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It Looked Different on the Model: Epic Tales of Impending Shame and Infamy
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It Looked Different on the Model: Epic Tales of Impending Shame and Infamy

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,223 Ratings  ·  565 Reviews

Everyone’s favorite Idiot Girl, Laurie Notaro, is just trying to find the right fit,
whether it’s in the adorable blouse that looks charming on the mannequin but leaves her in a literal bind or in her neighborhood after she’s shamefully exposed at a holiday party by delivering a low-quality rendition of “Jingle Bells.” Notaro makes misstep after
Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 26th 2011 by Random House Publishing Group (first published January 1st 2011)
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The Corruption of Michael Levitt by Joel LevineWe Got Zombies On The Lawn Again, Ma by Donnie  SmithIt Looked Different on the Model by Laurie NotaroConfessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie KinsellaEven Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins
Best Books Full of Sass
3rd out of 81 books — 79 voters
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern1Q84 by Haruki MurakamiThe Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWittThe Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison AllenThe American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin
Best Cover Art 2011 (Non-YA)
99th out of 292 books — 1,635 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Oct 14, 2011 Kate rated it liked it
3.5 stars

I love Laurie Notaro's unique sense of humor and her non-fiction books are so much better than her fictional ones because of the goofy stuff that happens to her on a daily basis. This book is a funny fast read that helped get me through a trip to the DMV to change my address on my license (I was the only person having fun there), as well as, my daily commute this week.

The gems of this collection include:

- Fancy store shirt trapping
- Ambien Laurie (she's hilarious!)
- Getting banned from
Sep 23, 2011 Barb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
WARNING: Do not read this book while you are in the doctor's office waiting room. You will either be laughing so hard that the receptionist will think you are having a seizure or you will be asked if everything is all right since you are crying.

The book is quite funny and trying to not laugh out loud is next to impossible. Everyone can relate to at least one chapter in the book. A great read when you are feeling overwhelmed with work, the economy, the kids, etc.
Sep 05, 2011 librarian90 rated it did not like it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
There are few things worse than reading a review that makes a book sound amazing and laugh-out-loud funny, wait for weeks until it's actually in the system, wait all day until there's time to curl up and start reading said hilarious book, and don't laugh. Not even a slight smile. The author's sense of humor is not mine and I'm still trying to find humor in getting stuck in shirt that was clearly marked as a size too small and getting blood on it. The only word that comes to mind is "whatever". G ...more
Dec 11, 2012 Gail rated it did not like it
After taking my first little nibble of David Sedaris’s work and then binging on everything he’s published, I looked for compilations of autobiographical essays by other well-reputed humorists. I can’t fathom how “It Looked Different on the Model” got great reviews from readers and critics alike. Well, maybe I can. I’m sure Laurie Notaro’s friends got a good laugh when she related these anecdotes at a dinner party. I didn’t. Instead I got the sense she’s started making poor decisions in order to ...more
May 22, 2015 Marla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty funny book. I had fun listening to it while I worked. I think people were wondering why I was laughing sometimes.
Leah K
May 03, 2013 Leah K rated it it was amazing
It Looked Different on the Model: Epic Tales of Impending Shame and Infamy by Laurie Notaro


I’ve pretty much read every Laurie Notaro book, and as usual, this one did not disappoint in the least. In fact, I would say that this is one of my favorite by her. She is hilarious. If you enjoy Jen Lancaster, this is no way you can’t enjoy Notaro and vise versa.

The situations that Laurie gets herself into are too funny, I found myself laughing on several occasions while reading this book. They are al
Sep 16, 2011 Meg rated it really liked it
Ambien shenanigans. Tweekers falling asleep on your front lawn. Getting into a fight with a size “M” shirt at a boutique store — and losing. All just moments in the life of Laurie Notaro, a humor writer transplanted from sunny Arizona to the hippie-laced suburbs of Oregon. And in her latest memoir, It Looked Different On The Model, Notaro welcomes us again into the zany world that is her no-holds-barred brain.

Notaro has been my hero for quite some time — and though I couldn’t get into her recent
Terry Southard
Feb 28, 2012 Terry Southard rated it really liked it
One of the reviews I read said that Notaro has sledgehammer humor (or something to that effect). Nothing is treated subtly. I agree. But I think the problem with reviews like this is more the way the reader *read* the book, and not so much with how the author *wrote* the book. Here's what I mean: The book is not a novel. It is a series of humorous anecdotes and rants. If you read the book all at once, the way you'd read a novel, it *does* run together and get old. But I do not believe that's the ...more
Apr 11, 2014 Kelly rated it it was amazing
Laurie Notaro is a gift to all our feminine insecurities. She gets to the heart of the matter, slices it to pieces and exposes it with raw humor. The next time I try on clothes at the boutique, I'm not going to leave feeling defeated because I left my best body years ago. I'm going to giggle, remembering Laurie's recollection of her dressing room experience.

