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Suburgatory [Kindle Edition]

Linda E Keenan
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The title behind the new ABC TV Show, Suburgatory excoriates—through satirical local news “stories”—the mostly upper middle class American pieties and parenting obsessions that surround raising the perfect child amid the anxiety of an America in decline. The book uses laugh out loud humor to target racism, classism, sexism, submerged suburban sexuality, class warfare, willful ignorance, and the all-around bad behavior raging underneath the surface of those obsessively-tended suburban lawns and bikini lines.

Editorial Reviews


“Linda Keenan is the smartest, sassiest girl you know times ten, after two shots of tequila.  Her brazen, ballsy look at  life in the suburbs is more than laugh out loud—Subugatory will make you shoot milk out of your nose, then immediately re-up the lease on your townhouse in the city.” —Karen Karbo, author of The Gospel According to Coco Chanel and How Georgia Became O’Keeffe


“What life might be like if Sarah Silverman moved to the burbs. A sexy, saucy, hilarious romp.” —Bill Diehl, ABC Entertainment Correspondent


“‘Hilarious.’ ‘Insightful.’ ‘Genius.’ People are always saying these words to me. Now, finally, I can say them about someone else: specifically whoever wrote this book. Linda somebody." —Robert Carlock, Executive Producer of NBC's 30 Rock


“Linda Keenan is the only person I know who can write about hard-core public policy and salacious suburbanites with the same wit and insight.” Janine Wedel, author of Shadow Elite: How the World's New Power Brokers Undermine Democracy, Government, and the Free Market


Wow this book's hilarious but it's so edgy, blurbing it might get me in trouble.” Anonymous Top Network News Producer



From the Inside Flap

Suburgatory is a book that lampoons the absurdities and contradictions that Linda Keenan has witnessed since leaving New York City, where she was a thoroughly urban CNN news producer for seven years before settling down as a hapless stay-at-home suburban mother. The original proposal for this book was picked up by Warner Brothers in 2010, and their imagining of Suburgatory can be seen on the ABC show of the same title.

Tessa, the teenage character created by ABC’s Suburgatory, was forced by the man in her life—her dad—to leave her beloved city life for this supposed suburban utopia. Keenan followed the same trajectory, as a new mom, with no job, no friends, and not much more than a prescription for Zoloft to keep herself afloat. She found herself trapped in a place where conformity is king and where she often felt like she had been taken hostage by an adult Girl Scout troop. So Keenan decided to train her twisted reporter’s eye on the strange inhabitants of this new foreign land. 

Thought of as a local town newspaper or website, Suburgatory excoriates—through satirical local “news stories” (Mom Plans School Auction During Dreary Sex; Woman Shops at Walmart to Feel “Pretty,Thin”; Dog Fed Better than Scholarship Child, Says School Nurse)—the mostly upper middle class American pieties and parenting obsessions that surround raising the perfect child amid the anxiety of an America in decline. The book uses laugh-out-loud humor to target racism, homophobia, submerged suburban sexuality, class warfare, willful ignorance, and the all-around bad behavior raging underneath the surface of those obsessively tended suburban lawns and bikini lines. Suburgatory parodies the tiger moms, breastfeeding nazis, frustrated swingers, foreskin-loving “intactivists,” barely there dads, “anti-vaxxers,” and power-mad principals.

In addition to the irreverent news stories, Suburgatory features faux op-ed “Shout Outs” (Let’s Do that Key Party Right the Next Time), witty advertisements (Briarcliff Academy—Educating the Stupid Rich Since 1903), and an over-the-top totally toxic advice columnist: Dr. Drama (“When life hands you a problem, let’s make it more interesting!”).

Product Details

  • File Size: 397 KB
  • Print Length: 245 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0762780193
  • Publisher: Lyons Press (October 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #488,484 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wickedly Funny! October 10, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is meant to be read bit by bit- it's way too intense for a single sit down read. As outrageous as the stories may appear, my personal experiences in suburgatory tell me there is a bit of truth in each tale. And, I do enjoy getting a good laugh at characters who seem like they could be people I know (including myself).

The language is not for the faint- lots of four letter words used. But in my opinion, the colorful language makes the stories even more funny, considering the book is poking fun at affluent, refined, suburbanites.

I like the author's fresh style and her wickedly funny satire.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twisted, But Hysterical Tales October 11, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book points out the many hypocrisies I would like to not-so-subtly scream out to my neighbors but can't. Living in the South, it is especially important to be polite and Suburgatory is anything but polite. The author's sharp, quick wit will shock you at times, but deep down inside, you'll realize you've thought some of the same, nasty things, too.

It's a good idea to read it like a daily newspaper. I slowed down and found it gave me a laugh fix when I needed it. Though definitely not a coffee table book, nor one that I would share with those offended by curse words and sex (like my mother), if you are like me, you'll want to post sections of it on Facebook because you know your like-minded friends will think it's hysterical.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Smack Talk Had me Rolling! October 13, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I live in suburbia, and I feel like every single day something happens that makes me want to scream, point, or laugh. I get sick of hearing how "blessed" people say they are, and I have very little patience for standing around talking about diaper bags or summer camp plans. For those who reluctantly moved out to the 'burbs so your kids would have room to run around and you'd have a 2 car garage, this book will have you in stitches. It reminds me a bit of The Onion with chapter titles like, 'Mom "Never Yells" at Kids, Uses Scorn Instead' and 'Dad Pretends IKEA is Child Cultural Enrichment'.

It's not just for moms, either. My husband took a peek at Keenan's book and I heard quite a few snickers from him as well.

