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Feel This Book: An Essential Guide to Self-Empowerment, Spiritual Supremacy, and Sexual Satisfaction Paperback – April 4, 2000

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (April 4, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345412931
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345412935
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,709,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

A warning to readers: though Ben Stiller (Flirting with Disaster) and Janeane Garofalo (The Truth About Cats and Dogs) used to be a couple, do not confuse their advice book with Chicken Soup for the Couple's Soul. This is more of a cross between James Thurber and E.B. White's satirical Is Sex Necessary? and MTV's Beavis and Butt-Head: Chicken Soup for the Butt.

The ex-couple give us alternating chapters of remarkably rambling, extravagantly ironic, showbiz-insider's philosophical musings, but they do discuss their actual relationship, just to let you know where they stand--right on your funny bone, exerting maximum pressure until you beg for mercy. After their breakup, writes Garofalo, "We agreed that in the future we would only meet for professional purposes, or if we were drunk and felt like having emotionally destructive sex."

This faux tome (also read by the authors on audiocassette) is a meeting of the minds for professional purposes. But again, don't be fooled by what these wily authors say! The intriguing chapters referred to in the opening pages--"Why Can't I Sleep Around and Still Love You?"; "How to Fake an Orgasm to Show Your Love, or The Art of the Squeal"; "Negotiating with God for What You Want--and Getting It!"; "Pros and (Very Few) Cons of a Third Party in the Bedroom"--these chapters do not in fact exist! What does exist is a dog's breakfast of jokes from a pair of clowns. Read it and weep, but heed it at your peril. --Tim Appelo --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Television-bred celebrities as humor authorsAthe likes of Paul Reiser and Drew CareyAhave used spoken audio as a means to help establish their literary audiences. Books on tape offer a natural conduit for such actors' messages, better, often, than the print versions. Stiller and Garofalo, both young, sophisticated and genuinely funny film actors, go a step further, parodying one of audio's nonfiction staples: self-help tapes. They start with dry disclaimers, stating that they are celebrities and so know nothing of psychology, then describe calls from their agents asking them to record "a funny audiobook about relationships." Taking the classic he-said/she-said format, the two trade off with first-person vignettes that tell a modern love story, with all its "mistakes." Stiller tells of going home with Garofalo to meet "her people" in Nutley, N.J. She counters with descriptions of his goofy behavior once there. The humor is deadpan, with a bitingly sarcastic undercurrent. There is good chemistry between the pair, lending to a sense of playfulness and spontaneity often absent from audio programs. Stiller and Garofalo know their audience wellAand just how to play them. Based on the 1999 Ballantine hardcover. Also available on CD. (May)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

2.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
After a whole school year of reading classical literature, I bought this book to loosen up and get a laugh. A lot of stuff in this book is funny, other parts are simply clever. I'll admit that I found JG's essays a little redundant and she writes a little harshly, while Ben's additions (building yourself a "linen" cave, Mama Whitefeather's ring toss antics, and his hilarious lumberjack experience) were a lot funnier than Janeane's "inner warrior." The low points are that JG and BS don't really compliment each other and there is no real THEME to the book. This is no classic and I think that Ben's constant rantings about how he wants to make money off the book are not funny, but scary. Also, some of the references will become dated within a few years. Another downside of this book is that it's only funny the first time you read it; I read over a few of Ben's chapters a couple of months later and I didn't even laugh once. Still, if you want a quick laugh, pick up this book, and then read some Virginia Woolf so you can feel intellectual again. 3 stars.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Reviewer on August 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
There should be a warning on the cover of this book: FASTEN YOUR SEAT-BELTS, IT'S GOING TO BE A BUMPY RIDE, because I guarantee that by the time you're deep into "Feel This Book," you're head is going to be swiveling around on your neck till you feel like Linda Blair in "The Exorcist." Ben Stiller and Janeane Garofalo take it upon themselves to lead you down a path few have traveled, with this self-styled "essential guide to empowerment" and other stuff. What you get will include a lot of cryptic, mysterious, sometimes amazing and often unbelievable passages that will leave you a) laughing. (A lot); b) scratching you head (A whole lot); c) looking at yourself in the mirror (frequently); d) wondering about the true nature of the entire Universe as we know it (and even the parts we don't have a clue about); e) see "a;" and f) asking yourself, "Who are these people, really?" In alternating chapters, beginning with a "He said, she said" brutally honest (?) account of their own relationship, they tell stories, share observations and generally do a stand-up job of entertaining the reader. Stiller gives new definition to the term "deadpan" with as wry a delivery as anything this side of a pastrami on, well, you know. Garofalo on the other hand fires up her acerbic wit to deliver such scathing commentary that no-one on the planet will be able to escape unimpaired. She caustically shares her (extremely low) opinions of just about everybody and everything (apparently including herself), and leaves you wondering just who her target audience is, since her barrage levels everyone in her path (as well as any and all innocent bystanders). However (and call this contradictory if you will), as you're going down, you'll be going down laughing. Really. It's that kind of book.Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. A D. Veer on July 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
I'm some-what of a fan of both Ben Stiller and Janeane Garofalo, so I was curious about this book. It's very well done, and funny... Most of Ben Stillers chapteres were a bit on the [weak] side, but Janeane was able to pick up after him. Their dark cynicism of themselves and eachother is hysterical, not to mention very true to post-breakup feelings. However, insted of drowning is some vapid N*SYNC lyrics about loosing their girl, they get deep into the problems of their relationship. It's a very funny, and surprisingly meaningful book.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Positive Guy on November 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
The one thing you can count on with some "celebrities" is that they are going to think they are so verrrry much cuter than they really are. Almost everything they say is tongue-in-cheek satire and you begin to feel that they are having a great big private joke at your expense.
With so many books out there truly worth reading and owning, it is a shame to throw your money away on this. But if you truly have to have it, wait a while...You will find it at some garage sale for 50 cents. Much ado about nothing.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tonstant Weader on January 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
I listened to the audiobook, which I assume is better than the book because listeners get to hear the authors delivering their own material, and they don't read all the essays, just the ones that are the least awful.
The first two essays pit one author against the other in 'he said/she said' monologues, which have the saving grace of having the authors ridiculing each other as they describe their 'train-wreck' of a romance years ago. I didn't laugh once.
It gets worse though. After firing all their salvos at one another, they turn inward and run ripshod over themselves. Self-deprecation can be funny if done with wit and originality, say in the Joan Rivers/Rodney Dangerfield vein, but Stiller paints himself as a pathetic loser (and, ironically, he succeeds), and Garofalo preaches at us with her self-destructive behavior.
Neither author sounds as if they even wanted to do the audiobook. Their delivery is far off the mark, and I would be surprised if either one cared enough to do multiple takes. Garofalo tries to disassociate herself from the book by saying things like "I didn't name this chapter. I didn't get to name any of these chapters." and crediting someone else for writing a good deal of the material.
Of course this is supposed to be a comedy book, not a self-help book, but it fails in both respects. Don't waste your time.
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