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Mental: Funny In The Head Paperback – June 30, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation (June 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758222556
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758222558
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,862,745 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A stand-up performer pens a comic memoir about the vicissitudes of modern gay life. Comedy-writing teacher Sarfaty opens with a piece about the process of coming out to his beloved Jewish grandmother and follows it with plenty of family humor with the addition of drag queens and sexy hustlers. Mom has wiseacre chutzpah, Dad has mute dementia and the author has a fraught love life coupled with the talent to write about it engagingly. His humorous set pieces cover the ill-fated adoption of a stinky, fat feline; a trip to Paris and London with the balking parents; and the necessary evils required to maintain a performer's life waiting tables, teaching aerobics, taking a gig as stage manager for a third-rate touring musical. His ersatz Phantom of the Opera company's stay in Portugal provides the setting for spectacular farce; his work behind the bar at the gentlemen's Eton Club affords a moving story about growing older. The character sketches often witty, at times catty depict hunky young studs, sad queens and acerbic ladies of both sexes. Sarfaty also chronicles plenty of manly bodies, the club scene, Internet manhunting and masturbation, as well as his relationship with lover Jeffrey. The author writes with the caustic touch of Austen Burroughs, creating a funny yet poignant portrait of his world.

A droll, writerly addition to the burgeoning shelf of gay lit. ----Kirkus Reviews

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Customer Reviews

A definite MUST READ.
Mr. Nicanor A. Aldana III
This is one of those books that makes you laugh out loud...and that you can't wait to read the next chapter.
Robert Beacham
His stories are my favorite kind of humor, simple, honest, and very touching.
Jeanne

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Matthewrmt on July 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
What can I say to express my absolute joy at reading this book? Each chapter is a roller coaster of bliss--laugh out loud funny, deeply moving, slyly insightful. The stories reveal many facets of the author; yet, reveal even more about the reader.

Mr Sarfaty has been blessed with a gift of language. He uses his words like Van Gogh uses paint--bold and subtle at the same time. Whether it is talking about his Dad "winning the neurological trifecta" of disease, or referring to a man's peculiar sexual obsession with balloons as "Balloonacy," he shows himself to be an absolute master of the English language.

I was most impressed with the complete lack of bitterness or bitchiness that can infect autobiographical tomes. We are shown a man struggling to understand his world and himself with great humor, humility, and insight. Mr Sarfaty's infectious love of Life shines from every page and left this reader happy, satiated, and enjoying life a bit more!

Thank you Mr Sarfaty!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nelda Winifred on November 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
Being a straight reader from another generation, I opened this recommended book not knowing what I would find. This surprise package was one of the most moving and yet enjoyable literary experiences I have ever had. Mr. Sarfaty has so many things going for him in this book! His stories are funny, as the reader would expect, but there is much more depth here than just mirth. Very well written, the tales are brimming with compassion, laughter and a deep understanding that all of us share hidden fears. The comedy from this book is always there under the surface, but the stellar writing and the heart presented in these chapters gives us so much more. This is simply a superb read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LRWilliamson on June 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
I was given this book as a gift. I didn't like the cover, and therefore I put it on the shelf until a recent trip and needed something to read. I was then upset with myself for judging a book by its cover. I found it to be so well written/edited that it flowed easily, and often I was so wrapped up in the stories that I almost missed my subway stop. I was impressed at how the author was able to quickly construct a vivid image and deal with the passing of time without making me, the reader, feel as if I had missed out on something.
Unlike David Sedaris, where it is too easy to picture him in his books, and often I feel I'm reading a diary, Eddie Sarfaty is simply a character in the very enjoyable stories, which, at times, feel like fiction.
I learned at a very early age to never judge a book by its cover, and while I'm still not crazy about it, the book inside is wonderful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shannon Reynolds on May 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is an absolutely wonderful book. You will keep turning the pages to see what the author has to say next. His experiences with his parents and with others in his life keeps the reader interested and laughing in every chapter. I highly recommend you buy this book!! You won't regret it!!
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Format: Paperback
You may have seen Eddie Sarfaty doing his stand-up comedy act at your local gay pride event, on Comedy Central's "Premium Blend," at major comedy clubs or festivals nationwide, or in one of several specials on the LOGO gay cable channel. His comedic talent is not really in telling jokes, but making his rather dry and occasionally sarcastic observations about modern life, including such usually mundane tasks as adopting a cat, dealing with his parents, teaching comedy to students, online dating, and the need to make compromises while in a relationship. The book contains original rants on these subjects, stories about performing with other comics, an amusing yet very touching "mini-novel" about a trip to Europe taken with his mother and Alzheimers-afflicted father, and ending with the hysterical story of his misguided attempt to be a road/stage manager for an bare-bones acting troupe in Portugal. One of the stories in the book, "Second Guessing Grandma" (about the day he came out to his grandmother), has been made into a short film.

Despite his significant success as a comedy headliner (He also teaches standup and comedy writing at New York University and The Theatre Lab in Washington DC), NYC-born Eddie is - in his own words - "still a neurotic Jew who is my own worst enemy!" Dealing with the confusion of everyday life ("My father and my lover have the same name! ... Daddy!"), Eddie's comedy transcends any ethnic, sexual orientation or routine convention, and his book reveals him to be a unique and exciting storyteller whom you will enjoy reading. Loved it. Five schmoozing stars out of five!
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Format: Paperback
Mr. Sarfaty is a gifted writer with the courage to be vulnerable and the ability to make one laugh out loud and shed a tear in the same sentence. The stories in Mental drew me in, in a way that made it difficult for me to put the book down.
The world described therein is rich -- his characters fully formed and vividly described and his prose is filled with warm and touching insights. Much of the writing is seemingly autobiographical as he explores what it means to be a gay man at the start of the 21st century, making his way in relationships with family, boyfriend, friends and co-workers.
Reading his book, I felt that I had been let into a world which was not always comfortable, but where the human condition in all its splendor and pathos is fully revealed. Mr. Sarfaty creates a palpable tension between the ability to discern the feelings of the people around him, while still feeling like much the outsider and struggling throughout to connect and be understood. He is a natural wise guy that knows how to easily poke fun at himself and most everyone else along his path. But he seldom settles for the cheap joke at someone else's expense without connecting back to bigger issues of how we learn to love, show compassion, understand and be understood by the people that we meet along the way.
Mental is a fun read that can easily be digested in one or two sittings. It is perfect for the beach, a plane ride, or to wind down at the end of the day.
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