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My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands Paperback – May 12, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 213 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; Later Printing edition (May 12, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582346186
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582346182
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,318 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #347,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Opening with a cute story from when she was seven and photographed her parents having sex, stand-up comedian Handler goes on to discuss the virtues of the one-night stand, which amount to having sex early enough so you're not months into a relationship before you discover he's into "anal beads and duct tape." She discusses her quest for sex with a "black man," which doesn't work out because the date she finds on has a penis so large, she "would have had to be the size of the Lincoln Tunnel to accommodate that thing." After him, there's a "little midget," but she sobers up before sleeping with him. Next come a number of would-be partners with penises too small to consider. Finally, there's a guy Handler does sleep with, only an embarrassing incident involving a "giant skid mark" prevents her from seeing him again. By the end, Handler considers settling down with one man, which might actually net her more sex than these mostly unconsummated one-night stands. Anyone who laughs at the mere mention of vaginas and penises may find Handler's book almost as much fun as getting drunk and waking up in some stranger's bed.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Offbeat and laugh-out-loud-funny essays... smart, funny, and quick read." (Library Journal Review)

"Where have I been all of Chelsea Handler's life? I had no idea how funny, how brilliant she is…she is too clever for words." (Liz Smith New York Post)

In a word: hilarious. In two: absolutely hilarious. These are some of the funniest stories I have ever read and they're also some of the most unexpectedly heartfelt."
(Laura Zigman, author of Animal Husbandry, Dating Big Bird, and Her)

"Chelsea Handler is a terrific comedian and a hilarious writer."
(Jay Leno)

"This book is no-holds-barred hilarious."
(Jennifer Weiner, author of In Her Shoes and Little Earthquakes)

"[Chelsea] just might be funnier than David Sedaris."
(Dallas Observer)

"Prime reading material for anyone looking to laugh their hiney off."

Customer Reviews

This book was a great read, funny Laugh out Loud moments.
D. Martzall
I literally didn't want it to end, I just wanted more chapters of funny stories, and I haven't read a book that made me feel like that in a longgggg time!
All of the little vignettes are pretty much the same, girl gets drunk and has cheap sex.
Miss L.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

282 of 331 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth Simon on November 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a vacation read -- something I wouldn't normally pick up, but it was sitting there, and I was headed out to the beach to suck down some tropical concoction in the sun. So, why not?

Chelsea Handler has written an account of one-night stands that she has experienced. The cast of characters is interesting, and sometimes bizarre, and the situations range from laugh-out-loud funny to irritatingly off-putting.

I enjoyed it sporadically, as much as I simultaneously found it offensive. I don't know how much the author has embellished, and how well she's hidden the identity of some of her subjects, but I'd sure be sorry if I showed up in her book! She's rather merciless and shallow, a hedonist who wants to have a good time and doesn't even try to spare the feelings of men who, er, aren't up to the task. I'm trying to imagine a book written with genders reversed, where a man takes a woman home from a bar, only to reject her in the bedroom because of, say, her breast size. Eeyuck.

It's also a shame that Handler thinks that hedonism is cool when it extends to being an alcoholic. No, she doesn't label herself an alcoholic, and maybe she's not one. Maybe she's exaggerating things for comedic effect, but if that's the case, the unintended consequence was to make herself out to be a happy drunk.

That said, if you can accept the author's total pursuit of her own pleasure (her feeble attempt at the end to portray this as a phase coming to an end doesn't really ring sincere), the book does have some pleasure to offer the reader as well, with a couple of very funny predicaments and sexual disasters.

