10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2006
If you're a regular person who got fired from normal full-time job looking to get inspiration or find the humor from others suffering the same, this book is not for you. This book is mostly collection of anecdotes from show biz people, people who are routinely unemployed between gigs for whom getting hired and fired is a huge fact of life. So...cute stories, a good light read. There's still an opportunity out there for someone to really write this book.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Some books are a like a fine four-course meal. You take your time. You appreciate every bite. You savor each delectable mouthful. When it is over, you feel like you've had an experience.
Some books are like comfort food. They fill you up and make you feel good inside. You crave more, and they make you feel better when you are feeling down.
Some books are like candy bars. They are sweet, easy to eat and gone in no time.
This book was a candy bar.
Now don't get me wrong -- I LOVE candy bars. (I love them a lot.) I gobbled this book up in record time and felt a little guilty about it because it wasn't real "good" for me -- just like when I eat a candy bar. These are the type of books I read after "coming down" from a four-course meal book like The Economist Book of Obituaries.
Now I know the title may sound a bit ominous or depressing. "A book about people losing their jobs. In this economy. I don't think so. That sounds like the last thing I want to think about." But you should know that the people who lost their jobs in this book are some of the best comedy writers, comedians and actors/actresses in the business. So their tales of losing their jobs are just downright funny and amusing. Did I mention that some of the contributors include Tim Allen, Andy Borowitz, Bill Maher, Bob Saget, D.L. Hughley, Harry Shearer, David Cross, Morgan Spurlock, Felicity Huffman, Patricia Heaton, Anne Meara, Judd Apatow, Andy Dick, Matt Walsh, Jeff Garlin, Paul F. Tompkins, Tate Donovan? I'm sure you've seen some of these names somewhere. The ones you might not be familiar with write for, act in or produce such little shows like The Simpsons, Late Night With Conan O'Brien, The Daily Show, and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
The book is broken up into five sections:
1. The Job So Terrible You Can Only Hope to Be Fired
2. The Firing You Didn't See Coming
3. The Time You Deserved To Be Fired
4. The Time Getting Fired Leads You To Something Better
5. The Time You Had To Fire Yourself.
Each "chapter" has about 10 or 12 mini-essays or interviews. And not all the contributions are about being fired from jobs; the essay by Rob Cohen called "Attractive In A Bad Way" is about how he needs to fire himself from dating because he is "that guy....the one responsible for all those late-night crying jags" and he dates women "...who are incredibly appealing on the outside, but soooooo not on the inside. Like a Godiva's chocolate...full of scorpions with diarrhea."
Here are some other lines in the book that gave me a chuckle.
From Annabelle Gurwitch's essay "Crimes and Mythdemeanors": I just couldn't believe Woody Allen was ruining my Woody Allen experience.
From Bruce Cameron's contribution "Remodels Your Redundancy": My friends have said I have a "dark gift," because instead of getting angry, most of the people I fired seemed worried for me.
From Dana Gould's "Jimmy the Idiot": I figured I'd become a movie star and use it as a springboard to writing. Is there not a more difficult route? It was as if I wanted to be a pastry chef and entered politics to do it. After all, once I'm president of the United States, I can bake anything I want.
From Maxine Lapiduss's essay "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service": ...and I didn't make a million bucks or become an instant hit on Letterman. But foolishly that wasn't what I had asked God to do for me. I'd asked for a below-minimum-wage job and some costume assistance, and that's exactly what I got. Next time, I'll be more specific.
About The Author/Editor
The book was edited by Annabelle Gurwitch -- an actress who had the distinction of being fired by her idol Woody Allen (a story she includes in the book). After that experience, she began gathering stories about being fired from her friends (and she's got some funny friends). The stories turned into a contributions on Day to Day on NPR, a show, a documentary, and a web site. She is perhaps best know as the cohost of the cult TV hit Dinner and a Movie on TBS. She is currently working on a book about marriage with her husband called You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up.