Hot Pocket Serving Moms of the world unite- this book is for you!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars hilarious take-down! October 7, 2011
By ziggy
This book is hilarious! I thought I was going to get the same thing as the TV show, which I like, but this is so good in a different way. (I loved Go the F to Sleep and this has the same kind of spirit.)

This writer's imagination is impressive. My only criticism would be that it's probably better if you pick up and put down - since it's a compilation it can get overwhelming in one sitting. But a lot of it is flat out hilarious and I'm so happy to see some of these judgmental everything-organic crap taken down a notch. This writer does that a bunch of times, and it's really funny.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Addictive October 17, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Each little chapter is like a cocaine-laced Dorito. I started reading while having lunch and it wasn't until I finally looked up from my iPhone that I realized everyone at the restaurant was staring at me. It's possible I was laughing just a little too loud. I tried to stop reading and go back to work but I couldn't. Just one more chapter! No really JUST one more and I'm going to stop! This is ABSOLUTELY the last one! Shiksa Bar Mitzvahs! Incestuous lesbian hamsters! Turban-wearing gynecologists! If you grew up in the suburbs, know anyone in the suburbs, or if just the word "suburbs" makes you break out in a cold sweat, this book is for you.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Satire of Life in Suburbia October 13, 2011
By Solanum
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is so funny! It's a collection of short stories like you get on the Onion, but all focused on Suburban life.

It is very fresh and current compared to the Suburgatory TV show. I actually enjoy the show because Cheryl Hines is fantastic, but feel like I have to endure the sucky, tired, trite screenwriting just to see the acting. But the book, instead, is much more fresh and current. For example, there is a lot of satire of the post-9/11 racism that is around in America now. e.g. one story is about a Seik gynecologist that is having trouble drumming up business because he wears a turban. This versus the TV show satirizing the - wait for it - mall.

My favorite chapter was the one about the vegetarian mom that was vexed when her kid got fed meat and took a real liking to it. Something similar happened in my own life.

Aside from the humor, the writing is also very good. The book would have been worth reading just with the humor, but, even though each story is only a page or two long, Keenan still manages to give each character an individual voice so that they don't all blend into one another.

The book that I've read recently that I think is closest to it is "This is a Book". If you've read and liked that you'd probably like Suburgatory too. If you like the TV show, you'll probably like the book even better, but it's probably directed at an older audience than the show. And it's much, much raunchier than what you can do on network TV. So be warned before you buy it for your 12 year old daughters!

(Oh, how they'll laugh....)
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3.0 out of 5 stars Where perfect is really the only option November 29, 2013
"ABCs newest sitcom Suburgatory, in which single dad George decides to move himself and his fifteen-year-old daughter Tessa into the foreign land of the suburbs, has taken ratings by storm. Ten million viewers a week tune in to marvel at the tongue-in-cheek, gentle poking of the place Urbanites love to hate. While the show is loosely based on author Linda Erin Keenans book by the same name, readers will be disappointed if they expect the book to mirror the show exactly.

While both mediums exploit the head scratching side of suburbia, Keenans offering represents her personal journey from successful, professional urbanite, into suburban mommy with short Twisted Tales where she tackles homophobia, racism, sexuality, class discrimination and other Stuff White People Like.

With faux newspaper articles, goofy advertisements, shout-outs, and a Ask Dr. Drama section, she explores and amplifies the mystifying stereotypes where only vaginal births are acceptable and Oprah reigns supreme. If there is any complaint at all about the dark and edgy, highly amusing, stand-alone stories, is that they are simply too outrageous to be real. Yet the author herself admits, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

-Lanine Bradley, posted on Sacramento Book Review
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars hilarious!
Light and entertaining reading that kept me busy in moments of downtime while running errands or at work. Word required.
Published 8 months ago by Katie
1.0 out of 5 stars It's not funny.
What a disappointment. I couldn't wait to get this book because I felt I could relate to it by the description. I got it today and started reading right away. It's crude. Read more
Published 14 months ago by John P. Mulcahy
2.0 out of 5 stars Mrs AE
Even though I am just now reading this book, I find it hard to read. I am an avid reader and usually enjoy any book. This falls into the category of one I just don't like. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Mrs AE
4.0 out of 5 stars good book
I mostly got this to see how it differed from the tv show. I have to say,I like the book better.
Published on March 30, 2013 by Brad Lovett Cohen
1.0 out of 5 stars Silly and not in a good way
No redeeming qualities. No amusement factor. The title is good and I understand why it was the basis for the TV show. Read more
Published on February 18, 2013 by Bethany A Noble
3.0 out of 5 stars Clever moments amidst the cliche
While there are genuinely funny moments in Keenan's book, it is rife with formulaic "stuck in the suburbs Mommy angst. Read more
Published on January 15, 2013 by franklinblake
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing like the TV series, so do not get them confused
It's okay, but seems more like the author was trying to affect google eyes about living in a whole 'nother culture. Really quite boring, quit reading half way through. *yawn*
Published on December 21, 2012 by K. Schell
4.0 out of 5 stars Suburgatory
I liked this a lot. It is jam packed with humor and satire. So humorous. I am in eighth grade but I know lots of different ages that enjoyed it as well.
Published on December 10, 2012 by Julia Stevenson
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheerfully Demented
Not for the fainthearted, but if you like your humor with a strong dose of truth and dementia this is the book for you.
Published on November 24, 2012 by Kevin M. Hayden
2.0 out of 5 stars NYC snob
I didn't enjoy reading this book, though I suffered through to the end, hoping it would get better. I found it typical of some other NYC transplants, who seem to believe there's... Read more
Published on June 16, 2012 by Kate Money
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