thefourthvine's Reviews > An Idiot Girl's Christmas: True Tales from the Top of the Naughty List

An Idiot Girl's Christmas by Laurie Notaro
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Jan 16, 09

bookshelves: essays, humor, kindle
Read in January, 2009

I think I'm done with Notaro for right now. It's not that I didn't enjoy this - I did, in places - but I think I'm getting diminishing returns - less laughter with each subsequent book. I'm also getting sort of tired of Notaro. One book is apparently my recommended yearly dose of her, and now that I've had three times that, I'm definitely feeling like I've overdosed.

The good news is that this book didn't make me flinch the way I Love Everybody did - there's less childishness and less shrieking. Notaro really has refined her voice a lot. It's just that she's kept in some parts I really wish she'd get rid of, and the number one entry on that list is self-deprecation. I have a few friends who can't open their mouths without insulting themselves, and I love them anyway, but talking to them can make me twitch. (And I can insult myself with the best of them, I truly can. I mean, I'm female, of course I can. But I try to keep that from being my primary mode of communication, is all.) Laurie Notaro is just like them - I'm so fat! I'm so clumsy! I'm so dumb! I'm so messy! I'm such a walking disaster of a person! - except here's the thing: she's not my friend. And so, it turns out, I don't love her anyway.

I guess the thing is - I want to laugh with Notaro. Not at her. And after three books, I'm just not doing much of either. Instead, I'm asking myself a lot of depressed questions, like: is this the only way a woman can be funny? By cutting herself down before anyone else gets the chance to?

In short, I need to back away from Laurie Notaro for a while, until I can read her books with more joy than sadness again.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Kristiinthedark You had a very similar reaction of Notaro's writing to the one I had. It's not that a little goes a long way, because I read an entire book by her and thought, 'wow! This is hysterical!' but there is definitely a limit. I hypothesis that, for me, it came after a) after her books started to sell, and b) after she got married. Maybe in her being happier, she tried too hard to get that same 'my life. so hard' voice back.


thefourthvine Kristiinthedark wrote: "You had a very similar reaction of Notaro's writing to the one I had. It's not that a little goes a long way, because I read an entire book by her and thought, 'wow! This is hysterical!' but there ..."

Oh, interesting! I was thinking I'd like her earlier books even less, but maybe I'm wrong in that? Which book of hers is your favorite?


Kristiinthedark My favorite is definitely "The Idiot Girls' Action Adventure Club" - I'm pretty sure that was her first book, but I wouldn't swear on it. I still remember giggling until tears ran down my face over the rules of the public restroom. The whole book just rang true, and was refreshing, even! I found "I Love Everybody" amusing, but like you say, cringe-worthy, and by the time I read "We Thought You Would Be Prettier," I decided maybe I'd better not read any more.

I may be reaching in my theories, but I like making them. *g*


thefourthvine Hmmm. My favorite so far has been The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death. Darn it, you may have just convinced me to give Action Adventure Club a try. *ponders*



Kristiinthedark And you may have given me incentive to read Flaming Tantrum of Death. I'm curious, now, to see how far she's come!




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