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on November 1, 2008
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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on July 8, 2008
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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on December 18, 2009
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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on August 18, 2012
I like to read memoirs and the title looked interesting, only to see how misleading it is.

I could not identify with the narrator. As one whom went to rehab twice, hit a very hard bottom, I tried to relate to her addictions and her bottom. She glamorized her addiction and her bottom. Anyone who is a member of AA will see right through her and know that glamorizing her addictions shows she has a long way to go find serenity, humility, and acceptance of her addictions. 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.

I saw her yesterday on the Bill Maher show and she hasn't changed from her addiction racked personality. I didn't find humility, but rather a self-centered, belligerent, unhumorous sad person.
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on December 12, 2009
I really wanted to like this, just from the subtitle. (I've never heard her do stand-up or seen her on TV.)

Alas, the subtitle is thoroughly deceptive: the eighteen stories here contain exactly one one-night stand, at least if sex is a mandatory part of such a thing. A few mention relationships of modest duration, and the rest are basically one or another misadventure involving heavy drinking, pathological lying, family gatherings, or all three at once. I kept waiting for the fun to begin, and it never did.

Perhaps this will appeal to people who feel similarly miserable about their own woeful attempts at finding pleasure in the arms of others. (In one of the funnier bits she mentions "spending Valentine's Day with my life partner, Ketel One.") Considering how much she says she likes sex, there are maybe two or three moments at most where she actually says she had a good time. She also literally flees if Mr. Tonight turns out to be under- or over-endowed.

Towards the end of the book she seems to be wearying of the game, so perhaps she's suppressing the better times to give the story an arc; but it gets tedious at times.

I should be clear here: I don't have a problem with the drinking, drugs, promiscuity, and so forth, but I don't find merely mentioning such things inherently laugh-out-loud funny, as some do. There are some good one liners, though, and I suspect those who like this book best are those know the author's voice and timing, probably it's more enjoyable then.
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on December 3, 2011
I did not find this book intersting or funny. She has no respect for herself or others. Dont waste your money on this book. she is disgusting going to bed with so many different guys she didnt care how old they were. She was rude to her friends and parents. Seems like she is an alcholic look at her on her show she looks all worn out. not a pretty lady.
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on March 12, 2012
This was so shallow and boring! Basically, this is just a series of sexual encounters punctuated with alcohol and drugs. Oh. La. Ti. Da.

Basically,the action is predictable beyond predictable. The main character, a woman, screws a random guy on a one-night stand. She drinks. She screws some more men. She drinks some more. The resolution? In a tantrum because the guy she picked for the one-night stand of the moment has had so much cocaine he can't get an erection, she decides she's going to "take a break" from casual sex and hunt for a husband. Fifties throwback much? Ick.

I kept thinking there was some emergence story coming out of this, as in stuff like, "Crank" and the other Hopkins' books, or even a struggle story. No such luck. She may have a TV show worth watching, but this book is NOT worth reading, free or not.

Don't waste the space on your Kindle nor on your bookshelf. You will regret it. I promise.
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on March 30, 2012
I think Chelsea's show is funny, so I expected her writing to be as well. As others state, it is poorly written, her punch lines at the end of the chapters make absolutely no sense and are not funny, and to top it all off, she's a compulsive liar, a drunk, and uses people to suit her needs. It's not funny. It's just mean.
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on September 15, 2008
If you enjoy juvenile or even infantile humor, then this is the book for you. But if you're really looking for humor, don't waste your money on this collection of so-called "one-night stands."

These stories might be funny for stand-up comedy in front of inebriated fans, but in written form are not even close.
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on November 26, 2005
I can't believe that so many people actually enjoyed reading this book! The only thing positive that I can say is that she is very smart to use this title. It was very misleading and I am sure a lot of people picked up the book expecting something racier.

The book is more about mocking men's physical traits than it is about one night stands. If you really insist on buying your own copy, I'm putting mine up for sale. Maybe I can make my money back.
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