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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ian Frazier Is The Funniest Writer Alive
An unbelievably funny book, possibly the funniest I've ever read. I listened to an excerpt on YouTube read by the wonderful Cynthia Nixon and simply had to get it. The book is a diary of one year in the life of "The Cursing Mommy," a housewife living with her two boys and husband, Larry, who offers tips to her readers on a myriad of tasks, from "The Cursing Mommy's...
Published 21 months ago by Gerry Thomas

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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Amusing, but thin
"Cursing Mommy" is funny in bits, though it ultimately is just a compendium of bits. The shtick is reasonably funny--Cursing Mommy has yet another Lucy Ricardo-style "great idea", something goes wrong, and wild cursing ensues. Frazier delivers the setup and payoff in an entertaining way, but ultimately it is the same schtick over and over again. The book reads like a...
Published 21 months ago by Closer


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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ian Frazier Is The Funniest Writer Alive, October 2, 2012
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This review is from: The Cursing Mommy's Book of Days: A Novel (Hardcover)
An unbelievably funny book, possibly the funniest I've ever read. I listened to an excerpt on YouTube read by the wonderful Cynthia Nixon and simply had to get it. The book is a diary of one year in the life of "The Cursing Mommy," a housewife living with her two boys and husband, Larry, who offers tips to her readers on a myriad of tasks, from "The Cursing Mommy's No-Fuss Party Planner" to "Conquering Clothes-Closet Chaos." In every instance something goes terribly wrong and she ends up cursing a hilarious blue streak. She also has to deal with issues like Larry's "Client/Boss" constantly texting come-ons to her; the book club friend who runs off with her favorite poet / philosopher / lifecoach / armchair guru, M. Foler Tuohy; and the group of religious fanatics, the "Hendersonites," who end up running her sons' school. The brilliance of Frazier is how he makes it all work so perfectly page after page after page. And while the constant flow of curse words may bother a few "politically correct" readers, most will appreciate the sheer silliness and giddiness of it all and let themselves revel in the creative genius at work here.

There is a very good reason Ian Frazier is the only writer to ever win two Thurber Prizes, the country's premier award for humor writing. It's because he's the funniest writer alive. Period. Whatever you do, don't miss this book.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Literally the funniest book you'll read all year!, October 3, 2012
This review is from: The Cursing Mommy's Book of Days: A Novel (Hardcover)
OK, first of all, if you're offended by foul language, then this is obviously not the book for you. "The Cursing Mommy" is not a cute moniker - it is an apt description of the central figure in this hysterically funny novel.

I couldn't put this book down. Once I started it, I had to see what shenanigans TCM would get herself into next. I have never called a book "a real page turner" in my life - but this one definitely is. The situations are so outlandish, so utterly bizarre, and TCM's hatred of the Bush administration so pervasive that it is just impossible to put this book down until you've read the last page.

This is not your typical American nuclear family, despite the 2 kids (1 heavily medicated to suppress his antisocial tendencies), the cats & the occasional prairie dog infestation. TCM's checked-out husband (Larry) is hobbled with a difficult work situation and obsessed with a bizarre hobby, leaving TCM alone much of the time - and all too often lying on the ground, staring up at the sky. It's in these moments, as well as in the parking lot of her oldest son's therapist, that TCM can wax philosophic and it's in these moments this book really shines.

TCM has a short temper and most assuredly an inappropriate response to events gone awry, but she is perhaps the most put-together parent, philosophically speaking, in fiction. Buy for the humor, re-read for the insights.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Cursing Momm's Book of Days: A Novel, October 18, 2012
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The thoughts expressed by The Cursing Mommy just catch me and elicit a laugh-out-loud reaction before I even think about where I am when reading. The combination of rage at the most common, everyday minor occurences with the creative cursing and dragging in of the entire Bush administration (except for Condi Rice of course) is nothing short of hilarious - this is a most entertaining read. Plus having it on my Kindle Fire just makes it that much better! I highly recommend this book for the adult that is open minded enough to appreciate the humor.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Amusing, but thin, October 4, 2012
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Closer (Alexandria, VA United States) - See all my reviews
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"Cursing Mommy" is funny in bits, though it ultimately is just a compendium of bits. The shtick is reasonably funny--Cursing Mommy has yet another Lucy Ricardo-style "great idea", something goes wrong, and wild cursing ensues. Frazier delivers the setup and payoff in an entertaining way, but ultimately it is the same schtick over and over again. The book reads like a grown-up version of the "Secret Diary of Adrian Mole", but "Mole" has a some actual substance to sink your teeth into as the diary progresses; there is depth beneath the surface. "Cursing Mommy" remains pretty superficial by comparison. Still, it IS funny, and worthy of 3-4 stars as something to read in amusing little bits.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One-trick Mommy, April 13, 2013
This review is from: The Cursing Mommy's Book of Days: A Novel (Hardcover)
That people would describe this book as the "funniest book ever read" or "hysterical" is unfathomable to me. The idea of a satiric blog from a frazzled suburban woman is rich for mining, but this book, while occasionally amusing, is not that blog. The book describes, in superficial detail, an inept, though good-hearted mom's attempts to recreate a normal suburban life, with advice on closet cleaning and cooking that inevitable ends with the mommy snarled in wires, lying in filth, repeating the same prosaic curses. If it is a cursing person's book of days, shouldn't there be advice on how to curse, and curse creatively? How about a book about real cursable existential angst, like why we waste our best years on fluff? How about instructions on tailoring specific curses to things that deserve cursing---in this book, the Reagan and Bush administrations, for instance, don't get any more scathing, or funny, or imaginative curses than the blocked toilet or the disrupted flower bed.

