Customer Reviews: Girl Walks into a Bar . . .: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle
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on April 3, 2012
Not what I expected after reading every other comedian's memoir (Tina Fey, Michael Ian Black, Mike Birbiglia, Ellen, Paula Poundstone, Jane Lynch, Steve Martin...I'm addicted). I bought this mostly because I was curious about her romantic life and baby life, and she is someone whom the gossip mags basically ignore. Rachel Dratch satisfied all my curiosity with her candor, and she opened my eyes about why gossip mags ignore her. Because SHE IS A TOTALLY NORMAL PERSON! She is a talented and naturally funny person who has worked hard for whatever success she has in the NY and LA world, and she's faced totally weird and unfair criticisms. I enjoyed reading about her private dating life and her journey to motherhood. This book didn't blow my mind as far as comedian memoirs go, but it didn't disappoint either. She has a unique voice and doesn't name-drop or emphasize the Hollywood part of her life.
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on April 2, 2012
i bought this book on my kindle and read it almost without stopping in one night/morning. incredibly smart and funny and down to earth and interesting and poignant all rolled into one. i laughed out loud every few pages-it's not just pleasantly amusing, it's well crafted and hilarious. complete with an important commentary on the limiting stereotypes of show biz, and the complicated tensions of being a single gal in her late 30s/early 40s, wrapped in a comedy candy bar of course. thank you, Rachel Dratch!
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on April 5, 2012
Many times, I got the giggles while reading this and thought I would have to leave the room or I would have woken my husband up. Obviously Rachel is funny but she is so relatable and admits to things that might be considered "oversharing" but that is what makes her so loveable. She is a true girl's girl - no wonder she has so many friends as you can tell from the many stories. She and I are the same age and I have never been a "baby" person but always felt I would handle it much like Rachel describes in the book. I have been a fan of hers since her SNL days, but even if you are not familiar with her, this book is so humorous on so many other levels that do not relate to SNL. I am even more of a fan now. Hope she writes more books!
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on June 8, 2013
I feel so conflicted about this book. On the one hand, I sincerely appreciate Dratch's honesty and willingness to share her story, and I felt that she came across as authentic and not trying to cherry-coat any of her experiences. On the other hand, I wish that her editor or someone would have encouraged her to peel back another layer to basically every aspect of this book and share more of her actual feelings about the situations. The things she was describing were interesting, but I felt her responses to the situations were not interesting in themselves (with the exception of parts of her passages on 30 Rock and of starting out at SNL).

For example, she describes a dating "crusade" as 3 different dates over the span of something like a year. In what world is 3 dates considered a crusade? I appreciate her honesty about the difficulties of dating, and the mistakes she'd made in the past by preferring not "nice guys" and suffering the consequences. It was just difficult for me to understand, as it was written, just what was so difficult about dating for her specifically - if she had peeled back another layer, let us know why it is that she was going for the "bad guys," then maybe it would have been more emotionally engaging for the reader, and also more of a relief when she met such a nice guy in the end. I just couldn't really connect with why she had gone for the difficult guys previously.

I also thought she was shockingly naiive when she discovered after SNL that she was expected to produce a "boner" along with a laugh...she said, "When did the rules change?" For better or worse, she had to have had the insight that a comedienne and/or actress's looks are taken into account when they are considered for a role...I'm not saying it SHOULD be that way at all, but in the real world, it is. How could someone who was in show business for 15 years not have picked that up? In some ways, it was actually refreshing to see that this was a surprise to her, but in others, it made me question the extent to which she accepts or confronts the reality of the business she's chosen. In contrast, those like Mindy Kaling appear to completely understand the realities of our culture's messed up standards for beauty, but Kaling confronts them head on with insight and actually is attempting to change the standards, which I find much more beneficial than Dratch's more defeatist approach.

That being said, the book really picks up in the latter half, when she discovers she is pregnant and works out a creative, realistic and modern arrangement with her boyfriend. As others have pointed out, the letter from her boyfriend's brother is just extremely touching and heartfelt. I just wish there was a little more of that level of feeling in Dratch's writing! I know she has it in her because I've seen her interviewed, something just didn't make it onto the page on this book, unfortunately for me.
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on April 4, 2012
I read this book over the weekend and when I finished it I got that warm and fuzzy feeling you get when you have a great Saturday out with an old friend. Rachel is funny and honest. Her book was such a great read. I loved the ending. She will be an amazing mother! I hope she writes a sequel.
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on April 9, 2012
I've always had a soft spot for Rachel Dratch because she's not the "traditional" actress-type. Plus, she's always funny as hell and willing to go the extra mile for a laugh. She's relatable, I always thought, because she seems real.

