Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Why I'm Like This

Why I'm Like This by Cynthia Kaplan 212 pages. I was disappointed in this book. I thought I would be reading a selection of funny, true stories. While there were some amusing stories, none of them were really funny. To top that off, the writing wasn't so good. I have a feeling that if Kaplan were telling us the stories, they would come across much funnier. While tempted to call this a so-so book, I'm going to give it a rating of 3 for the passages I did find amusing.

Synopsis from publisher:
Cynthia Kaplan takes us on a hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking journey through her unique, uncensored world—her bungled romantic encounters and unsung theatrical experiences; her gadget-obsessed father, her pill-popping therapist, and her eccentric grandmothers; her fearless husband, whom she engages in an ongoing battle over which of them is the most popular person in their apartment; and, of course, her vengeful, power-hungry one-year-old son.

Kaplan's voice is a lot like the one in our heads—the one that most of us are only willing to listen to late at night . . . maybe while locked in a closet. What a relief it is that someone finally admits that she is afraid of nearly everything; that she is jealous even of people whose lives are on the verge of collapse; and that she has, at times, tried to pass for a gentile.

"Had I known what high school would be like I would have asked my parents to set me adrift on an ice floe at puberty." pg. 11

"She had become the friend you no longer like enough to confide in so you feed them little drips and drops of your life. Just enough so you don't have to go through the bother of actually ending the friendship." pg. 45

"Even if you are a waiter for a short time, you are doomed to have waiter nightmares for the rest of your life." pg. 52

"Being a waiter at Mariella was as close as I have ever come to fulfilling the obligations of my vaguely socialist heritage. Isn't that what young socialists did? Take orders from the bourgeoisie and then gather in tetchy clumps to make coffee and compose propaganda?" pg. 58

"On vacations my mother referred to herself as 'Sandy Hold This' because my father would invariably insist that she carry his cameras and binoculars in her purse or slug over her shoulders, an upper-middle-class sherpa." pg. 77

"I am so primed for an actual confrontation that David sometimes whispers, 'Choose joy,' if I seem to be building up a particularly frothy head of steam." pg. 177

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