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My booklist has taken an R-rated twist
I consume books regularly and try to be open to all genres (except Twilight and Harry Potter; I refuse based on principle), but tend to stick with titles that offer some literary content or even just a thrill. Lately, my titles have been more suspect and less something I would proudly read while riding on public transportation (yet another reason I need an EReader!). Strippers and womanizers have dominated a few of my recent literary ingestions.
Drunkenness & Debauchery with Tucker Max: To some, Tucker Max is a hero: One to emulate, live vicariously through and high-five. To me, he is a cringe-worthy example of all that’s wrong in society today – a mediocre looking man who somehow has managed to find innumerable women who willingly exploit themselves and become a topic of Max’s only talent – writing. I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell is written as a memoir, filled with vignettes of stories, aka one-night stands.
For Max, sex is an activity akin to my shopping habit. He just walks out on the street, sees something he likes and takes it home – nothing personal or even especially friendly. I don’t even care enough to go on a tirade about this, because the strongly offensive nature is exactly why this exaggerated content is so popular. If everyone just ignored it, Max would hopefully disappear, and suffer from some STD, alone.
- Novelwhore’s Grade: C (Mediocre, like the author)
- Title: I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell
- Author: Tucker Max
- Publisher: Citadel Press (Kensington)
On-Stage with Juno’s Screenwriter, Naked: The blockbuster success of the Summer Movie of 2007, “Juno”, about the pregnant high-school giving her baby up for adoption, resulted in an umbrella effect of PR for the author, Diablo Cody. Not the typical glitzy Hollywood Screenwriter, Cody had already been around the block before achieving fame and there is no doubt many people who became fans experienced her naked at multiple strip clubs in Minnesota.
Yes, Minnesota. The cold state in which the taking off of clothes makes me shiver was the setting of Cody’s memoir Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper. College-educated with a normal childhood (if there is such a thing), she had a job in an advertising agency before wandering into an Amateur Stripping contest and becoming rather addicted to the thrill. This memoir reminds me of Chelsea Handler’s Confessions of My Horizontal Life, as both women managed to maintain a conversational, self-deprecating voice while describing intimate things. Entertaining throughout, this memoir offers a subversive thrill to a taboo subject and ends before getting overly disgusted from the vivid descriptions of what is done for cash.
- Novelwhore’s Grade: B+
- Title: Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper
- Author: Diablo Cody
- Publisher: Gotham (Penguin)
Expected Stripper-Tale, with Political Twists: From my experience, Carl Hiaasen takes a normal murder/suspense/power plot and adds tidbits of sex and humor to keep the reader engaged. Striptease (an old title, found at library sale for $1) stays to this obviously successful formula and follows a young mother, driven to strip by the piling up of legal bills as she fights her ex-husband for custody of their young daughter (typical stripper sob-story, right?).
Seedy tale with the emotional mother-daughter pull, Hiaasen weaves his web of politics, blackmail and murder through the sleazy Governor of Florida, who’s in love with the stripper (like that Akon song!) and in bed with $millions$ behind the illegal farming of sugar cane. The stripper is realistic and smart, the bouncer muscular and clever, the Congressman aging and not aware of all that’s happening for his behalf, this book is another look at the different cogs in society and what happens when they interact. Definitely entertaining, but without the introspective angle of Candy Girl or the disgust-worth content of I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell.
- Novelwhore’s Grade: B-
- Title: Striptease
- Author: Carl Hiaasen
- Publisher: Vision
Don’t get excited now, no, this is not a tell-all admission of my love life (trust me, that would be really boring to read) but a glowing recommendation of Chelsea Handler’s over-active sex drive in her memoir “My Horizontal Life – A Collection of One-Night Stands.”
I abhor the term LOL, it’s out of style right? But, it’s totally appropriate as I describe what I was doing while reading this. Outrageous, hilarious and
totally entertaining, this book makes me giggle even as I think of it.
“My Vagina clammed up. I was scared for me and my little beaver’s life. I just hoped we would make it out of this okay.”
That’s a legitimate quote, and the fact that it’s referring to the, ah, genitalia of a male midget makes it even more humorous. While I don’t wish to live her life, I have no qualms about living vicariously through her stories, liberally soaked in alcohol, inappropriate situations and objectionable (often offensive) morals.
Of course you have to hope Handler is exaggerating as she describes her exploits, and it’s even rather sad at times as you wonder what actually is meaningful in her life… But get off that high-horse and just enjoy the ride!