Turns out that I was right. Her memoirs have no tragic reveals about her life, no awful memories or life-changing tragedies, but Dratch comes across as a very nice person who happens to not have the beauty queen looks that Hollywood seems to demand. Seeing as how I'm also not of the beauty queen variety, I could relate to her struggles to get out of the "wacky lesbian/secretary/best friend" roles. Dratch writes with an easy humor that feels like a friend telling you a story. I finished the book in one evening because the pages just rolled her story--including her unexpected pregnancy at the age of 44--was so interesting and well-told.

Highly recommended.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon November 5, 2014
First, I love Rachel Dratch!! She was always a favorite on SNL and super talented. I Was sad to see her kind of go away. I am thrilled to find she is at peace with that and happy with her life.

The reason that I adore this book, other than the pluckiness of her life, is that Rachel herself reads the audiobook. This adds so much the read. IT tends to feel more like a conversation between friends, man do I wish we were friends!! She is funny with just enough snark and sass to keep the read lively. I know she was reading her own book, but I think she could definitely do more voice over work. She was a delight to listen to and infused the read with emotion and energy. Things I am always looking for in a great audio read.

The first section is about the major downer of her career, that was 30 Rock. I really wish they had been able to keep her on as a different character each show. It would have been a really creative running gag. But sometimes the Hollywoood machine thinks they know better.

The next section goes through her childhood and journey through college, discovering improv and then the road that would take her to SNL. I would have loved more Second City and SNL war stories. I love hearing about that whole scene, and it was too brief for me.

Finally, we get the the last act which is the meat of the story. What is Rachel doing now? What life changes occurred? This was another favorite part for me. It definitely encourages that feeling of chatting with a gal pal. I promise, I do not believe we are now BFF, but it is close! I hope we get to see Rachel again, she has such talent that it is bound to be appreciated in good time. I hope!

As I mentioned. I listened to the audiobook. Rachel has a great read and plenty of energy throughout. The music transitions were a little weird. I have never been a fan of it in my audio listens. Loved it from beginning to end! Not sure if that was because of the material of the genuinely brilliant delivery! Either way I had serious happy vibes!
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on April 16, 2012
I bought this because I had seen Rachel promoting it on Leno or Fallon, it sounded funny and I wanted to hear more about her dating disasters and what the "surprise twist" was. I knew Rachel from her work on SNL, but didn't realize times had gotten kind of tough for her career after her contract wasn't renewed. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, for a few reasons: I love her type of humor -- intelligent, low-key, sarcastic but not mean, self-deprecating but not making a fool of herself -- just totally hilarious to me. I also felt like I could identify with her on so many levels -- not fitting in at school, going for the bad boys, "not reading", watching Real Housewives, not being "kid-enamored" but ending up as a single parent of a baby boy in a very similar scenario. She also keeps it classy, never resorting to gutter humor or TMI about her personal relationships. I'd highly recommend this, not only for a fun read but to get to know a very talented comedian. I am now a huge fan of Rachel's, and I hope we'll continue to see a lot of her work in the future.
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on April 18, 2012
I'm a fan of Rachel Dratch and always thought she was one of SNL's most amazing talents. However, this book isn't that good. It's just okay. It wanders a bit (like the chapter on the dog and the one about Seder). There's also some basic editing that didn't happen here. Repeated information, a bit of rambling and what not. And just a bit TMI with how she got pregnant. One sentence would have done it on that front.

On the other hand, I could completely relate to Rachel having grown up in Mass and only being a year younger than her. I get her personal life story, connect with her metaphysical interests, and have been on the same (if not worse) dates.

There's a very strong and serious call throughout the book in search of her next gig. She says she's not a serious actor though I suspect if she trained for it, she'd be amazing at it. And she'd probably get more acting opportunities...tons of "not Hollywood knockouts" in her age range are very, very busy these days.

She is an attractive, bright woman and I hope she realizes that soon as it seems to be a sticking point with her given the types of offers she gets from the industry.

Overall, the book isn't bad and you'll whip through it pretty quickly. There are a half dozen or so LOL moments. Not sure I can justify the pricing on it. Put it this way -- if you're taking a plane ride, pick this up for the levity and it will make the time pass. Not a bad read but not a must read.
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on November 19, 2015
The SAMPLE is Hilarious - then I read the rest of the book and it was boring and lost that edgy sense of humor that
was in the Sample. It's the 'Then I did this, then I did this, then I did this' redundancy.
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