A witty memoir detailing the misfortunes of a Hollywood comedian, actor, and writer.
Dedicated to the voices in her head who told her she could never write a book, Cummings’ debut offers what she deems is “a whole book’s worth of yummy, humiliating schadenfreude” as well as “mortifying situations that’ll make you feel way better about your own choices.” It’s an extremely self-deprecating assault on a laundry list of proclivities, insecurities, and intimate fears many readers will easily relate to. A problematic journey along the “yellow brick road of healers” results in a few opening chapters rife with ineffective therapists, pointed neuroses, and a bold admittance of chronic co-dependency, about which the author wrote in Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner’s newsletter, inspiring the book. Cummings writes about the misogyny of the stand-up comedy industry (and its audiences), her perfectionist tendencies, egg freezing, her 15-year struggle with anorexia (which included bouts of “sleep eating”), a surprise scoliosis diagnosis, and a horrifying attack by her pet pit bull. While all of these situations had disastrous potential, the author takes the sting out of each with deflective humor and straight-up honesty, humility, and a keen sense of humanity. Akin to the inner-critical narrative voice of Amy Schumer, Cummings’ observations expectedly tackle the uncomfortable and the embarrassing, including a somewhat overanalyzed encounter with drunk guys in a Las Vegas hotel hallway and an illuminating cross-cultural lesson with Middle Eastern women about wearing headscarves. Occasionally, the author brushes up against some painful truths that even she seems surprised to have publicly admitted, such as her debilitating issues with body dysmorphia and self-esteem. After years of anxiety and denial about everything from heckled stand-up gigs to asymmetrical breasts, Cummings seems content that she can now openly admit that becoming truly happy and satisfied with life is a continuous work in progress.
A zippy, unabashed narrative confronting personal adversity with an equal mix of humor and sincerity.