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Sleepwalk with Me: and Other Painfully True Stories Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 12, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439157995
  • ASIN: B004Q7E0WM
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (165 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #536,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Comedian Birbiglia, frequent contributor to public radio’s This American Life and The Moth and author of the blog My Secret Public Journal, has the ability to remember a lot of things most of us would just as soon forget. Lucky for us, in this memoir Birbiglia recalls the events leading up to his earning the childhood nickname “Tinkles” (though you might be able to guess how it happened), and he tells the story of how, instead of bestowing his first kiss on his middle-school crush, he tossed his cookies at her feet. He’s now, hopefully, cashing in on the demoralizing dues paid in his youth and early career as a stand-up comic—readers will recognize him from the late-night circuit and Comedy Central specials, and the book itself is an extension of his one-man show. Charming, brainier than he’d probably admit, and frequently poignant in spite of himself, Birbiglia throws together an alternately rollicking and warm handful of stories; the lengthy title story, of his struggle with a sleep disorder, is as fascinating as it is hilarious. --Annie Bostrom

Review

“Mike Birbiglia was always a very funny guy who told stories onstage. But in the last two years it's been inspiring to see the stories get bigger and more complicated and emotional as he turned himself into a real storyteller and—with this book—a real author as well. These are deeply relatable, totally engaging stories. They're as moving and amusing as they come.” —Ira Glass, host and producer of “This American Life”

“Mike Birbiglia can write an entertaining yet soulful story in his sleep—that and jump out of motel windows.” —Sarah Vowell, author of The Wordy Shipmates and Assassination Vacation

“First, know that this book is well written and funny. Now, know that I hate cynicism. Hate it. This book is the opposite of cynicism. I love Sleepwalk With Me.” —Jeff Garlin, Co-creator and Co-star of Curb Your Enthusiasm

“Mike Birbiglia is a good friend of mine but I'm still really happy when weird, bad things happen to him because I love hearing the stories.” —Seth Meyers, head writer and host of Weekend Update, Saturday Night Live

“Funny. Very funny. Birbiglia is the child Woody Allen and Bob Newhart never had—please don't try to picture that 'encounter.' Smart and self-aware, with just enough perspective on his quirks and issues that you don't have to feel too sorry for him...as you laugh at and/or with him.” —Bob Odenkirk, creator and star of HBO's Mr. Show with Bob and David

“Mike Birbiglia has always made me laugh and so did this book. No one explains their insanity as sanely or as honestly or is as funny as Mike. If you think you’re crazy, this is the book for you. It’s a good thing the kid is a talented writer and comic or he’d be screwed.” —Lewis Black

Sleepwalk with Me is so funny, inspired, and jealous-makingly well written, I am beginning to suspect that Mike Birbiglia MAY ACTUALLY HAVE BEEN AWAKE WHILE HE WROTE IT. This changes my whole worldview.” —John Hodgman, author of More Information Than You Require

“Insightful, heartfelt, and comedic—what more could you want from a book? Mike Birbiglia is a unique and wonderful new voice in American theater and letters.” —Jonathan Ames, creator of HBO's "Bored to Death" and author of The Extra Man and Wake Up, Sir!

Sleepwalk With Me is about the things that keep us all up at night: love, family and growing up. In equal parts hilarious and moving, this book should cement Mike Birbiglia’s status as a national treasure.” —Andy Borowitz, author of Who Moved My Soap: The CEO's Guide to Surviving Prison; The Bernie Madoff Edition

“Mike Birbiglia is a great storyteller, just as funny on the page as on the stage. These comic gems strung together create a hilarious and touching memoir of growing up awkwardly and finding his way in the cruel world of stand-up. An original wit who raises self-deprecation to an art form, and always leaves you thinking and laughing." —Nathan Lane

More About the Author

Since receiving the prestigious "Author of the Month" award in third grade, which was really "Author of Four Months" because no one took the picture down for a while, Mike Birbiglia has worked as an actor, comedian, and story teller. His critically acclaimed 2009 off-Broadway show, Sleepwalk With Me, was presented by Nathan Lane and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award for "Best Solo Performance." He has appeared in three solo Comedy Central Specials, including "What I Should Have Said Was Nothing." He has also recorded three albums with Comedy Central Records, Two Drink Mike, My Secret Public Journal Live and Sleepwalk With Me. In addition to touring colleges and concert halls nationwide, Birbiglia appears regularly on The Late Show with David Letterman. He is a contributor on This American Life, The Moth Radio Hour and The Bob and Tom Show. Birbiglia lives in a fourth floor apartment with a broken elevator in New York City with his wife, Jenny. This is his first book. More online at Birbigs.com

