Monday, June 25, 2012
A Mostly Funny Memoir
Normally I don't review a book on Critter Alley unless it is specifically animal-themed. However, I've made an exception for "Let's Pretend This Never Happened" by Jenny Lawson. Though the book isn't technically about animals, it does feature quite a few of them. Usually post mortem.
You see, Lawson's dad was a taxidermist and I don't believe it's an exaggeration to say that her father's sometimes unnerving sense of humor helped to shape Lawson into the person she is today. Stories on her "growing up" years will help you understand a little bit better some of what you'll read in the book. And maybe it will also help you understand Lawson's penchant for collecting fancifully taxidermied critters. Or maybe not.
Jenny Lawson originally gained fame for her blog aptly titled, "The Bloggess". It has followers in the thousands and posts that generally prompt hundreds of comments. Her first book, published in April, 2012 contains new material along with some of her best blogs, such as a chapter about a giant metal chicken named Beyonce, obtained after her long-suffering husband, Victor, told her not to buy any more towels. You get what you ask for, Victor!
In addition to her childhood, marriage, and attempts to become a mother, Lawson also discusses her battle with depression in a way that is both honest and humorous. Humor helps to heal even the most ragged edges of pain and Lawson is a master of satiric humor.
I devoured this book like a child gobbles cotton candy at a carnival. But don't expect it to be a serving of frothy light sweetness. My advice to you is DO NOT read this book if you:
a) are easily offended by vulgar language or less-than-pleasant situations
b) don't enjoy off-beat humor
c) are overly squeamish
DO read this book if you enjoy a writing style that may ramble around the block a bit, but is laugh-out-loud funny. I read it on an airplane. My seat-mates looked at me in horror when I nearly snorted my soda out my nose (more than once). Guess I should add a disclaimer that you really should be careful where you open this book.
Are you looking for a highly entertaining summer read which will go quite well with any flavor of wine slushie? Try "Let's Pretend This Never Happened".
Two thumbs up from me. If you've read it, what's your opinion?