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Editorial Reviews Review

Amazon Exclusive: A Letter from Sarah Silverman

Dear Reader:

My name is Sarah Silverman. I was once primarily known for saying the word "poop" and getting paid above market rates for it. But those days are over, because I am now going to be known for having written a book. Why did I write a book, you might wonder? Because it just seemed like the right time to be getting into the publishing industry.

I'm kidding. Publishing is rotting like an abandoned possum carcass on the shoulder of I-95. I know that for a fact, because shortly after my book deal was announced, I kept hearing people lament the imminent demise of literature. These days there is only one reason to write a book: to be taken seriously. And that is exactly what is about to happen to me. I'm an author now! Like Ernest Hemingway and Fyodor Dostoevsky!

When I was asked to provide text for an author page, I decided to approach it in a scholarly manner, because that's what authors do. I looked to other author pages for inspiration, and I learned so much. For example, while Hemingway and Dostoevsky do not have their own author pages on, Paris Hilton does. And so does former teenage porn star and multi-tasking fellatrix, Traci Lords. Hemingway and Dostoevsky might be wondering, quite literally, "Whom do I have to blow to get my own author page?" If someone had a cruel sense of humor, they might respond to Hemingway, "How about your head off? Oh wait – you already DID that!" But such a remark would be in bad taste, and as a serious author, I'm above all that.

I also learned that Paris' dog, Tinkerbell Hilton, has her own book too. I read a few pages and found the prose to be overwrought, but you can imagine that, being a dog, she'd be coming from a place of needing to prove something. By the way, here's a quote from a review of Paris' book that I found on her author page:

"Heiress, socialite, model, actress, singer and media darling Hilton loves her life, knows how to get what she wants and matter-of-factly explains how anyone can be a glamorous, fun-loving, tiara-wearing heiress just like her… [Paris’] advice to 'channel your own inner heiress, create your own image, and project an extreme sense of confidence' is an empowering message for young women."

This was profoundly inspiring to me. It made me realize: if young women can read Hilton's book and become heiresses, they can likewise read my book and become anxiety-ridden bedwetters. And amidst this generation of disposability that favors the digital over the physical, shopping online rather than in stores (oops, this is awkward!), and reading from LCD screens rather than from print on paper, it's nice to know that I will have left a permanent stain by which future generations shall know of my existence. So read The Bedwetter, if not for me, then for the children.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Demonstrating that her penchant for swearing began at an early age, comedian Silverman begins her hilarious memoir by describing how, at age three, she gleefully responded to her grandmother's offer of brownies with shove 'em up your ass. Growing up in New Hampshire (where cows are well done and Jews are rare), Silverman naturally gravitated toward performing and moved to New York, where she attended and eventually dropped out of New York University to pursue a standup comedy career. Mixing show business moments (she wrote for Saturday Night Live for one season, but none of her sketches made it past dress rehearsal) with stories of her childhood and adolescence (punctuated by a persistent bedwetting problem), Silverman never shies away from poking fun at her own expense. Though she's best known for sexually explicit jokes, Silverman is able to address more serious subjects in the book without losing her edge, particularly her teenage struggle with depression and that her often abrasive public persona allowed her to say what I didn't mean, even preach the opposite of what I believed.... It was a funny way of being sincere. 8-page color insert. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (March 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061856452
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061856457
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (470 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

SARAH SILVERMAN is the co-creator and star of The Sarah Silverman Program. She starred in the feature-length film version of her one-woman show Jesus Is Magic. She won an Emmy in 2008 for her video I'm F***ing Matt Damon, and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her role on The Sarah Silverman Program. Silverman grew up in New Hampshire and now lives in Los Angeles (by way of her beloved New York City) with her dog, Duck, presuming he does not die prior to publication, which is moderately to extremely likely.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

138 of 156 people found the following review helpful By Gwen R. Cooper on April 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I expected this book to be hilarious, and it is. (I'm not even going to qualify that by adding "...if you're a fan of Sarah's comedy." It's just funny. Period.) What I didn't expect were the sensitivity and sincerity that Sarah has brought to both the writing of the book and to its glimpses behind the scenes into her personal life and the thoughtfulness behind the humor.

The section in which Sarah's editor earnestly tries to explain to Sarah, a professional comedian, what's "really" funny (and why) is worth the price of admission all on its own.