Customer Reviews

I am a HUGE Mike Birbiglia fan, so i loved this book!
ErinQ
This book is laugh out loud funny, several times I had tears coming down from laughing so hard.
NY Bookster
Mike Birbiglia is sharp, funny, very real and a great storyteller.
Don Kelley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By alan stein on October 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a book you're going to love. If you're a fan of Mike from his many venues, his CD's, Off Braodway show, Comedy Central or late night TV appearences, then this is a book you need to get. If you don't know Mike this is a book that will get you searching for his old CD's. Mike is a keen observer of the human condition, much like Seinfeld or Larry David without the narcissism or meanness. He seems to stumble, sometimes literally, into everyday situations and sees the irony and absurdness in human interactions. He takes these events and weaves them into stories that will have you laughing out loud, so you need to be aware of your surroundings if you're reading this book in public. He has perfected the awkward character, probably because he is an awkward character, who says just the wrong thing at the wrong time, or who finds he's one beat too late, but his sincerity and honesty will have you rooting for him. I loved this book and I think you will too.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Burnzieny on October 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got this book because I had seen Mike's live show and was blown away. The book does not disappoint. It's jam packed with even more Mike hilarity. He's is one of the funniest people alive, and is also whip smart. He has you laughing out loud one moment, then moved almost to tears the next. Great, great stuff.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Rob Weychert on November 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I became a fan of Mike Birbiglia after hearing a handful of his stories on This American Life and The Moth. But before I could get around to checking out one of his albums or seeing one of his performances, Sleepwalk With Me was published, so I picked it up expecting great things. And in some ways, it is great. Just not quite as great as I expected.

In the AV Club interview that persuaded me to buy the book, I took notice when Birbiglia explained that his writing's guiding principle is that it not be about him so much as it be about the audience. And indeed, having been born into a very Catholic family in a northeastern suburb in the late '70s, much of this book is about me. But somehow I find the childhood anecdotes that make up its first half to be so familiar as to be uninteresting. Acting mostly as a character witness, they provide a good framework for what's to come, but despite their relatability, they are generally inessential. It is with Birbiglia's more unique adulthood experiences in the book's second half that the pages really start turning. The titular story of his sleep disorder, a strong finish, is worth the price of admission all by itself.

Birbiglia's self-awareness, gift for mixing humor and candor, and total lack of cynicism make this an engaging read throughout; I just wish it was less uneven. It's a good first book that I'm confident will lead to a great second one.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By iamseamus on November 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First off I'd like to say that even though I was a Birbiglia fan before this book came out, I am a very stingy person when it comes to money. The only reason I bought it was because it was cheap on Amazon. And thank God it was. This book was awesome. I'd heard a couple of the stories on This American Life and on an NPR promo. He also includes larger stories in his life that give you the full story behind some of his jokes, the "like fun" comes to mind as well as something in my bladder joke he does. But these are entire stories taking up huge chunks of chapters, so it's not like you've heard all of it and he's rebranding his jokes. Of course if you saw the Off-broadway show with the same title then you have heard it all.
What I like so much about this is the same thing I like about Birbigs' comedy. It's not like every other comic where he provides observational commentary or rants on something for ten pages. To know this guy's comedy is to know the actual guy Mike Birbiglia because most of his comedy is based on personal and embarrasing things. He reveals a lot about that, which is actually a recurring theme in this book, and sometimes you feel bad for/with him and other times you can't help but laugh out loud at a book. The narrative's very readable to the point where you can almost hear his voice reading it to you. It's more than a comedian writing about embarrasing stuff to make us all laugh. It's an entire insight to his life and creates a deeper more shared experience with the reader.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By humor me on October 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I have heard a lot about Mike from a friend so I looked him up online and found his appearances on Letterman and routines from comedy shows. I also listened to one of his segments on this American Life. He has some hilarious jokes and now I am a big fan. I bought the book to gain some insight into his life and into the life of a comedian. How does somebody want to become a person that tells jokes for a living? Where does a comedian get his material? And then what is it actually like to be comedian?

This book is great. It is easy to read and laugh out loud funny in many chapters. Mike also touches on a lot of those topics I was wondering about. He also touches on some topics I definitely would not touch upon especially with anybody else in the room. Definitely worth reading and looking forward to seeing one of his shows.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alyssa writes in on October 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It turns out that if you were looking for it, the media "storm" for this book was impossible to ignore. Okay, I listened to the Nerdist podcast and watched a little Youtube (those lovebirds really were adorable) and then downloaded the book. Stat.

Here's my impression: I loved it! In many ways, that is not surprising. However, in a way it is. Many of the best memoirs I've read were filled with untold stories. Now that I think about it, I think that it takes a real artist to organize new and old stories in such a satisfying fashion. Even though I have heard all of the cds and Moth and This American Life pieces (listen immediately if you haven't already), I was still highly entertained. I should have known... Birbiglia never disappoints :) It was funny, appealing, page-turning, entertaining, sweet, and just feels right.
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