NOT TACO BELL MATERIAL

Another full-on blitz of 40-something white-male rage, lightened very little by the occasional potty-humor anecdote.

Former Man Show co-host and podcast phenomenon’s manly-man memoir about the awfulness of poverty and the crappiness of wealth and fame.

Carolla (In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks, 2010, etc.) supplements his income as a famous podcast-show guy by doubling as a writer—or more specifically “ranter,” as in this latest autobiographical harangue. Warming to the author’s sense of humor depends on how you relate to a 47-year-old male who still calls women “chicks” and uses junior high scatological terminology like “ass mud.” Here Carolla takes vengeful aim at all the human beings who’ve pissed him off over the years, which seems to be pretty much everyone he’s come in contact with except his stepgrandfather. He rags on his over-the-top hippie parents for their un-American voluntary poverty and humorless activist causes; he rebelled against them in high school by becoming an obnoxious jock. His early 20s were full of crappy jobs and gonzo hijinks with buddies whose existences appeared to center around getting wasted and peeing on stuff. Carolla admits his love for lighting farts and recreational flatulence in general, gaseous coming-of-age hobbies that, not surprisingly, proved useful in his first gig as a host on Loveline in the mid-’90s. He got his big TV showbiz break when he met established comic Jimmy Kimmel and created the Man Show; next thing he knew, he was making serious dough and living in a house in the Hollywood Hills. The first half of the book showcases Carolla’s unrelenting bitching about all the manual-labor jobs he toiled in; the next chronicles his firsthand discovery that Hollywood success pretty much sucks too—except now he can pay his bills and doesn’t have to share his apartment with someone who isn’t a hot chick.

Another full-on blitz of 40-something white-male rage, lightened very little by the occasional potty-humor anecdote.

Pub Date: June 12, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-88887-7

Page Count: 327

Publisher: Crown Archetype

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

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NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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TO THE ONE I LOVE THE BEST

EPISODES FROM THE LIFE OF LADY MENDL (ELSIE DE WOLFE)

An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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