I convulsed with laughter six pages in. Just a word of warning, pee before reading. That's how funny she is!
Julia Cronin
Sep 10, 2015 Julia Cronin rated it did not like it
After reading the first four stories (which were all I could stand to subject myself to), I thought I had a pretty clear picture of Laurie Notaro in my head. I hadn't heard of her before, so I was surprised to find that the author of this asinine collection was so prolific and successful. In my head, Notaro was the sort of person with a wealth of lively little anecdotes which she shares at parties gratuitously and with little provocation. I imagined that at one such party, some drunk and overly ...more
Aug 25, 2011 Samantha rated it did not like it
I should start out by saying that I had never read a Laurie Notaro book before so I didn't have any grand expectations like some of the other reviews, but I can say just one thing if it's meant to be funny, it probably should be. The opening essay follows the author through the dressing room shame of not being able to fit into GASP a size medium shirt. Seriously, woman? A medium? That's where you lost me. The very first essay and I'm gone even as you're slitting yourself open and practically han ...more
Jan 03, 2012 Chanda rated it really liked it
A friend of mine recommended another book by her, but it wasn't available at the time so I thought I'd give this one a try. My husband now thinks I'm a crazy person because I was laughing out loud, almost to the point of crying, while reading this book. I love her sarcastic sense of humor - right up my alley. Each chapter is a short story so it's great to read when you only have a few minutes, like waiting at the doctor's office or picking up kids from school. I will definitely read some of her ...more
Sep 10, 2011 Brian rated it liked it
Dear Laurie Notaro,

I've loved most of your books, except your last fiction book. I was very excited that you were putting out another collection of humorous short stories. However, I felt that some of the stories in this book were a bit lacking. There were plenty of funny ones, sure, but a couple of them were very tough to follow and didn't make a lot of sense. I would give this book lower, but it gets three stars because it did have a few stories that made me chuckle.

Your sort of fan,

Aug 27, 2011 Jennifer rated it really liked it
This was the first book I have read by Laurie Notaro and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised! I laughed out loud at several parts- which was a bit awkward since I was at the Dentist Office waiting for my sons' teeth to be cleaned... Thoroughly enjoyed and totally got her humor! Love the picture at the end of the book - with Blu the Ox - as I have sons - I can totally see myself forcing them to do the same thing! Definitely recommended and am looking forward to reading more from this author!
Jan Polep
Oct 10, 2011 Jan Polep rated it it was amazing
Well, I've finally hurt myself reading a book. I have many witty, fun friends but this Notaro wins, hands down. Some chapters are just amusing but the story about the dog-bark translator brought a stitch to my side and tears of laughter so loud and so long that Steve and Jack left the room. It was even funnier than Jack trying to share his dog toys with the chipmunk in the livingroom today...but I digress...
Oct 20, 2011 Amy rated it it was ok
Well, maybe I shouldn't say "read" because I didn't finish it. I keep looking for what I enjoyed in "The Idiot Girls' Action Adventure Club". Why can't I find it??? It makes me wonder if I was right about it after all. I did enjoy the first few stories in this one more than I have her last few books in total, but they weren't enough to keep me reading and I still felt a little let down. :( Bummer.
Beverly J.
Sep 26, 2011 Beverly J. rated it really liked it
Oh my gosh, I laughed so hard at times that i snorted. Bad bad funny, had some seriously lacking parts but the hilarious parts far out weighed them.
Mar 29, 2016 Whitney rated it really liked it
The first word that comes to mind here is "hysterical," EXCEPT that Laurie Notaro is one of those authors who will know that when the word "hysterical" is used, correct grammar dictates it to describe a person, and NOT a synonym for "funny." If someone says, "Oh, she's hysterical," this is not a nice thing. It means that the person in question is behaving in ways that, in previous centuries, would land women in sanitariums for life. Examples of such behavior are:

(For further questions, don't fo
Apr 02, 2012 Ruth rated it it was ok
I was browsing for books at Borders about two years ago. A young salesgirl asked me if she could help me find anything. I told her I was just browsing and she told me that she really enjoyed books by Laurie Notaro. I did write her down in my book where I list books to read and I must say that I found the titles of her books very interesting. Since I was making a long drive, I like to have a book on CD to help pass the time. My daughter was going with me so I needed one that would interest both o ...more
May 18, 2016 MissSusie rated it really liked it
Another fun book from Laurie Notaro! The chapter where she realizes that size M and an L are very different and her dressing room antics had tears running down my face!