Read this if: You’re open-minded, enjoy racy humor, aren’t offended by blatant smuttiness and alcohol-motivated decisions and aren’t embarrassed to laugh out loud while reading by yourself.
Avoid this is: You’re no fun, bland, easily offendable and can only think of sex as a sacred act no matter who is engaging in it.
- Title: My Horizontal Life
- Author: Chelsea Handler
- Publisher: Bloomsbury
- NovelWhore’s Grade: A (first blogging “A”!!!)
Book vs. Movie
By now, who isn’t familiar with this term? If you haven’t read the book, at the very least you’ve seen the trailers for the movie, currently in theaters, featuring a multitude of celebrities: Jennifer Aniston, Ben Affleck, Scarlett Johansson, Justin Long, Drew Barrymore, Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Connelly and Kevin Connolly make up the all-star cast
I’m sure authors Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo (both contributing writers to the smash success “Sex & the City) had no idea the effect their book, aka “The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys,” would have on the world. I remember first reading “He’s Just Not That Into You” (HJNTIY) back when it came out in 2004 and was on it’s way to becoming some sort of a classic. I was a naive and somewhat innocent college sophomore, and thought that the book was a more amusing and informational form of the Bible.
Though my Advanced Composition teacher ended up stealing the book (Ms. Laura Elizabeth, you disappeared with my “Bible” and my portfolio!) I still have quite a vivid recollection of the empowerment I felt upon completion. Although I’ve never found myself in a terribly unhealthy relationship (some are less happy to remember than others…), I have definitely been blind to the reality of any given situation. Told with humorous examples, comedic banter and the ability to make you smile through your tears of humiliation (you wonder how you missed that obvious hint!), the book is a feel-good tool to encourage every woman to go out there and find the relationship she deserves, not just one she’s stuck with.
Since I really did enjoy the book, appreciate the message and was able to occasionally relate to the situations with self-deprecating laughter, I had high expectations for the movie.
Let me admit, I am not a movie person. I am terrible at sitting still, rarely captivated by what is happening on screen and I don’t even like popcorn (though I looooove the icees at theaters!). I think books are a much more effective and enjoyable way to portray a story, although a movie is much less effort. Anyways, I was prepared to really enjoy HJNTIY, as it had been receiving mostly rave reviews.
My movie partner was a guy I’m casually seeing, and he only went to the movie since he lost a bet (lesson to be learned, never bet me on random historical facts!). He complained about going, but I think ended up liking it and laughing more than me. It was your stereotypical romantic comedy with a little bit more humor, I didn’t think it had nearly the powerful and positive message that the book shared with it’s audience. The movie poses the question:
“are you the exception… or are you the rule?”
The movie follows different characters through life in Maryland (totally random, right?), and it’s almost one of those six-degrees of separation examples, how everyone is inextricably linked without knowing. It’s interesting to see how all the lives tie together, but painful at times to watch as Gigi (Goodwin) is pathetically desperate to date someone, anyone, or as Janine’s (Connelly) husband enters into an affair.
It wasn’t a bad movie, but I did leave feeling as if something were missing. Oh, right, it’s the idea that things don’t always turn out as you planned, and the guy doesn’t always realize that you’re the greatest woman in the world for him (though I’m sure you are), and that sometimes, relationships are disappointing and people aren’t meant to be together and it doesn’t work out (and I swear I’m not even bitter or cynical!). I guess one marriage does dissolve through the course of the movie, but in the current state where affairs and divorces are commonplace, it would be almost more satisfying (less stereotypical, at least) had the woman been responsible, or at minimum, in control, of the relationship! I definitely think the uplifting lesson conveyed in the book is somehow lost with the on-screen adaptation.
Read the book if: You need motivation, inspiration, or optimism in your relationship or life in general. Pass the book to a friend if you can see they’re stuck in a dead end relationship and a third-party unbiased source yelling at them could help realization dawn.
Avoid the book if: You like losers, and accept you’re stuck with them. No no kidding, read the book.
Watch the movie if: You like happy endings, stereotypical romantic comedies, pathetic women, cheating men, and some laughter along the way. Though I suggest you wait until it comes out on DVD and make a wine night out of it, much better use of $$$$.
Avoid the movie if: You’re looking for a movie with a lasting impact.
- Title: He’s Just Not That Into You
- Author(s): Greg Behrendt & Liz Tuccillo
- Publisher: Simon Spotlight Entertainment
- NovelWhore’s Grade (Book): A-
- NovelWhore’s Grade (Movie): C+
**As usual, the book is much better than the movie!