Final Opinion and Giveaway
This was a fun, easy book to read. It was pretty humorous, and I enjoyed it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2006
Nothing is worse than getting fired. (okay, some things are) But this collection of stories by people who've been pink slipped is hilarious. They were all smart enough and creative enough to turn their experiences from dross into gold. Andy Borowitz is wonderfully funny about being on the staff of the sit-com "Facts of Life". Ad agency head Joyce Beber tells about what it's like being terminated by the Queen of Mean, Leona Helmsley (3 times). Martha McCulley was axed for no apparent reason (or because she was too good!) from a major fashion magazine. How do these things happen? Writer Annabelle Gurwitch asseses the phenomenon, brings in facts, statistics, even Robert Reich to speak to the issue. It's a wonderful book. The only reason you put it down is because you're laughing too much.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2006
As a teen, I was fired from my job as deep-fry cook at Kentucky Fried Chicken for failure to adequately clean out the grease-traps. I have carried this mortifying secret with me for years, and after reading FIRED!, I am emboldened to share it with the world.
As for FIRED!, I should quickly point out that virtually all of the book's 50-plus entries about being canned are by successful show-biz types. Thus, their stories are generally atypical of the workplace experience. So if you're looking for hardcore blue-collar stories, this ain't the place; the author you're looking for is Studs Terkel.
But can these show-biz types write? Surprisingly, yes, most of them can. There are a few duds in here (I don't have the heart to dis them in this review), but most entries have a smile in store for you, and some are "LOL," as we hipsters say. Of interest to me was the fact that, due to the editor's National Public Radio association, there are a number of NPR contributors herein, among whom Sandra Tsing Loh distinguishes herself nicely.
As pointed out elsewhere on this reviews page, this book's highest ambition is to be a book of amusing trifles and anecdotes, and it succeeds on its own terms. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a grease-trap that needs tending. (And no, I am not speaking metaphorically.)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2008
Even though I wrote a story for this book, I CAN BE OBJECTIVE because my contribution is only two pages. (The best two pages, by the way.)
Anyway, this book is a PERFECT gift for any friend or coworker who has just been fired and is not thrilled to bits about it. (The last job I was fired from, I WAS thrilled to bits because I had already taken another job and was facing the prospect of "calling in sick" until all my sick days were used up, but that's another story for another book.)
Anyway, this might also be a great gift for employers to give out as a parting gift to the employees they are about to fire. "Fired!" will make your fired employees feel like they have finally joined the ranks of the Truly Talented and Funny people who have fired stories to tell - and it might make you feel as if you have given them a promotion instead of a kick in the pants, so it's a win-win kind of gift.
This book will help the fired feel as if they are in good company (FABulous people have written their Fired! stories in this book!) and that they can overcome the firing to be happy, productive and funny people, with a good story to tell -- which is what life is all about anyway, right?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2013
If you have ever been fired, you can place yourself in the same company as comedians Judy Gold and Anne Meara, actress Ileana Douglas, and filmmaker Morgan Spurlock. There are five categories of being fired, according to the book: (1) the job so terrible you can only hope to be fired; (2) the firing you didn't see coming; (3)the time you deserved to be fired; (4) the time getting fired leads you to something better; and (5) the time you had to fire yourself. The humor is uneven at times, but overall, it's a funny look at the world we work in.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
In a very unique approach, the book contains 1-4 page short accounts of "famous" people regarding their experiences when fired. Most of the accounts are from show-biz related folks, and involve waitressing or stand-up gigs. Some of the accounts are funny, some made-to-be-funny, and some just not-so-funny. Regardless, the book drifts from one account to another, with no focal theme or anything tangible to convey to the reader. Positives - all narrations are short, and the snippets at the end of each account provides some interesting tidbits from the business world and history on "firing". A worthwhile read to distract you from any other serious book you are reading!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2006
I think I speak for lots of the unwillingly unemployed when I say "Thank You" to Annabelle Gurwitch for peeling away the shroud of shame and humiliation associated with getting one's ass canned. I applaud the book not only for its service to humanity but also for its literary quality and entertainment value.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2014
Most of the pieces were only marginally funny or interesting. It was a good idea but not a good book
on March 17, 2006
Thanks so much for this book. I was fired last week from my crappy retail job of over 8 years. Since I hated my job, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted. I have been wasting away the degree that I earned (3 years ago!), my talent and my self esteem. Reading this book has made me feel great and not alone. I now know that there is more out there and I'm going to find it. I'm not going to settle for just any job or I'm going to continue to be miserable. I wish you all the success on the book and I'm looking forward to the movie. I am supporter or NPR and I look forward to hearing you on the radio.