More nitpicky about spelling and grammar than I felt necessary (can you believe it?) and poked fun in a way that felt a little too mean to be funny, s...moreMore nitpicky about spelling and grammar than I felt necessary (can you believe it?) and poked fun in a way that felt a little too mean to be funny, sometimes. Still, I enjoyed the glimpse into how others do the little things. Handwriting and paper, printed and organized lists. It made me look at my own lists in a new light:
(1) thing with hooks on it laser batteries prism STRIPES ARE BANNED
Scrubs meets David Sedaris? That's a bit of a stretch. Sure, Dr. Youn doesn't shy away from making fun of himself, but how much of it is self-aware wr...moreScrubs meets David Sedaris? That's a bit of a stretch. Sure, Dr. Youn doesn't shy away from making fun of himself, but how much of it is self-aware writing, a young doctor distancing himself from the awkward kid he used to be, and how much is just embarrassing tales of the socially inept. Are we cringing with him, or at him?
The book spends way, way too much time talking about Tony's quest to pull a girl. Apparently pick-up lines are ineffective but basically the only method he considered -- aside from silent, smoldering affection while allowing himself to be treated like a doormat by girls who were clearly not interested. I was creeped out by his description of going up to girls with the sole intention of scoring a number or a date, sensing his imminent rejection, and responding with an ignorant, self-pitying whine, What was so terribly repulsive about me?.
The first time I felt empathy for adult Tony Youn was during his gross anatomy lab. He starts to see the bodies as people, and he starts to get some determination of his own.
I appreciated the glimpse into Tony's childhood, his family dynamic, his feelings as an outsider, and his own transformative surgery. The stories from his month-long stints in various specialties were very interesting, if brief. I really wish he had followed up with what happened to the baby in the case that led him to his field of medicine. And I was glad that he was able to find a specialty that called to him and a residency where he felt at home, even if he originally went to medical school to appease his father.
Note: it pains me to say this is a rewrite, Goodreads accidentally ate the first version of this review just after I previewed it in its once shining, perfect state. (less)
I adore the contributions from Sarah Vowell’s three-year-old nephew, Owen:
"[My sister Amy] phoned me, saying, “I asked Owen what he wanted to do today...moreI adore the contributions from Sarah Vowell’s three-year-old nephew, Owen:
"[My sister Amy] phoned me, saying, “I asked Owen what he wanted to do today and he said, ‘Go look at stones with Aunt Sarah.’ Do you know what he’s talking about? What these stones are?”
"I do. “He means tombstones,” I told her. “When you were off parking the car at the cemetery in Cleveland, Owen and I walked around looking for John Hay’s grave. Owen climbed on top of it and hollered, ‘This is a nice Halloween park!’” (That’s what he calls cemeteries.)"
"He’s truly morbid. When he broke his collarbone by falling down some stairs he was playing on, an emergency room nurse tried to comfort him by giving him a cuddly stuffed lamb to play with. My sister, hoping to prompt a “thank you,” asked him, “What do you say, Owen?” He handed back the lamb, informing the nurse, “I like spooky stuff.”" (less)
«Traveling with our father meant always having to stay at nationally-known motor lodges, and taking our meals only at fast-food restaurants. "What?" h...more«Traveling with our father meant always having to stay at nationally-known motor lodges, and taking our meals only at fast-food restaurants. "What?" he'd ask, "are you telling me you'd rather sit down at a table and order food you've never tasted before?" Well, yes, that was exactly what we wanted. Other people did it all the time, and most of them had lived to talk about it. "Bullshit!" he'd shout. "That's not what you want!" When arguing, it was always always to deny the validity of our requests. If you wanted, say, a stack of pancakes, he would tell you not that you couldn't have them, but that you never really wanted them in the first place. "I know what I want," was always met with "No you don't!" My mother never shared his enthusiasm for corporate culture, and as a result they had long since decided to take separate vacations.»(less)
I love Steve Martin. This book was not slapstick, didn't get a lot of laughs, but did elicit a chuckle, few wry smiles and some tears at the end. I ap...moreI love Steve Martin. This book was not slapstick, didn't get a lot of laughs, but did elicit a chuckle, few wry smiles and some tears at the end. I appreciated the insight into his background, as really didn't know much of anything about his childhood, personal life, or the choices that made him famous.
He tips his hat to classic jokes, sometimes explaining their provenance, and painting a colorful picture of the fan response at the time (people with arrows through their heads, reckless drivers shouting that they, too, were wild and crazy guys). I loved hearing about how The Jerk came into being (it's a few years older than me, and I've always approached it as a finished product, a slice of my upbringing, a work of genius) and "meeting" the original cast of SNL through his eyes.(less)