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Trailer Trashed: My Dubious Efforts Toward Upward Mobility

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  154 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Hollis Gillespie used to be embarrassed about having an alcoholic, trailer-salesman dad and a bomb-making mom with broken dreams of being a beautician. If anyone asked about her family, she would tell them her parents were wealthy and that she came from a refined background. She never mentioned the time they lived in a mobile home two miles north of the Tijuana border. 

Hardcover, 272 pages
Published July 24th 2008 by skirt! (first published 2008)
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Jun 02, 2011 rated it liked it
I really enjoy Hollis's writing, and loved her first two books, but this collection of stories didn't quite grab me. I do love how she writes about her daughter (and I don't really even like kids) and her description of her relationships with her best guys will make you laugh. Hollis is the kind of writer who makes you wish you were her bff so you can sit around, and make up new words ending in 'tard. Definitely read her first books.
Sep 01, 2008 rated it liked it
i love hollis gillespie. unfortunately, i have also made a complete ass of myself in front of her, oh, just about every time i see her. it usually involves me walking up to her and telling her how much i a) love her umbrella (what!? it's an amazing umbrella) b) her books or c) excitedly looking (erm, staring) at her if we happen to show up at the same restaurant or bar. My friends tease me often about it. it's total one-sided crushland.

so my love for hollis nonwithstanding, i can't say i enjoyed
Sep 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the almost perfect bathroom book. The "chapters" are short enough for a read during a visit and entertaining. Why it didn't get 5 stars as the perfect bathroom reading book.

1) Sure, you can read a "chapter" in one sitting. But the damn thing is so good, you'll say, I'll read one more. Then one more. Then one more. Next thing you know, you've been on the throne for 20+ minutes. This can cause concern for others in your household.

2) Laughing - which occurs frequently - while doing your bus
Apr 08, 2009 rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading her newest book. She is bridging that transition between wild, outrageous lifestyle that her two previous books were built on and a slightly more sedate version of that life now that she has a daughter. And yet, there is still so much in the book that is trademark H.G.

She is still the master of the great first line: she is the queen of hooks. Who would not want to read a story that begins: "I was definitely wearing the wrong clothes for a kidnapping, which is funny, because as
Jan 27, 2010 rated it liked it
Hollis has a regular column in the Atlanta Creative Loafing weekly newspaper. It always seems like you've walked in halfway through somebody's conversation - she always throws out names and situations that you feel like you should have known before, but she's left you not many clues. It all makes more sense in book form. This book I found better than Bleachy Haired Honky Bitch because this one gives you context for the characters she mentions - family and friends and their relationship to her. W ...more
Gail Guglielmino
Sep 25, 2009 rated it it was ok
Jacquelyn Mitchard (author of The Deep End of the Ocean) called this a "rollercoaster memoir" and I enjoy memoirs so I gave this one a quick read. It certainly is a raucous trip through events from the life of a single mom.

