WANNA BET? by Artie Lange


A Degenerate Gambler's Guide to Living on the Edge
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A third volume of memoir from the street-wise, no-filter comedian, assisted again by Bozza.

By his own admission, Lange (Crash and Burn, 2013, etc.) is a self-destructive overachiever, two qualities that wouldn’t seem to go together but for him are flip sides of the same coin. “I get the same jolt of adrenaline when I lose as I do when I win,” he insists. “That’s because when I lose, I lose big. My losses are like a huge ship passing by, trailing a wake of chaos, and there I am, having the time of my life, just an asshole on a Jet Ski catching air off the backwash.” He took a big risk when he left steady work for show business, a field where he’d shown no aptitude, and he reaped big rewards for it. Lange writes that he was by no means the funniest guy in his high school and that he was awkward at stand-up, but he eventually found himself in a high-profile position as a radio accomplice to Howard Stern, which opened doors to all sorts of opportunities. These included plenty of sex with strippers and porn stars, who wanted to hear their names on the show (and their websites promoted), which helped torpedo his relationship with his girlfriend (which was also a running part of the show). The author now dismisses Stern’s show as “the perfect example of how political correctness has ruined comedy. His show is so unbelievably safe, boring and just bad.” Some of the episodes that highlighted Lange’s previous books are revisited here, but his extracurricular misadventures with the HBO series Crashing shows that he isn’t mellowing with older age. “My life is basically a misconceived Hollywood film,” he writes. “It’s not as bad as Lost and Found [the movie he considers his worst]; it’s a different kind of bad. It’s the kind of movie that should end but keeps going.”

These books will keep going as well, as long as there’s a market for them.

Pub Date: July 17th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-250-12117-2
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2018


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