And who hasn’t gotten those FWDFWDFWDFWD from your parents or in-laws with every hoax available to man and no matter how many times you tell them it’s a hoax they still send them along to you!

Ambien Laurie is freaking hilarious and makes me wonder what this drug is supposed to do because it didn’t seem to help her sleep!

I enjoy L
Mary Ellen LaRochelle
Aug 17, 2012 Mary Ellen LaRochelle rated it it was ok
I've read other stories by Laurie Notaro, and while some of them are quite funny, a lot of them are stretched too thin. The title story is the best example. These are anecdotes. Some are clever, others, not so much. In the first essay, Notaro tries on a shirt that's too small, and gets her arms stuck. It could be a great sight gag on a sitcom, but it drsgs and feels forced as an essay. Also, it's hard to believe the hyperbole when she's a large trying on a medium. It's not like she was a manate ...more
Jun 16, 2012 Ruth rated it liked it
This book was entertaining and fun. It wasn't quite as good as Notaro's earlier books, several of which made me laugh so hard that passengers on three planes had to wonder if an escaped mental patient was on board. I can't put my finger on exactly why "It Looked Different..." didn't live up to the hilarity of Notaro's previous books of essays, but maybe it seemed she was trying a little too hard this time. It can't be that we get less funny as we get older, can it? Still, this book is a pleasant ...more
Oct 28, 2015 Rachael rated it really liked it
Very very funny. Got the side eye for giggling out loud many times.
Karen Naylor
Apr 13, 2015 Karen Naylor rated it liked it
veryone has a story to tell. And Laurie Notaro tells mine (and probably yours) in her book "It Looked Different on the Model."

"It looked different...." has been uttered by just about every woman I know. Usually in a clothing store's dressing room, in front of a full-length mirror that you swear was purchased when the fun house folks had a yard sale.

And not only do Notaro and I share a love of styles that are not necessarily suited to women of a "certain" age, we have similar friends.

Her pal, "Am
Aug 30, 2011 Stephanie rated it really liked it
3.5 - Some of the essays were hillarious and some were not that great. I felt like she was really stretching it on some of them and trying to hard (like the one where she lost her phone and the one about her mom sending e-mails to her). But, I will still read more of her stuff when she releases it. All, in all, this cements my view that, though her writing is funny, she can't touch David Sedaris. Worth buying but I'm glad I didn't pay full price.
Michelle H
Mar 03, 2012 Michelle H rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite Notaro humor essay collection (imo, "I Love Everybody and Other Atrocious Lies" is her funniest), but definitely worth reading. Reading it feels like a much-needed visit with an old friend. It includes several laugh-out loud moments and I finished it in one day. My favorites in this book include "She's a Pill" about Ambien Laurie and "I'm Touched" because I too am the rat offspring of a non-licking mother :)
Dec 12, 2011 Melanie rated it it was amazing
This is the funniest book I have read in a looooong time. I can totally relate, feel for, and cringe because I've been there with these funny stories Laurie tells on herself and her family. But she does it in a way that is so funny. I would not recommend reading this in bed at night. I kept laughing out loud and disturbing my husband who was trying to sleep.
Sep 11, 2011 Lauri rated it liked it
Laurie Notaro is a very funny author. I've read most of her earlier books, and although I didn't love this one as much as some of the others, it was definitely a fun and enjoyable read. She has a humorous view of the world with a hint of bitterness/cynicism to which I can definitely relate. Plus her family is even nuttier than mine. :)
Funny, sometimes even laugh-out loud funny. I'll be keeping an eye out for her other titles next time I want a light, humorous read.
This book had some typos / editing mistakes but I think that's likely from the transcription to e-book form rather than author/editor fault so not going to knock it for that.
Apr 14, 2015 Kimberlee rated it really liked it
This humorous autobiography tells those moments of the author's life that she otherwise may not have wanted to remember, with a smile and sarcastic chuckle. I felt like the author submerges us a bit quickly into her world without enough introduction, like I felt embarrassed to laugh yet. Too I never got a positive vibe about her feelings for her husband, whose name I can not even recall. The reader leaves knowing he can not change lanes on the highway and commands the disposal to "heal itself". ...more
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Laurie Notaro is a New York Times best-selling American writer.
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“I could have spent my time hugging you or I could have spent my time telling you not to touch hot stoves or take candy from men. Which did you want?” 11 likes
“I have more faith in my bra than I have in my accountant.” 9 likes
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