However, it is less a story than a compilation of memories in a series of vignettes. The author is a syndicated humor columnist and she does have a flippant sort of humor that drives her narrative forward, but I felt like she was trying too hard to be funny. For me, this memoi
Laura Mallard
Jul 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Another great book from Hollis Gillespie. I love an author who can make you laugh one minute and then say something so touching you get goosebumps. Being from Atlanta, I also like that I am familiar with the areas/stores/restaurants Hollis writes about. Maybe one day I'll run into her and her crazy band of friends.
Jul 04, 2009 rated it liked it
I liked these little essays, though I did find that their charm was wearing thin by the end. I liked the parts about her childhood, and her eccentric parents best. She has two earlier books that I will no doubt read. It was an interesting book that was intermittently pretty hilarious with the odd descent into sentimentality.
Aug 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious! Funny, poignant, a tinge bittersweet and completely laugh-out-loud delightful. An irreverent and off-beat look at the author's past and present life. I always appreciate when people can look at their own and other's foibles (we all have them) with empathy, forgiveness and love instead of anger and bitterness. A must-read if you want to feel like maybe your life isn't all that bad.
Nov 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humour
I love Hollis, whose books are collections of articles she has written for...I can't remember the publication. My fave book is still the first I read of hers, White Haired Honky Bitch, but this one still hits those places, laughter, snorts, tears. At totally unsuspecting times, too. So if you're reading on the bus, beware!!
Aug 05, 2008 rated it liked it
I'm not really sure exactly how to describe it, but the author has this really annoying tendency to wrap up her stories with a sentence that recalls something about the title of the story or echoes some other reference made in the story, and it makes the endings seem really cheap, like she had to tie it with a little bow each time. A good book over all, but lacking in style.
Love this Atlanta author, and I think this is her best so far. I've devoured her columns in "The Creative Loaf" for years. Her books are along the same vein: observations about her life and her friends that are as reverant as they are irreverant - a soulful combination of raunch and poingnancy. She loves; she fears; she moves forward anyhow. I like to watch.
Just started, looks like it will be fun but nothing exceptional.

I stand by the comment I made when I started this book. It was fun but it was also fluff. Just an accumulation of Gillespie's newspaper column, which made it kind of redundant.

Don't pay for this book, get it from the library.
Melea Rose-Waters
May 09, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: couldn-t-finish, 2010
I just couldn't get into this book. It's a series of short stories and while that may work for her column, it didn't work for this book. I was disappointed because the people are very interesting, and I would like to know more about them, but not in this format.
Andi Barney
Aug 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Hollis has done it once again! Her essays are amazing. As in her first two bestsellers, she manages to tie them together. I laughed my ass off through the whole book, and I'm already waiting for a fourth book!
Elizabeth Yarnell
Sep 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
It's rare that a book makes me giggle out loud, particularly when I'm silently reading next to a toddler that stubbornly resists sleep and pops up at every guffaw. But Hollis has that way about her. Her life is at once absurd and familiar, and her astute observations leave you nodding in agreement.
Nov 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely L.O.V.E. Hollis Gillespie! She is such an honest and refreshing talent. Ive read all of her books and have enjoyed everyone. Never lend them out, I never get them back. LOL She is bawdy and funny in lifes most difficult moments.
Oct 23, 2008 added it
Local Atlanta author - columnist from Creative Loafing. Very humorous.
Feb 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Another gem from one of my absolute favorite authors!
TX Poppet
Oct 26, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fluff, memoir
3rd in the series. Much better than the second book, but it does not stand alone.
Jun 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult
Wanna be Augusten Burroughs, but not interesting enough to succeed.
May 23, 2011 rated it liked it
it was funny but not ha-ha funny. Also got a little repetative. Also, why are none of her friends women? Not a single one?
Oct 04, 2008 rated it liked it
Short breezy memoirs...although I find it hard to believe this isn't fiction.
Nov 10, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: did-not-finish
Enjoyed it, but didn't finish it. I had already read most of these essays when they first appeared in Creative Loafing.
Jan 03, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010-reads
Fun...a bit repetitive, don't need to read the others for a while, but worth picking up.
May 15, 2009 rated it it was ok
To be fair, I didn't finish this latest Gillespie collection. Her charm has worn thin for me.
rated it it was amazing
Aug 29, 2010
Carla Kaiser
rated it it was amazing
Dec 09, 2011
Barclay Blanchard
rated it liked it
Jan 24, 2014
Juliette Townsend
rated it liked it
Mar 30, 2010
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Hollis Gillespie is a humorist, syndicated columnist, NPR commentator and top-selling author. Her column can be found monthly on the back page of every issue of Atlanta magazine.

Hollis has appeared on the cover of numerous publications including Atlanta magazine, Creative Loafing and Tampa’s Weekly Planet. She has been profiled in Marie Claire, Bust, Writer’s Digest and Entertainment Weekly.

Her te
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