This gets a very forced two stars rather than the one I really want to give it because the introduction was actually good and gave me such hope. But tThis gets a very forced two stars rather than the one I really want to give it because the introduction was actually good and gave me such hope. But then...the rest of the book happened and I couldn't wait for it to be over. In fact, at the end of the audiobook when Lawson said there was a bonus chapter for us audiobook listeners I said loudly to no one but myself, "UGH. GOD. WHY?"
I've read Lawson's blog sporadically over the past 10+ years and have always appreciated her voice and the frankness with which she talks about anxiety and depression. It was that which lead me to this audiobook (I've not read her first book), and that which made me so optimistic after the introduction. Yet, what was to follow was an amalgamation of inane ramblings that I would have struggled to read as a collection of blog posts, let alone in book format marketed as a memoir. Chapter titles include, "How Many Carbs Are in a Foot?", "Koalas Are Full of Chlamydia", "Cat Lamination", and many other OMG ZANY titles that I couldn't bear. Lawson seems to try so hard to be kooky and idiosyncratic and rather than being humorous, it comes off as agonizingly tiresome to me. Just ask any stoner for a collection of their deepest, most random, and nonsensical thoughts and you have a new Jenny Lawson book. This is not a memoir about mental illness - an introduction and one chapter of a many-chaptered book does not make a book "about" something.
Other frustrations when reading include her pointless name-dropping (Neil Gaiman and Brené Brown in the main part of the book, Wil Wheaton and some other famous people I can't remember in the acknowledgements - yes, we GET it, so famous, many famous friends), *numerous* references to spell check not acknowledging her wacky spelling of words that she invented, allusions to editors telling her not to include OMG ZANY Things A, B, C, D, etc., and the recounting of at least 540 conversations with her husband Victor whereupon she frustrates him with her constant abstract ramblings. All this without me even bringing up how much taxidermy pops up in this book.
If you want to read a memoir about mental illness, try Matt Haig's "Reasons to Stay Alive" instead. That actually *is* about mental illness and not a vain indulgence piece masquerading as a memoir about mental illness. ...more
Nope. I really should know better - if a book by a new literary wunderkind comes along and gets a lot of good press, the two of us are probably not goNope. I really should know better - if a book by a new literary wunderkind comes along and gets a lot of good press, the two of us are probably not going to get on. I listened to the audiobook, which may have colored my perception due to the narrator's unbearably nasal voice and her tendency to make all of the female characters under the age of 25 sound like vapid, stoned imbecilic late 60s cliches, BUT the word that constantly came to mind throughout was "overwrought". It popped into my head every few minutes because I never had to wait too long until the wordiness became unbearable again. I got a definite MFA-graduate vibe from this and I'm sure I'll forget about it in a month....more