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I Love You More Than You Know

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  1,043 ratings  ·  93 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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Lobstergirl
Feb 16, 2010 Lobstergirl rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
Janice
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
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
Megankellie
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
...more
Kate
The dirty fun of Ames' irreverent personal essays does not make up for shiteous writing.
Troy
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
...more
J.C.
Jun 15, 2011 J.C. rated it 4 of 5 stars
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.
...more
Jason
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
...more
Colin Hogan
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
...more
Colin N.
Heheheeee!



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
...more
Richard
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
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.
Donald
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
Adam
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
...more
Liesbeth Wieggers
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
Elizabeth
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
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
...more
Anne
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
...more
Amber
Jan 03, 2009 Amber rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
Iva
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
Jsempey
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
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.
Kristeeeee
Aug 28, 2008 Kristeeeee rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
...more
Maya
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.

I'd
...more
Mia Scioscia
Not quite as good as "I Pass Like Night", but still worth a read.
Eva Nickelson
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
Juliette
A quick read that offers a few laughs.

A review on the cover likens him to an edgier David Sedaris. I do agree, however edgier doesn't necessarily mean better. This guy is way too perverted. I pray his thoughts don't reflect the thoughts of an average male. No wonder he's so self-deprecating. When you have nothing but sex on your mind, how could you manage to live a fulfilling life? This guy is in his 40s and seems to be in the same exact place he was in his 20s. I find it pretty sad. But at lea
...more
Rebecca
A series of essays, most of them disclosing way too much and certainly not flattering, and at times obscene, but also funny and stark. Underneath his "I'm a pervert, take it or leave it" demeanor, Mr. Ames seems to be a sensitive, pleasant, and fairly nice guy. The essays, per usual for him, border on repulsive, but don't quite get there because of his gift for story telling and sentiment. After reading two of his collections, I don't think I'll buy more because they seem repititive, but they ce ...more
Wendy C
Ames is a Brooklyn-based writer who has been called "an edgier David Sedaris". (I don't think it's an apt comparison, but what do I know.) Ames writes in a less laugh-out-loud fashion than Sedaris, and much of his humor derives from matter-of-factly describing bodily problems (nose picking to the point of bleeding, butt scratching, STDs, etc.) and telling self-deprecating stories involving, for example, participating in a tranny S&M session in Jersey when he should have been spending time wi ...more
Jamie
Feb 25, 2010 Jamie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jamie by: Atomic Books Reading Club
Maybe because I too am an obsessive/depressive, I got into Jonathan Ames' world and felt very comfortable there. I wanted to be his friend, to be there for the fun and the floundering. I love it, as I've said a zillion times before, when smart people make foolish choices, even if many of Ames' choices were as much for their storytelling potential as for his own needs. Maybe.

It seems to easy to compare him to Sedaris, but he is like Sedaris for people who watch South Park instead of listening to
...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
...more
More about Jonathan Ames...
Wake Up, Sir! The Alcoholic The Extra Man What's Not to Love?: The Adventures of a Mildly Perverted Young Writer My Less Than Secret Life: A Diary, Fiction, Essays

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