual, and also as usual I was glancing through her book collection.

"You should read this." She hands me this random book with a guy running in his boxers. I thought the cover looked like some long forgotten memoir from the eighties.

"Why's that? I'm reading Vonnegut, can't you tell?" I say to her. And it's true I was, I believe it was Cat's Cradle.

"Ok, for one, you should never read while you're drunk.
Jan 05, 2011 Jason rated it liked it
Season two made me a big fan of Jonathan Ames' "Bored to Death" TV series, and also made me eager to check out some of his prose work. I didn't so much pick this one as it was the only one Borders had, so there we go.

Being a collection of short stories, it's not too surprising that I liked some stories more than others, but I really found this one uneven. There was a lot of variety here, but it wasn't necessarily that I liked one type of story more than another -- the stories of Ames' loving rel
Colin Hogan
Aug 02, 2010 Colin Hogan rated it did not like it
I picked this book up on a whim. I was searching for a birthday present for my mother. We had recently discussed our love of essays, mostly our admiration of Sarah Vowell and David Sedaris, so when I saw the blurb on the front of this book that claimed Ames was an edgier Sedaris, I bought the book.

Ames is not an edgier Sedaris. He is a competent writer who fills his diary with sentimental drivel and name-dropping. On top of that, his musings on sexuality are "edgy" only in the sense that they m
Colin N.
Jul 25, 2011 Colin N. rated it it was amazing

This book made me laugh so much...embarrassingly out loud... like a crazy person... in public. Really, really funny. I picked it up randomly, Ames' name having been on my radar screen for some time, and I will definitely seek out his other books.

The essays here are perverse, funny, even at moments touching (when writing about his grandmother or his child, for instance). His humor sometimes veers toward puerile scatological humor, but for the most part even these moments are amusing. A
May 24, 2012 Richard rated it liked it
Most book covers don’t reveal a helluva lot about the contents but one look at Jonathan Ames on the cover of this ILYMTYK and you have a fairly good idea that the guys is at least a half bubble off-center. 30 short essays, some published previously others apparently not – the unifying theme of the book if you could call it that is Mr. Ames willingness to reveal any and everything about his anxieties, fetishes, fascination with transsexuals and more. It’s a bit of a hodgepodge of short works by t ...more
George Ilsley
Aug 05, 2014 George Ilsley rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
Have previously read some of Ames' collections but cannot recall which ones. This collection did not resonate with me as much as whatever I previously read. Sorry to be so vague about it all.

Ames presents himself as so pathetic and unlikeable (the opposite of self-aggrandizement) that actually he transitions into someone who is likeable. It's all kinda weird.
Feb 27, 2011 Donald rated it it was amazing
I'm a Jonathan Ames fan. I love his novels and his essays. The guy just flat-out cracks me up. I haven't read him in a while, so I really enjoyed this collection (Black Cat, Grove/Atlantic 2006). It was somehow comforting to know he is still obsessed with certain things about himself--his itchy ass, his baldness, his bathroom problems, his "cataloging of his ruination" as he moves into middle age. His self-deprecating humor is blunt, bawdy, outrageous, and hilarious. It appeals to my 12 year-old ...more
I like his novels more than his essays, and Bored to Death more than his novels and essays.

There are a couple of great essays in here, and there's a lot for me to identify with, esp. being a perverted writer who doesn't always like the way he thinks about women and constantly does things he regrets etc. But he hates smoke and likes trannies more than I do. He also is more entertained by shit and pimples. I'm not proud of the comparisons with Jonathan Ames (the non-Bored to Death version; I love
Liesbeth Wieggers
Mar 02, 2013 Liesbeth Wieggers rated it it was amazing
Extremely funny and touching. Especially the descriptions of newly invented concepts "to make America a better place". Ames gives elaborate definitions of ideas like 'the-nearly-pain-free-breakup' or 'Truespaper' (a newspaper in which the honest truth is told). The best one is 'Pro-Semitism': He describes a world in which all religions live peacefully together. Quote: "Things were really good. The only people who still got under everyone's skin were the English, because of their nutty devotion t ...more
Jun 02, 2011 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
This book, and Ames himself, grew on me. The tone and topic of many of these essays are akin to David Sedaris' work, but as a blurb on the book's cover notes, there is something edgier to Ames (and also more masochistic). As with any collection of (mostly) previously published works, some essays are better than others. The most joyful contributions are actually the entries from the "Dictionary of the Future" that punctuate the book in various places. Overall, this collection was easy and pleasan ...more
Jilly Gagnon
May 17, 2015 Jilly Gagnon rated it really liked it
I'm fine with essay collections generally, especially when they're billed as "edgier david sedaris" - why, I thought david sedaris WAS edgy! I must be in store for a wild romp!

