Saturday, February 7, 2009

We Thought You Would Be Prettier

We Thought You Would Be Prettier: True Tales of the Dorkiest Girl Alive by Laurie Notaro was originally published in 2005. My paperback copy has 221 pages. This is my first Notaro book and I felt the humor in the stories was uneven. While parts of it were truly hilarious and had me gasping for air while laughing out loud, other parts were completely forgettable. In some ways the funny parts, which were really very funny, can compensate for the rest of the book, but not quite. Notaro's constant whine about how her size 14 is fat and the formula she follows in writing her stories, which made them too predictable at the end, made We Thought You Would Be Prettier less enjoyable in some stories. Since other reviewers liked Notaro's previous books more than this one, I will read her again with hopes that they are more consistently humorous. A recommended book with a rating of 3.5.

She thought she'd have more time. Laurie Notaro figured she had at least a few good years left. But no-it's happened. She has officially lost her marbles. From the kid at the pet-food store checkout line whose coif is so bizarre it makes her seethe "I'm going to kick his hair's ass!" to the hapless Sears customer-service rep on the receiving end of her Campaign of Terror, no one is safe from Laurie's wrath. Her cranky side seems to have eaten the rest of her-inner-thigh Chub Rub and all. And the results are breathtaking.

Her riffs on e-mail spam ("With all of these irresistible offers served up to me on a plate, I WANT A PENIS NOW!!"), eBay ("There should be an eBay wading pool, where you can only bid on Precious Moments figurines and Avon products, that you have to make it through before jumping into the deep end"), and the perils of St. Patrick's Day ("When I'm driving, the last thing I need is a herd of inebriates darting in and out of traffic like loaded chickens") are the stuff of legend. And for Laurie, it's all true.

"'No one is going to wait in line for a dumb old signature like that! I had fancier signatures in my high school yearbook!"
"Well, I guess I could add, 'Stay sweet!' or 2 Good 2 Be 4 Got 10" or 'Have a bitchin' summer, dude,' " I said. "Or I could embellish my signature by dotting my i's with clouds or hearts for full fancy potential." pg. 16

"I tried to tell my husband what was going on now in our kitchen, but this is a man who chooses to exert what little control he has over his life by ignoring me to the point that one time I actually thought he was dead for several days until I noticed he had fresh crumbs on his shirt." pg. 31

"You know, there are some things mothers and daughters should never share. Just because I'm back in therapy doesn't mean I'm now a blank slate on which you now can feel free to inflict a whole other lifetime's worth of damage on. Maybe if you were paying for it, but this time it's on my Visa, so let's pay some attention to that 'boundary' talk we had, all right." pg. 50

"Remember when you thought the Year 2000 bug was going to end the world and we had to stay home on New Year's Eve because you hadn't finished filling up every container you could get your hands on with water? Because of you I NEVER got to party like it was 1999!"
"It was for our own safety," I protested.
"...And you bought those titanium bicycle helmets that we were supposed to wear all the time in case a meteor smacked us in the head?"
"It was a precaution," I argued. pg. 82

"People were everywhere, staggering this way and that, much as if the Betty Ford Clinic's security staff had gone on strike and the streets were suddenly inundated by free-range substance abusers on holiday." pg. 87-88


Literary Feline said...

I have a copy of The Idiot Girl's Action Adventure Club in my TBR collection waiting its turn to be read. I haven't yet read anything by the author. Hopefully you will like the next book you read by her more.

samantha.1020 said...

I haven't read anything by this author either but plan to in the future. Interesting review!

Lori L said...

I think I will try The Idiot Girl's Action Adventure Club (or one of her other books) too. I'll be interested to read what both of you think when you read one of Notaro's books.

Donna said...

This is another author I hadn't known about until now. The premise sounds interesting, but based on your review I may skip this one, though I'll check for reviews of her other books to see if I might like them.