If you want a few sexually-charged laughs, you could sure do worse than this book. And it was okay as a vacation read. That's as far as I can go in recommending My Horizontal Life.
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300 of 372 people found the following review helpful By David Smith on July 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
I've casually enjoyed Chelsea Handler's TV show for some time. She's witty and clever on television, so I thought her book would offer more of the same. Unfortunately, this book changed my perception of Chelsea, and once I finished the book I came away from the experience feeling I wasted my time. Chelsea's experiences really do seem like aimless recollections of a shallow existence. As another reviewer pointed out, her memoir reads like a series of Sex in the City scripts minus the fashion. Unfortunately, Chelsea often comes off as pretentious, vapid, and morally bankrupt. I kept hoping the narrative arc of the book would reveal some growth and personal reflection. Instead, the book continuously chronicled Chelsea's nihilistic existence. Sure there are some humorous moments, but they are too few. Many of Chelsea's recollections focus on her insatiable desire for sex and a general contempt for those who aren't physical specimens. In an attempt to be funny, Chelsea's lack of compassion for others (i.e. her roommate or fellow booze cruise passengers) simply reveals her hollow character. There's little redeeming quality in Chelsea's memoir; for those looking for self-deprecating laughs, a much better choice would be among the works of Laurie Notaro.
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131 of 166 people found the following review helpful By J. Davis on December 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
I bought this book at Borders from their "buy one, half off the second book" collection. I should have known that there was a reason Borders was trying to unload it that way. I have a raunchy sense of humor so I figured from the title that this would be a good read. Wasn't looking for War and Peace, just some funny stories. Boy, was I disappointed.

These stories are not funny. They are each a study in how to act like a trailer trash tramp and be boring doing it. For these stories to be funny, it would help if the reader could somehow identify with the narrator and see the irony of the situations she gets herself into. Unfortunately, I have never been a drug-addled, sex-obsessed loser who thinks other people exist to serve my needs. When she ridicules the only person laughing at her stand up comedy routine, it becomes clear she doesn't actually like anyone unless she's high, drunk and horny. She's not an endearing drunk or a decent storyteller. She's mean-spirited, prejudiced self-centered and worst of all, not funny.

Spare yourself the 30 minutes of reading it will take to figure out that this book does not deliver on the promise of the title.
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57 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Howard P. Grill on June 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I heard about this book and thought it would be a fun read so I downloaded a sample cahpter to my Kindle. It was really quite funny but I didn't realize it was more of an introduction than anything else. Having been entertained I bought the book.

Within an hour I called customer service for a refund. The actual book was nothing at all like the intro. That is to wasn't entertaining and it wasn't particularly funny. Actually, as some other reviewers have ws really quite pathetic. Do I really care how many people she screwed just to keep her numbers up. I couldn't make it through the first chapter after the intro (and I was expecting it to be funny like the intro)....dull and not really much story. There is a lot of much better material out there, humor and otherwise, to spend time on. Pass on this one!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Nicci on January 25, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My opinion of the author has most definetely changed while reading this book. On tv she comes across as funny and I was expecting the book to come across as such as well. Was I wrong. This book was one of the most disturbing things I have ever read. I like humor books and enjoy the occasional sex "review" but this was just plain wrong. She comes across as a total brat who cares nothing about herself, her body or her reputation. She is constantly drunk throughout most of the events in the book and has many drugged up nights (ecstasy, etc). It is absolutely and immorally wrong. I can't believe that I read the whole thing. It was a complete waste of my time and even though it only cost me 5 bucks I wish I hadn't of spent it. If someone thinks their past sex life is funny-all the power to you. But to flaunt about going into a gynecologists office solely to get him to sleep with you then to find out he's gay and screwing a guy in a boat while you stand in the door and watch?! Really? I pray to God half of the crap in this book didn't happen. Otherwise she has no value of self worth.
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More About the Author

Chelsea Handler is an accomplished stand-up comic and actress, as well as the bestselling author of My Horizontal Life. She is the star of her own late-night show on E!, Chelsea Lately; was one of the stars of Girls Behaving Badly; has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with David Letterman; and has starred in her own half-hour Comedy Central special. Chelsea makes regular appearances in comedy clubs across America and lives in Los Angeles.

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