But there's neither the salaciousness of awful, perverse activities which inevitably go sour revealed (though Ames gestures at his own perversity often enough), nor is there much in the way of wry self-and-other-awareness. It reads almost like a diary most of the time, a diary where you recount the fact that today you had
Jun 08, 2009 Anne rated it liked it
Chicago Public Library says "Jonathan Ames could possibly be funnier than David Sedaris." Could it be? I must find out...

False. Not funnier. Just raunchier. Although, one of the essays is about being on a book tour with Sedaris. That was probably my favorite one because he told a story about going to a bar in Amsterdam with Sedaris and Hugh. I was jealous.
I guess I get the Sedaris comparisons, but I found the majority of Ames' essays too scatological and lacking charm. Maybe because for most of
Oct 14, 2015 Zachary rated it really liked it
As I recall... Super funny in a self-deprecating way. Ames is more honest than anyone I've read lately. The sex stuff is usually depressing because even though these are true essays, Ames plays the lovable loser.
Veronika Kaufmann
Apr 26, 2015 Veronika Kaufmann rated it really liked it
Since reading An Extra Man, I've become a fan. This book is his "Naked" and I think any New Yorker with a dark side will love it. Heck, anyone with a dark side will. He spends some time on scatology and his penis and his obsession with prostitutes but it's so funny and human, I was laughing the whole time. This might put some people off, but Mr. Ames is so clever, you just love him more.
Jan 03, 2009 Amber rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009
I didn't really know what I was getting into when I read this, I just liked the title and the cover, which is a nice thing about paperbackswap. I just order whatever tickles my fancy. The book is actually a collection of essays and not my usual style. I did enjoy it, but the last couple of essays were glanced at mostly, as I had posted it thinking I had finished (a bad side effect of books that have short stories for me, sometimes I think I have finished when I haven't because I got distracted b ...more
Nov 27, 2010 Iva rated it really liked it
What did I think? I thought hard about this collection of humorous essays for this post. Ames is a character that is so painfully honest--about everything-- he appears to be the most self-absorbed person ever. However the situations he finds himself in are laugh out loud funny. He can take on topics so out of the ordinary, i.e. visiting a prostitute in Amsterdam and being afraid of asking her to keep her glasses on because that might be too kinky! He is always finding himself in bizarre situatio ...more
Apr 20, 2014 Jsempey rated it really liked it
The perverted nature of Ames' tales is really amusing at first, but when it becomes more of a theme than anything it gets old.
Sandy Henke
Feb 10, 2014 Sandy Henke rated it it was amazing
There are too many gems within these essays to count. I laughed aloud to myself like a lunatic, and felt a mental connection with Ames that both soothes and worries me.
Aug 28, 2008 Kristeeeee rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who need a good laugh.
see, there's this one part where he goes on and on about how he can't stop itching his butt for the past fifteen years of his life, but then he picks his nose incessantly, too, and then all hell breaks out. this book really spoke to the 12-year-old boy living inside me. it's pervy and dirty and at the same time, i want to cry and sigh at the end of every chapter.
i still giggle when i think of the Club Med Review chapter. this is a fun book, lighthearted and disgustingly true to real life. a qui
Jamie Miller
Jan 07, 2016 Jamie Miller rated it it was amazing
I'm a softy in the ratings department, what can I say...but it's a great (not good) read.
Dec 31, 2007 Maya rated it liked it
I will say that I started this book not enjoying it very much, but by the end I enjoyed it enormously. I've read one or two reviews on this site that take issue with the writing, and I have to say that I agree: it's as though Ames's personality comes through in his essays despite his writing, not because of it, and that's where I'd say that the comparisons to David Sedaris are inaccurate: Sedaris's writing is nothing if not a vehicle for his personality, or at least his persona as a writer.

Mia Scioscia
Sep 26, 2014 Mia Scioscia rated it liked it
Not quite as good as "I Pass Like Night", but still worth a read.
Eva Nickelson
Jun 22, 2012 Eva Nickelson rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The book is full of amusing/awkward/annoying essays about Ames's life. I liked the title of the book, and I was hoping for a read that would leaving me feeling that unexpected love for others abounds. That didn't happen. I found his writing to be honest and somewhat entertaining. Ames relates that his son believes he makes his fortune by making fun of himself, and that comes across in the book. He isn't pretentious, and he reinforced my ideas of what it would be like to be an author. I didn't en ...more
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Jonathan Ames is the author of the books The Double Life is Twice As Good, I Pass Like Night, The Extra Man, What's Not to Love?, My Less Than Secret Life, Wake Up, Sir!, I Love You More Than You Know, and The Alcoholic (a graphic novel illustrated by Dean Haspiel). He is the editor of Sexual Metamorphosis: An Anthology of Transsexual Memoirs.

He is the winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship and is a f
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