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Kasher in the Rye: The True Tale of a White Boy from Oakland Who Became a Drug Addict, Criminal, Mental Patient, and Then Turned 16 [Kindle Edition]

Moshe Kasher
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $24.99
Kindle Price: $11.99
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Sold by: Hachette Book Group
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Book Description

Rising young comedian Moshe Kasher is lucky to be alive. He started using drugs when he was just 12. At that point, he had already been in psychoanlysis for 8 years. By the time he was 15, he had been in and out of several mental institutions, drifting from therapy to rehab to arrest get the picture. But KASHER IN THE RYE is not an "eye opener" to the horrors of addiction. It's a hilarious memoir about the absurdity of it all.

When he was a young boy, Kasher's mother took him on a vacation to the West Coast. Well it was more like an abduction. Only not officially. She stole them away from their father and they moved to Oakland , California. That's where the real fun begins, in the war zone of Oakland Public Schools. He was more than just out of control-his mother walked him around on a leash, which he chewed through and ran away.

Those early years read like part Augusten Burroughs, part David Sedaris, with a touch of Jim Carrol...but a lot more Jewish. In fact, Kasher later spends time in a Brooklyn Hasidic community. Then came addicition...

Brutally honest and laugh-out-loud funny, Kasher's first literary endeavor finds humor in even the most horrifying situations.

Editorial Reviews

From Bookforum

The clever vitriol of the performer's fast-paced stand-up routine meets the vulnerable sincerity of a man who "gave a fuck very much" in Los Angeles comedian Moshe Kasher's first book. Kasher balances the heavier content of his memoir with playful turns of phrase, and continuous, effortless jokes, infusing the prose with an essential dose of levity. —Miriam Katz


"Hysterical, heartbreaking, flat-out hilarious...after KASHER IN THE RYE, Moshe Kasher will no longer be known just as a brilliant, cutting edge young comic, but as a genuine monster writer of the highest order. Think Holden Caulfield on dope and bagels, with a side of crime and insane asylums. This is the kind of book that makes you want to wake up everyone you know at three in the morning and scream at them to read. Little Moshe Kasher lived a life no one should have to endure, and we're lucky he survived to write about it. He is living proof that whatever doesn't kill you makes you funnier. I fucking loved this book." --Jerry Stahl, New York Times bestselling author of Permanent Midnight

"Moshe Kasher is a comic genius. In his memoir, KASHER IN THE RYE, he is able to perform an act of comedic magic which is reserved only for the true greats, such as Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce, and Mitch Hedberg. Kasher's memoir will take you on a dark and hilarious journey of drugs, alcohol, and madness. But, by the time you reach the end of this book, you will be filled with hope and inspiration that even the most vulnerable can find redemption and recovery." --Artie Lange, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Too Fat to Fish

"Out of all the Hip Hop Jewish kids I know with deaf Orthodox parents, Kasher is the funniest. This book is thoughtful, touching, a bit harrowing and hilarious. Don't shy away because his name is Moshe, it's not too 'Jewy'. Emmis." --Marc Maron, comedian and host of the WTF podcast

"Travelling the hard road from teenage addiction to recovery, from lost boy to human being, Moshe Kasher tells it straight. His book over-brims with bravado and heart-breaking awareness, and with an authenticity that rings so true it's shattering. Frank and, above all, funny, this book is a marvel. I couldn't put it down." --M.A.C. Farrant, author of My Turquoise Years & reviewer for Toronto Globe & Mail

Product Details

  • File Size: 2140 KB
  • Print Length: 307 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1 edition (March 28, 2012)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #220,583 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully-written, witty and inspirational novel April 24, 2012
Kasher in the Rye: The True Tale of a White Boy from Oakland Who Became a Drug Addict, Criminal, Mental Patient, and Then Turned 16

The title alone was reason enough for me to pick up this book. I first heard of Kasher's memoir by listening to Jesse Thorn's interview with Moshe Kasher on the "Boomerang" radio show. Kasher is such a charismatic personality and gives a hilariously funny interview. All of that combined, that was reason enough for me to shell out money for this book.

Let me start by saying this: this novel has a little something for everyone. As a previous reviewer stated, this book can speak to everyone in some way. For me, this novel will really stand out to anyone whose parents are divorced. He does a great job of capturing what that feels like, growing up in that kind of household. The book doesn't let up. Moshe has a very clear and unique voice that lies somewhere between that of Dave Sedaris (i.e., absolutely crazy and unabashedly honest) and Augusten Burroughs (i.e., somewhat dark at times but equally mad). Kasher does an incredible job of delivering enough development of the core characters and the relevant details of his life. Meanwhile, he points out his own flaws in a loveable and relatable way, even for people who don't have his level of problems.

