It Looked Different On The Model: Epic Tales of Impending Shame and Infamy

Posted March 11, 2012 by Tara in Challenges /// 6 Comments

It Looked Different On The Model: Epic Tales of Impending Shame and Infamy
by Laurie Notaro
Random House Audio
Audio book from public library
[#21 in my 75 book challenge]

Laurie Notaro’s books are non-fiction and feature different essays about her life. Like David Sedaris, but for straight girls. The essays included in this volume include:

  • Trying on a super-cute size M shirt and finding out that she’s really a size L
  • Ambien Laurie
  • Teaching her mom about urban legends in email forwards
  • Getting blacklisted from the neighborhood Christmas party
  • Dog bark translator
  • Those aren’t chocolate stars on her husband’s pillow…

(those aren’t the titles of the essays, just the topics).

Review:

Last year I read My Horizontal Life by Chelsea Handler. In my review, I said I didn’t like it because it wasn’t as funny as Laurie Notaro’s books. Well, that’s how I felt about this book. Just not as funny as the old Laurie stuff.

While there were a few funny moments in this collection, I was mostly disappointed. I LOVED Notaro’s earlier books, especially The Idiot Girls’ Action-Adventure Club: True Tales from a Magnificent and Clumsy Life and Autobiography of a Fat Bride: True Tales of a Pretend Adulthood, but this one fell short. I think Laurie’s self-depricating, dorky, clumsy, awkward, and sometimes crude stories were funnier when she was a single twenty-something. Now that she’s married, it seems like she’s stretching the humor a bit and that she should have grown up a little bit more.

Don’t get me wrong — there are funny moments in here. It was an enjoyable, light read in the car. No pressure. If you were browsing the public library and came across it, I would certainly recommend taking it home to read or listen to. But I was glad that I just borrowed the book and didn’t pay money for it. My biggest issue was that many of the stories seemed to ramble on. I got lost while listening because I couldn’t quite grasp if I was at the climax of the story or why it kept going on and on after I thought the point had been made.

Final Grade:   C   Often funny, sometimes hilarious, with a dash of boring, this book didn’t live up to my expectations. I don’t regret reading it, but it was quite average and not memorable. I still love Laurie Notaro and want to be her friend, but I guess I will just go back to reading her earlier books. Of course, this is an adult book so I wouldn’t recommend it to my students. For my readers, I do recommend Notaro’s books…just not this one (or her fiction books). Start with Idiot Girls’ Action Adventure Club if you’re looking for a real funny read!

Tara

Tara is a PhD student studying education. Her dissertation will be on digital book communities as public pedagogy (ask her about it!), though she often takes a break from all of that to read books about oppressive governments and sassy teenagers. In a former life, she was a middle school teacher and middle school librarian. In her future life, she's a professor of YA lit. In her free time, she drinks a lot of coffee while planning her next grand adventure (there's always something).

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6 responses to “It Looked Different On The Model: Epic Tales of Impending Shame and Infamy

  1. It really is a shame when a book by an author you love just doesn’t meet up to their old standards. I am so curious to see what happens with JK Rowling’s new book.

  2. i think that its a bit like a singer, they have one or a few awesome hits and then people expect them to be a certain way and succeed with the next album. it makes them almost typecast which is a shame but it is how we as humans process the logic.
    i think that once you like a writers style, in an ideal world they should keep their style and move forward rather than concentrating on how to impress people.
    they are my thoughts anyway
    🙂

  3. One of my best friends loves her books and loaned a few to me (including The Idiot Girls’ Action-Adventure Club) and they just weren’t to my taste at all. Do you feel like she hasn’t developed well as a writer/person, or that you’ve grown and she’s remained the same?

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