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285 of 335 people found the following review helpful
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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301 of 373 people found the following review helpful
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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134 of 170 people found the following review helpful
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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58 of 74 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2009
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 say...it wasn't entertaining and it wasn't particularly funny. Actually, as some other reviewers have commented....it 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
on March 2, 2011
Total waste of money and time. The fact that it has 400+ 4 and 5 star reviews makes me worry for the world a little.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
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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77 of 100 people found the following review helpful
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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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2007
This book really is about Chelsea's "near misses". Instead of gloriously detailed sex-capades, her writings were more about her trying to weasel out of sex related situations. Reading it, I had a hard time believing that her character was even having sex at all. There was all this fluff concerning wild and crazy conversations/situations that would ultimately lead up to the 'come back to my room?' moment, which would then be quickly followed with her chickening out and having to find a less than tactful means of escape. I was left thinking that her character would be the type to walk around shouting 'I'm a slut! Come on boys!', when in reality all she would do is kiss. Not very promiscuous. The entire book was impersonal and, at times, had struggled to remain witty. It was surprising to find that by the last five or six pages, Chelsea actually began to write in a more biographical style where you began to feel some sort of raw emotion from her, which had been refreshing after two-hundred pages of emptiness. I don't regret having read it, I'm just a little sad with the money wasted purchasing it.
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50 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2008
Skip this book. First of all, it's poorly written. Her stories take off on too many tangents. Secondly, after a while, I grew annoyed that each story was just about the same thing, over and over again. No growth, just one sloppy, drunk night after another with questionable men.
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55 of 71 people found the following review helpful
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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