Put simply, this book will likely not get as much adoration and appreciation that it deserves. It's easily one of the best books I've read in the last year, and it's one of my favorite memoirs of the last decade. I loved it! Please, please do yourself a favor and buy this book!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CATCHER IN THE RYE For Today's Troubled Kids June 24, 2012
Funny and incisive, KASHER IN THE RYE is a great book for young adults, especially those who are in trouble and need a guide through the dark. It's the story of the son of deaf parents who was a problem child and a dangerous, self-destructive per-teen and teenager. The narrator-protagonist is wickedly funny and brutally honest, sparing no one, least of all, himself.

The reason I am rating this book so highly is that I think it could be today's CATCHER IN THE RYE for troubled teenagers--despite the author having unique issues, the drugs/alcohol and fighting and modern-day outsider-looking-in approach are all things troubled youth can relate to and get some insight from. It's so accessible and funny, they won't realize they are being given a way out until they finish the book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I wonder if I would have liked this book as much if I hadn't already been familiar with Moshe Kasher as a stand-up. I wonder if I would have liked this book as much if I hadn't related so strongly to the boy it described, who couldn't stop himself from screwing up no matter how much he wanted to.

But those questions are moot. I was already familiar with Kasher, and enjoy his stand-up quite a bit. I find him incredibly intelligent, and very good at subverting what seems like fairly standard, offensive/un-PC humor. And man do I relate to that boy that Moshe Kasher was. I may not have been raised by deaf parents, nor am I Jewish with an ultra-religious father, and I didn't slide as far as Kasher, but I very easily could have, very nearly almost did. Additionally, Kasher is only a couple years older than I am, so a lot of the cultural touchstones mentioned here are the same I experienced. I felt like I was Kasher, or could have been. I knew him. He was just like some of the kids I was hanging with, sharing forties and smoking weed and taking pills. Screwin' up.

It's probably because I related so strongly that I was able to overlook most of the problems of the book, some of which are fairly glaring. The biggest issue is that Kasher doesn't go out of his way to separate his voice from the voice of his 13 through 17 year old selves, so a lot of times he comes across as, well, a dumb kid who is acting out. He says offensive things, and we don't really get much of that intellect that Kasher injects on stage to defuse or flip the obnoxiousness. Still, that's not to say that the book is without insight, and the further you get in to the book, the better it gets. By the end, it's actually quite touching, and I'm not afraid to admit that I teared up quite a bit once Kasher finally found himself and started to heal rather than just numb the pain.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit repetitive, but worth the time April 2, 2012
This book is funny, poignant, exhausting and probably 100 pages longer than it needs to be, but by the
time you reach the end, you would have been on a journey like no other.

The book is somewhat repetitive since he goes in and out of rehab, schools, parties and drug-induced events dozens of times and it all begins to blur together. The best part is the opening when he writes about his childhood.

Once the drugs begin, it begins to sag a bit since there are only so many times you can write about the friends (?) you score drugs with and the friends you fight with and get high with.

And he bottoms out...and then bottoms out again...and then bottoms out again and again...but it's not until he REALLY bottoms out that the "character" really comes alive.

The last 50 pages are remarkable, like clarity, and his awareness of his own life and where he was headed is sobering and also joyous.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A deep and funny story March 27, 2012
I like story where we vulnerable humans succumb to our shortcomings, but then end up triumphing in adversity. Kasher in the Rye: The True Tale of a White Boy from Oakland Who Became a Drug Addict, Criminal, Mental Patient, and Then Turned 16 by Moshe Kasher tells a beautiful story of his fall and how he overcame his weaknesses. This is my third story this month on this remarkable theme, with the The Sweetest Madness telling it from another angle, or The Fire and Ice Legend , with its fallen hero who rises again. The Kasher in the Rye is not only told in a funny voice, but it is well presented and easy to read and digest.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Rather boring and repetitive
Not a pick for a book club. Rather boring and repetitive.
Published 15 days ago by HaroldLess
5.0 out of 5 stars Just like 'Catcher in the Rye'
Just like 'Catcher in the Rye', I hated the main character...because it was just too familiar. The book is well written, funny, brutally honest, and painful to read (until the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Danyel C. Gimeno
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Andrew
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny
Funny look at life on drugs!
Published 2 months ago by Patricia L. Chapman
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by Candace Trujillo
4.0 out of 5 stars Snarky and smarter then you.
Upward and onward Moshe. Bay area represent.
Published 3 months ago by Mandra Drouin
5.0 out of 5 stars great easy insightful read
Not an addict but a fan of comedy. I'd recommend this book to anyone who'd like a funny, touching look at the other side.
Published 4 months ago by BADLOU
5.0 out of 5 stars eye opening
A really great first person description of the descent in to addiction and the struggle out of the darkest place
Published 4 months ago by Barry
3.0 out of 5 stars It is funny, but not David Sedaris funny
I am a big fan of the Champs podcast, so I was excited to read this book. He did indeed have a wild, depressing ride. It is funny, but not David Sedaris funny. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Christopher C. Heck
5.0 out of 5 stars funny, moving, very personal
This is an incredible collection of harrowing childhood stories. It's dark, but funny, and to know he's come through and is a great success is truly inspirational!
Published 4 months ago by Rebecca Chewning
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