I think there are some things that many people believe deep down they could also do just as well as the professionals, if only they had the time, the inclination, etc. I suspect that professional comedy is one of those things. So what I really appreciated about this book is the way Sarah explores comedy as a craft that is diligently developed and honed over time. You might not like her jokes, but you have to respect her commitment to the work that goes into them.

As a person who appreciates both Sarah's humor and the dedication of craftsmen in all walks of life, this book just worked for me on every level. I highly recommend it.
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63 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Max J. Pell on April 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Sarah Silverman's approach to comedy is not like the approach of many comedians working today. Sarah approaches all taboo topics with the same enthusiasm, whether it be the usage of racist lingo, sex, or the Holocaust. This "nothing is sacred" approach to comedy defines Silverman's attitudes and, philosophically speaking, puts these taboo topics into perspective. In Silverman's memoir, we discover where she acquired these traits. In talking about her parents, it's very obvious that her adoration for her father is without doubt and that much of her humor comes from him. In a sub-chapter titled "The Only Reason I'm Not Completely Retarded," Silverman discusses her admiration for her mother. The book follows Silverman through her childhood, adolescence, and career, with much emphasis on family. Throughout, Silverman subjects the reader to relentless comedy that some would consider vulgar, racy, and inappropriate. But, that's just Silverman's charm - genius. Including a Foreward written by herself an an Afterword written by God, I wholeheartedly believe that this book is the comedic masterpiece of the literary world of 2010.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Kristina Garcia on May 19, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I am lazy, so this audiobook was perfect for me. I love everything Sarah Silverman does, but I hate reading. She is so brilliant that I probably would have read an actual book if this audiobook didn't exist. I was also glad that it was read by her because half of the fun is her delivery.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Derek Siebert on February 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Despite being entitled "The Bedwetter" this book doesn't flow very well, but that's more than offset by the often hilarious content. There are a lot of great stories here and Sarah tells them well. It's clear that it's her talking too, not a ghost writer; it's refreshingly told in her own voice.

The childhood stories are probably the best, though some of her interactions with other comedians are amusing, too. The "flow" problem comes from her skipping around, age-wise; the childhood section seems to jump from Sarah at 8, to Sarah to 4, to 15 to 11, and this repeats in her "up and coming comedian" phase. Is it 1995, 1989, 2002? Only when she refers to her tv show can you immediately pin down the exact era without wondering for a few paragraphs, which is a bit disconcerting.

Also, I think she spends a wee bit too much time on the "controversies" in her career, explaining them and talking about the repercussions. It's a bit of a pisser to have to read about people who DON'T like her--in her own book!

I'd probably give The Bedwetter 3.5 stars if Amazon provided the granularity to do so, but I gave Sarah the benefit of the doubt since I did laugh out loud often while reading it on the bus. I whizzed through this book in two days so I was clearly absorbed in it, but like any good piss, it started strong and kind of petered out at the end. Naturally a lot Depends on whether you like Sarah. If you do, urine for a treat.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 7, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I must admit that I did not know much of Silverman's comedy work, but somehow I got redirected into this page, read the passage inserted, and I thought (hoped) that the whole book would be as funny. No way. This thing got boooring quite fast. Before midway thru the book, I was already sorry I bought it.
I have absolutely no problem with foul language or with crude jokes, so that was not the issue. The issue is, they were just not funny.
So, if this book was not intended to be funny, but rather to be an inspirational (or at least, interesting) telling of her life, then it also failed at that. Her life story is just not that interesting to begin with.
So what does the author do in her attempt to be funny and/or interesting to fill this whole book? She will tell you, every chance she gets, that she is jewish. Again, nothing wrong with it, but, where is the humor in that?
I regret buying this book, and regret the time spent reading it.
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29 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Aurora on May 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I am a big fan of Sarah Silverman, let me say this first. I was really looking forward to this book. I am about halfway through it so I don't know if I can judge the whole book already but so far it's really boring. I was expecting it to be really funny. I enjoy watching the interviews of Sarah Silverman discussing this book other than actually reading it. The whole book timeline is jumbled up, she will be talking about what a sex addict she was in her 20's and on the same page skip to a story about when she was still in high school and on the same page talk about when she was 7 years old. It's a bunch of jumbled stories. Boring stories. I can now see why Sarah Silverman was, and still is, depressed about her own life. This book would be so awesome if it was a story about her life instead of little snip-its of events that happened here and there. I am very frustrated at how this book has no organization, it makes you forget what happened on the previous pages.
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