Sunday, December 27, 2009
The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death by Laurie Notaro
The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death: Reflections on Revenge, Germaphobia, and Laser Hair Removal by Laurie Notaro
If you are looking for a hilarious, never a dull moment book to close out your year then look no further than Laurie Notaro's memoir, The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death. This book is, by far, one of the most comical and entertaining pieces of writing you can get your hands on. I kid you not! Fans of David Sedaris, another popular comic genious of the written word, would do well to check this author out. Her writing style is sincere yet constantly allowing the reader to see even the darker, dirtier corners of Notaro's life.
From sex offenders to unwanted body hair, fatty tissue to personal hygiene, real estate sales to pet training. Laurie covers it all and more, and she does so in an insanely remarkable way. Whether being sincerely sentimental or brutally brash, Laurie lays it all out for her readers. Taking the hard to swallow self-deprecating aproach on many of her essays, it's easy to understand why she's so likeable. Her flair for the no holds barred humor is incredible, and her stories leave the reader (or me anyhow) left wanting more.
The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death, though a compilation of several short stories bound together in essay format, was one of those books that I couldn't get enough and couldn't wait to see what would happen next. I was so excited to finish each chapter and move on the the next that I was shocked and horrified to find that I'd, in a very quick pace, run out of pages. The book was done, and I was left hungry for more. Lucky for me, according to the page just inside the cover, Laurie has graciously written six other books that all sound (based on the title alone) equally as funny, if not more so, than this most recent publication. I know I personally can not wait to get my hands on all of them.
If someone was to ask me what my favorite part of this book was I think I'd be hard pressed to come up with an honest answer. The reason for this is because every chapter was incredibly well written and full of something new and unusual. I suppose, however, that there is one segment in particular that comes to mind as having been especially laugh out loud funny, and that would be the one titled "The Extended Warranty, the Extended Waistband, and the Repairman Who Almost Became a Hostage." In this portion the author describes, in vivid detail, the demise of her treadmill, her body, and her pride.
When her treadmill stops working, Laurie hopes to cash in on her extended warranty and get a repair man out to fix it and/or replace it with a newer, better model. Trouble is, as with most things, instant gratification was not within reach. What should have taken, at worst, a few weeks suddenly turned in to a few months. With each pending maintenence date would come yet another problem and reason for why the machine could not be fixed (or replaced). And with each extension on the maintainance came and extension on Laurie's waistline. The humiliation doesn't stop there; oh no, there's more. But what comes next is even to embarassing to mention here. Besides, I wouldn't want to ruin the surprise for those of you who decide to check out Laurie's stories (he he, Hey, that rhymed.) for yourself.
Let's just say, that anyone who gives Laurie a chance will not be disappointed. Her humor is honest, it is sometimes crude, and it is definitely always crazy. In short, it's a book not to miss!
~Bookish Mom Reviews, aka RebekahC
P.S. A huge thanks goes out to Ms Franco at Random House for sending me this review copy. I would have never discovered Laurie if not for you, so THANK YOU!