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I Love You More Than You Know: Essays Paperback – December 16, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Novelist and humorist Ames writes: "My whole oeuvre has become one big dysfunctional personal ad," and this uneven collection of essays often feels that way. Ames (Wake Up, Sir!) informs readers several times of his height/weight vital stats. He is straight, but with a pansexual horniness that leads to inopportune erections, sordid encounters with prostitutes and an s&m session with a dominatrix and her transsexual boyfriend that makes him late for a play date with his son. He forthrightly, indeed obsessively, discloses details of his chronic rectal itch, his "explosive episodes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome" and every other gross bodily eruption and excretion that plagues him. And there's a note of self-deprecatory preening as Ames marvels at the young lovelies he still manages to attract and the other celebrity writers he hangs with on his book tours. Sometimes Ames's trademark combination of (literal) bathroom gags, hipster grotesquerie and neurotic free association achieves an inspired synthesis of confessional humor, but with overuse its hilarity and freshness decays into a lazy reliance on shock effects and embarrassment laughs. When Ames manages to wrench his gaze from his navel (and other orifices) and connect with outside reality, his prose sparkles with offhand comic insights. Photos.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press, Black Cat (December 16, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080217017X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802170170
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #752,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jonathan Ames is the author of the novels Wake Up, Sir!, The Extra Man, and I Pass Like Night; a graphic novel, The Alcoholic (with artwork by Dean Haspiel), and the essay collections I Love You More Than You Know, My Less Than Secret Life, and What's Not to Love? He is the winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship and is a former columnist for New York Press. Ames performs frequently as a storyteller and has been a recurring guest on David Letterman. He has fought in two amateur boxing matches as "The Herring Wonder," and he has peformed in a number of shows. Ames had the lead role in the IFC film "The Girl Under the Waves," was a porn-extra in the porn film "C-Men," and played himself in a pilot episode for the Showtime network. At the time, he said, "It's the role I've been waiting for!" He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Travis Dubya McGee Bickle on February 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
Jonathan Ames has, as they say, a screw loose, in fact, probably several. These brief essays detail his many neuroses, obsessions with bodily functions, sexual peccadiloes, etc., to quite humorous effect. In fact, the reader will often find him or herself laughing out loud. Mixed in with the hilarity in several instances are some very touching, poignant, even sentimental touches, particularly when he describes his relationship with his son...Join this cult now, so you can say you got in on the ground floor of this seedy and splendid house.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Joe Canniff on February 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
The cover of I Love You More Than You Know seems to suggest that the author (pictured in underpants, fedora, wing-tips shoes and suit case) is running away from something. A few chapters into this book of wonderfully crafted essays there is the realization that he is trying to outpace his own neuroses. The essays are hiliarious and poignant accounts of the author trying to make sense of his own sexual, scatalogical and emotional foibles. I Love You More Than You Know is written in a smart prose style that, I feel, is without peer. I would highly recommed the book for a quick lighthearted laugh out loud funny read, that leaves the reader more hopeful than despairing on the human condition.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By M. Cuglietta on January 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
Jonathan Ames is one of the great writers of our time and this book is just proof and proof again. There is no reason why David Sedaris is on the bestseller list and not Jonathan Ames.
This book is a collection of essays, sort of a poor man's Curb Your Enthusiasm, or a poor man's Sex in the City.
Buy this book as an introduction to the brilliantly sick mind of Jonathan Ames and then get the Extra Man by Jonathan Ames. By far his best novel.
And the price, $14 for 250 pages! I really dont see how you could go wrong!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andrew T. on February 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
Having read the previous two collections of essays Jonathan Ames has written, I have been anticipating the publishing of his most recent collection for some time. If you're into a Bukowski type humor, with the sharp well written style of Fitzgerald, you'll love these collections. Ames has a knack for humor, rapier wit, and a passion for prose. I Love You More Than You Know is definitely the type of book you can read a couple of times, and still come back to anytime for a quick laugh. I feel that Jonathan Ames deserves to have a wider audience. With his latest release, chock full of stories that will make you laugh, provoke thought, and possible change your outlook on life and the little things that make it up, I believe Ames' popularity will flourish. Once you read him, you're hooked. I've conducted research, I know. Pick up this book today. You'll come back for his whole catalog.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jose Jones on March 2, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ames' third essay collection brings with it his normal hilarity (no one has misadventures quite as awkwardly funny as Ames), but also, too, pathos. An older and somewhat-wiser Ames seems full of regret -- over who he is, how he's lived, the decisions he's made, the kind of parent he can be to his kid -- and there's a real sense of melancholy undercutting all the laughs. But whether it's mentioning a bump on another author's head or getting lost after a boxing match or fencing against a hated rival as a teenager (my favorite piece from the book), Ames will have you laughing out loud. Ames, in his simple, easy language, seems to reveal all of his flaws so we can laugh at ourselves and accept all the horrible, embarrassing things we all experience and try to hide away.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joel McIntosh on March 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
This collection of essays offers a touching, funny, and sometimes off-putting (a bit of scatological humor might turn-off some readers) look at a man in his 40s grappling with mid-life and all that it brings. Ames is an author who has lived a life slightly off-center. His essays reveal much about his attempt to reach some peace in a life that has been filled with interesting sexual experiences, failed loves, his role as a father and son, and his own neurotic view of life. Some essays, such as his look at the impact of Jack Kerouac on his life are moving and inspired. Others, fall a bit flat. Ames is at his best when he is trying to wrench some meaning from his neurotic involvement with the world (his essay about hanging out with fellow essayist David Sedaris in Europe is unforgettable). This collection is about finding humor and meaning at mid-life and moving forward.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Norman A. Belanger on February 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
jonathan ames has had a very colorful life, and this memoir collection of short stories is a fun read. i enjoyed this book on a flight to florida and the time went quickly because i was laughing so much. this guy is twisted and a little dark, and i'd love to hang out with him!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Reb on March 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
A series of essays, most of them disclosing way too much and certainly not flattering, but also funny and stark. Underneath his "I'm a pervert, take it or leave it" demeanor, Mr. Ames seems to be a sensitive, pleasant, and fairly nice guy. The essays, per usual for him, border on repulsive, but don't quite get there because of his gift for story telling and sentiment. After reading two of his collections, I don't think I'll buy more because they seem repititive, but they certainly are interesting reads.
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