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A hilarious and effective memoir from a woman with zero inhibitions.

The provocative comedian takes to the pen in this unabashed memoir.

Before Schumer was the host of her own Comedy Central TV show, Inside Amy Schumer, and the star of Judd Apatow’s Trainwreck (2015), she was an idiosyncratic and adventurous teenager ready for any eventuality. This readiness was the product of many inconsistencies in her upbringing. Raised in a well-to-do family, Schumer basked in the financial success of her father’s furniture company. But when his business went bankrupt, their family took a hard blow: they left Manhattan for Long Island, her parents eventually divorced, and her ego shattered. Schumer, though, isn’t the type to spend hours dwelling on her unhappiness. Instead, she set out to make herself as impermeable as possible to the criticism, popularity contests, and dejections in her daily life. Structured in short essays, this memoir contains glimpses into Schumer’s roller-coaster life, from the loss of her virginity to her struggles with self-confidence. The author shares intimate excerpts from her personal diaries—with footnotes along the lines of, “I would love to know what the fuck I am talking about here. I must have been reading a heavy-handed Oprah book club pick”—and a series of family color photos. Schumer takes her readers through reminiscences by relating events that have most likely happened to all of us, and she engages readers, shedding new light on her motives and practices. Though the narrative sometimes lacks the literary appeal that distinguishes books from live comedy—and some readers might want to put it down and watch her show instead—it’s consistently funny and highly readable. “Anyone who does stand-up is delusional and masochistic….To get real laughs requires years and years. I got better little by little,” writes the author, who seems to have put the same effort into this candid, entertaining book.

A hilarious and effective memoir from a woman with zero inhibitions.

Pub Date: Aug. 16, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-3988-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2016

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

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