Dan's Reviews > Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea

Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler
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did not like it

This sort of book and the positive outpouring for it make me really feel like I must have missed the boat somewhere in the last couple decades of culture or something. Maybe it is that I have never seen Handler's stand-up and came to this book expecting something a little bit different. Perhaps Handler's shtick is that she is merely making a tongue-in-cheek imitation of the cliche "mean girl" that we all know from our high school days. But without being let in on the charade, I found connecting with Handler throughout the book to be basically impossible. The humor mostly seems to consist of criticizing everyone in her family, her circle of friends, and anyone else she meets in her life - most typically in a way that falls a tad short of catty, landing mostly in the realm of bitchy.

Admittedly, Handler does trot out a few story moments that provoked grins and the occasional laugh. However, the pacing and 'convenience' of most stories stretched my credulity well beyond my suspended disbelief - typically just making me feel bad for her parents/exes/waiter/friends or whomever that she happened to be interacting with at the moment in the story. Its clear that her escapades are wildly fabricated in places where the truth might have been more banal or required even a fleeting moment of self-reflection. Furthermore, despite all of the tweaking, many of the stories were pretty boring, just tossing in blunt comments and sailor-speak doesn't turn a dull day out into comedic gold.

I had heard this book likened to some of Sedaris' essays, but find that the comparison to be wildly off-target. Sedaris brings a sort of quiet thoughtfulness to his humor, and is most frequently the target of his own jokes. Handler, instead, brings a sort of crass entitlement to her judgments, too good for even those she is telling her story to.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
October 1, 2009 – Finished Reading
October 8, 2009 – Shelved

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message 1: by Vanessa (last edited Aug 01, 2019 07:12PM) (new)

Vanessa Nice review . I'm not a vodka drinker either . Whatever the proof , the brand or the joke . Thanks for the warning .

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