Kristin's Reviews > Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
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's review
Dec 22, 2011

bookshelves: listened-audio

I listened to the audiobook of this, narrated by the author. It was great! It was funny without trying to be-- it was not a compilation of jokes or an audiobook attempt at standup, but an actual memoir sprinkled with a lot of surprising, researched, inside information on comedy and the inner workings of TV writing, with many moments of hilarity. Much of it was actually very heartfelt and serious, inspirational and educational even, being the personal story of her life and the long, long road following a dream. I was amazed at how she came off as at once the total opposite of me, yet so similar, or, I should say, relatable-- a regular person like anybody else who just happens to be, if not the most front-and-center famous herself, friends and colleagues with extremely famous people like Steve Carrell, Conan O'Brien, and the cast of SNL. Most of the audiobook, as a whole, was miscellaneous and unconnected, but it worked. I was worried when it started out with an exploration of her weight history-- I thought, Oh, God, listening to other females talk about their weight is right up there with cleaning up animal vomit on the list of things I'd like to avoid-- but that part didn't go on too long, and it was kind of interesting, I guess. It was really a succinct look into what goes through the minds of women who continuously want to lose weight but are unsuccessful as a direct result of their own perfectly changeable decisions, which I have never understood. However, it was still a bit annoying, since this person's weight is not even an issue in the real world. She reveals that she's a size 8, which does not even add up to "a little big," or as she puts it, average-American-woman-sized. Average-American-woman-sized, with the connotation her voice adds to this designation, would be more like size 12-16. Maybe 8 is fat for Hollywood standards, but still. Just say that, instead of that YOU yourself think you're fat at size 8. How do you think that makes your size 12-16 listeners feel? In fact, now I, at size 0-7, feel a little pudgy since I can sometimes fit into one size away from yours and you're calling yourself fat. Everybody calls me skinny though, so... wouldn't they still call you pretty skinny? Oh, yeah, that's right, yes, they would.
I can see how someone would find the whole thing annoying, actually, but I didn't. Her funniness drew me in to listen and it broadened my perspective into realms that I would normally have no interest in. I don't even have TV, and if I did, I would watch things like PBS rather than the popular sitcoms of the day; I watch maybe two movies per year, the vast majority being drama rather than comedy; and I'm a very disciplined person (a large part of this memoir is the conveyance of her lack of self discipline and the amusing shenanigans that it has caused in her life). But now I've learned a lot about these things, which is neat! Highly recommended. To women, anyway. I'm not sure men would be able to get past the weight history stuff, at least in the audio format. She does introduce the book with some warning statement to this effect, so it is excused. I do think that men who have an interest in comedy should check it out, though, and maybe just skip the personal stuff.
P.S. I must strongly disagree with Mindy Kaling's claim that every woman loves and is attracted to Colin Firth. He is old, unremarkable and fatherly looking, and rather bored and affected by heartburn in interviews. She's too young to think he's hot, and it's irresponsible for her to speak for all women on this point! Fie, fie, I say! For shame!

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