Monday, October 12, 2009

The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club

The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club by Laurie Notaro
Trade paperback, 225 pages
Random House, 2002
ISBN-13: 9780375760914
nonfiction, autobiographical
not recommended

From the Cover:
Introducing Laurie Notaro, the leader of the Idiot Girl's Action-Adventure Club. Every day she fearlessly rises from bed to defeat the evil machinations of dolts, dimwits, and creepy boyfriends—and that's before she even puts on a bra. For the past ten years, Notaro has been entertaining Phoenix newspaper readers with her wildly amusing autobiographical exploits and unique life experiences....
My thoughts:

Well.... I gave Notaro a second chance, reading this collection of columns originally written for the Arizona Republic, and the results are in: I didn't find over half of the stories in this collection funny and some of them I found disgusting. How many stories about doing stupid things, not practicing personal hygiene, and chain smoking while being (or hoping to soon be) inebriated can one really find humorous? The sad thing, beyond the stories that are supposed to be funny, is that there really are a few funny stories in the collection, but after so many of the sad/bad ones, the funny stories lost some of their spark just from proximity to the drunken, smokin', unwashed stupid stories. Immature, stupid behavior isn't so humorous once one gets out of their teens or early twenties. It seemed like the better stories, for example Moral Sex and Extreme Clean Sports that both featured her Nana, were in the second half of the book. Frankly, I wonder how in the world Notaro got a job writing a humorous column in any newspaper because even the writing isn't all that good. It was a chore finding quotes without questionable content or language.
Even with the stories that are funny, I can not recommend Notaro's book.


"I', happy that I'm one of the Dumb Ones," he informed me. "I like it better that way."
"Really?" I said. "Why?"
"Well, because there's stuff that I know about, and there's more stuff that I don't know about, which makes it less stuff that I have to worry about in the Big Picture," he answered. pg. 8

Anyway, because I am Dumb, and a Idiot Girl, not only do I have memories of the stupid things I've done, I also have pictures, since that's what happens when a Dumb one gets control of a camera. pg 11-12

The pain was incredible, and sure, the booze helped for a while, but eventually that comfort evaporated. I knew I had to find a medical expert with experience and credentials, as well as the ability to get me some good drugs. pg. 14

My mother did a better job naming her dogs, Cali and Cory, than she did me, Laurie Ann, and I have to live longer. pg. 19

My father gathered up all of our wet shoes from outside and took our small hibachi out under a tree. After lighting a fire and watching it carefully, he placed our sneakers on the grill until he was satisfied they were dry. He was getting ready to bring the shoes back into the trailer when he realized the soles had melted so thoroughly that they had become one with the hibachi. He entered the trailer with the sentence, "I hope you guys brought a lot of socks." pg. 29

Clowns, however, are a different story. They carry forces of the dark side with them, impenetrable by any act of retaliation. Pop a clown's balloon, and he'll only mutilate a bigger, nastier one. pg. 112


Lisa said...

I didn't even give her a second chance. I completely don't get the appeal or her or why she's sold so many different books. I didn't find anything at all humorous in the one I read. Which might have been this one, I can't even tell you.

Lori L said...

I agree, Lisa - I'm surprised at the number of books she has out and that this was on the NY Times best sellers list.