Wednesday, September 5, 2012

You're Not Doing It Right by Michael Ian Black

Darkly humorous and told with raw honesty, You’re Not Doing It Right is Michael’s debut memoir. In it, he takes on his childhood, his marriage, his children, and his career with unexpected candor and deadpan wit, as he shares the neuroses that have plagued him since he was a kid and how they shaped him into the man he is today.

“Martha wants to be married in a Catholic church. I do not. I would prefer to be married in a more secular setting, one that has personal meaning for me: a riverboat casino perhaps, or a Taco Bell.” - Michael

Michael Ian Black is a bit of an asshole, and yet…I find him hilarious. Granted, I have a kind of asshole-y sense of humor sometimes, but I think it’s the honesty in his humor that just kills me. I saw a few reviews that said something along the lines of, “if you’re a woman you won’t like this book.” Um…I absolutely disagree. If you are a woman with a sense of humor, you’ll dig this book. If you don’t have a sense a humor, well, I feel sorry for you…and what would you be doing picking up a comedian’s book anyway?

This is a memoir that includes stories about his childhood, dating life (or lack thereof), marriage, children, and everything that makes those things great; and makes those things really suck. He talks about the joy of getting an Easy Bake oven for Christmas (because he was convinced his lesbian mom was trying to turn him gay), his obsession with Kevin Federline’s weight gain, convincing himself he has a brain tumor…and that’s just to name a few. There were several instances throughout this book that I found myself obnoxiously laughing out loud, and I think my favorite story was about his struggle to deal with his sister’s sleep apnea. While I was reading it I kept thinking, “I probably shouldn’t be laughing…this shouldn’t be funny…sleep apnea can be scary…” and yet I found myself laughing anyway. Because it wasn’t funny; it was hilarious. Here’s a little snip-it from that part of the book; it’s Christmas Eve and he’s in the shared bedroom with his sister:

“Every nerve in my body focuses on my sister. Breathe! She’s still not breathing. Should I get Mom? I should get Mom. But what if I wake up the whole house and it turns out Susan is fine? Then everybody will be awake and then the Santa Rules will almost certainly apply. I don’t think I can risk not getting presents just to save my sister’s life. On the other hand, Santa definitely won’t come if I let my sister die. Definitely not this year and possibly never again. She’s not breathing. She’s dead. I know she’s dead.”

There really isn’t a whole lot else I can say about this other than if you like reading memoirs, you should definitely put this one at the top of your list. Well, I would recommend putting it at the top of your list if you like memoirs and a dark sense of humor. I promise you won’t regret it, and if you do…well…that just f*cking sucks, I guess.

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