No doubt Iain Frazier is a funny man (I admire his New Yorker pieces very much) and a fine writer. But he is out of his element here. Women---suburban American women--- are not like this. What I mean is, they are not as two-dimensional as this, and to think that a book of domestic disasters invoking bland cursing, written from a perspective which seems to be contemptuous of them, would please them, is a bit self-congratulatory. My criticism that the book is patronizing is not, I don't think, because I don't understand the satire. I know it's joking. But it seems to be the nudge nudge wink wink joking of people who find ADHD and bullying to be remote problems of the flyover hinterlands, too plebian for their concern, the fake diagnoses of hysterical people. How about an ADHD character who is sympathetic, for example, but still worthwhile of cursing? That would be more difficult, more complex, and (in my opinion anyway) funnier.

The Republican Party often invokes the superciliousness of the "elite" class. Perhaps this book unintentionally reveals some of this tendency. The cursing mommy's defect is not that she curses. Her defect is that the author condemns her to such low expectations---the subtle bigotry thereof. Her book club, condemning Republican presidential administrations, may mock the wine-drinking social aspects of all book clubs in general. But in the context of the cursing mommy, the book club portrayal is also a sneer at the banality of suburban politics.

I have not heard Cynthia Nixon's audio version. But would love to.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Get the Audiobook, December 13, 2012
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This review is from: The Cursing Mommy's Book of Days: A Novel (Hardcover)
There's a lot to like about this book, but to be honest it's pretty much of a one trick pony. The basic premise is what I had hoped, but to be honest if I had been reading a printed version I probably would have abandoned well before the end. HOWEVER, the audiobook version is wonderful. Cynthia Nixon's narration is so spot on and fantastic that I kept listening mostly happily all the way to the end.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic start but falls off the cliff quickly, December 8, 2012
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There are some truly hilarious parts in this book--the kind that had me laughing out loud like an idiot. I so loved what I was reading that I had to share quotes from it with friends.

That feeling didn't last much past the initial chapter or two, however. The book begins with some believable scenes that were funny and felt true. It quickly devolved into day after day of exaggerated hyperbole in place of insightful humor. A grocery store that randomly changes item placement was funny the first couple times, until it turns to the unreal, where the store is just trucks backed up into a huge warehouse that people picked through. Or schools that required constant reconstructive work by students and parents. Or a sand storm.

There is so much promise in the writing that I felt truly let down. The author is funny and insightful, but seems to have become the victim of his own construction: each entry is a day in the life of the Cursing Mommy. The problem is that it feels like the author simply looked at a calendar and tried to imagine what would happen on that day, as opposed to having a story to tell that naturally unfolded over the course of 365 days.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Times With The Cursing Mommy, November 20, 2012
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Two Thurber awards has Ian Frazier, count 'em: two...more than anybody else on Earth! And sometimes I don't think that's enough. Frazier's prose is a pleasure when he's writing about whatever has taken his interest that particular season: Russia, the Great Plains of America, his family history, angling...I have no interest in fishing, but I had to read The Fish's Eye. His choice of words and phrasing, his point of view and some intrinsic sense of delicacy makes for an enjoyable read, no matter the topic.

But it's the Shouts & Murmurs section of The New Yorker Magazine where he shines brightest for me. Keeping in mind that humor is subjective--One Man's Adam Sandler is hilarious, but is Another Man's Egregious Stain on the Contour Sheet of Civilization--Frazier is a master humorist. His stuff builds slowly, lays a meticulous base and from that, the laughables have wide room to maneuver.

That being said, 'The Cursing Mommy's Book of Days `begins exquisitely: the title character would like to see herself as a New Age June Cleaver but falls short through dint of a weekly intake of several quarts of booze, a hair-trigger temper that puts her into psychotic rages against Republicans and whatever craftwork she is currently performing, and of course, a vocabulary that would blow the bark off a full grown oak tree. Her family, friends and enemies are also wonderfully delineated, each and every one a morbid wreck. The book's plot is framework is simply her journal entries from January to December.

If you like sketch comedy on television with recurring characters a la 'Saturday Night Live', you may well enjoy the reiterations that take place in this novel. The Cursing Mommy attempts to perform a simple homemaker's project, like patching a pair of jeans or baking a chocolate pie, each and every time leading to failure, horrific bouts of swearing, property damage and ending with the Cursing Mommy sprawled out on the ground, pinned down with rubble, often as not. Variations on a comedic theme strike me as antithical to humor: expected punch lines have no impact.

But that's just me. Overall, this is seriously accomplished humor.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funniest book I have ever read, October 29, 2012
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Bartles (Southern Oregon) - See all my reviews
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This book is, as another reviewer said, a bit thin. But there is nothing dumb about it. It is a wickedly smart and wickedly wickedly hilarious book. It is said that with humor timing is everything, and the author's timing is perfect. "Positive affirmations" are undone by daily disasters, absurd on their face but shriekingly fun, mixed with furious invectives consisting of nothing more than stringing together assorted names from the Bush Administration and lusty refuge in alcohol. It all works. The concept is clever; the execution perfect; the trip a roller-coaster of parody & hilarity.

Do not take this book seriously! Take this book in great fun and gales of laughter.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars laugh out loud funny, October 17, 2012
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This review is from: The Cursing Mommy's Book of Days: A Novel (Hardcover)
I'm a huge fan of Ian Frazier's bestselling nonfiction books "Great Plains" and "Travels in Siberia," as well as his humor collections and New Yorker pieces. I found his fictional debut, THE CURSING MOMMY'S BOOK OF DAYS, to be sly, smart, kooky, delightful and surprising. A hilarious parody of suburban parenthood.
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The Cursing Mommy's Book of Days: A Novel
The Cursing Mommy's Book of Days: A Novel by Ian Frazier (Hardcover - October 2, 2012)
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