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There's Nothing in This Book That I Meant to Say Paperback – November 27, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The intentionally disjointed structure of this audiobook—Poundstone presenting biographies of seven historical figures, including Joan of Arc, Helen Keller and Abraham Lincoln, with each fact launching her into a tangent about her own life—works particularly well on audio. Poundstone sounds like she's chatting naturally and keeps remembering other things she wants to say. She's frank, funny and immensely likable. Her autobiographical stories are often harrowing: she was convicted of driving while intoxicated with her three adopted children in the car, and lost custody of them for a year. Her pain at the memory is obvious, but she leavens the subject matter with plenty of black humor and irony: noting that she was court-ordered on television to attend Alcoholics Anonymous, she comments, "That pretty much blows the hell out of the second A." There are many quotable one-liners, amid Poundstone's self-deprecating humor. By turns funny and poignant, this is a book that shines on audio.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Booklist

In 2001 comedian Poundstone was convicted of DWI--with her three adopted children in the car. The court placed the kids in foster care, and for a year Poundstone picked them up from the foster home early each morning, cared for them, brought them back for bedtime, and didn't leave until they were asleep. She sparks this sad but ultimately triumphal story by uproariously comparing and contrasting herself and famous people. For instance, like Joan of Arc, who claimed to hear God, Poundstone "heard God speak to me once. He said, 'You're wearing that?'" Mocking her alcoholism, she recalls the potted purchases of a pet-store bunny and, later, a dog whose temperament resulted from familial alcoholism: his mother went on a binge and mated with a shark, producing a pet that routinely jumps fences to devour cats. Near the end of the book, Poundstone rhetoricizes, "Am I the luckiest woman in the world or what? I have three great kids, and not one of them is at risk of inheriting my pot belly." Whitney Scott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; Reprint edition (November 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307382281
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307382283
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #655,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Square Peg on November 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the book. I appreciate that Poundstone took such a creative approach to launch her stream of consciousness. As I read, I chuckled a lot (I'm not much of a laugh-out-loud kind of person) although I did experience the occasional loud snicker.

As I read, I imagined something that the book's detractors would say (if Poundstone can wander off into the weeds writing the book, I can certainly do the same as I review it!):

"Poundstone goes on ad nauseum about her arrest a few years ago....she keeps bringing it up....like she's trying to explain her side of her legal troubles..."

So let me "'splain" to you that this is a stream of consciousness book. Poundstone gets in a biographical mode and then veers off to what pops into her mind. Her legal woes were traumatic for her and a turning point in her life. They're on her mind. When she thinks of one thing, her mind sometimes wanders off to her arrest and drinking and follow-up healing. Though embarrassed, ashamed, and even angered about what she went through (particularly losing her kids and the endless parade of diagnoses), her self-deprecating humor can still see some humor in some of her experiences.

This is not a book for someone who takes himself and life too seriously, who can't eke out some humor in bad experiences in retrospect. If you've never been described as being irreverent or having a morbid sense of humor, if you're turned off Jon Stewart or SNL, don't read this book, and re-read one of your inspirational books.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By VMR on May 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I don't normally read memoirs, or personal histories, or biographies, but I love Paula Poundstone and her kind of humor, and picked the book. I foolishly started reading it before I went to bed, which was a big mistake - I couldn't put it down. Trust me: it is laugh out loud funny. There is also something genuinely straightforward and a bit sad about her writing. I'm now even bigger fan of her. It is a very fast read, and even though jagged narrative style was a bit jarring to me at first, I loved when she wrote about Beethoven. Also, how can you not like a woman who admits she has a crush on Wilbur Wright?!
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Williams on December 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is very funny. I could not put it down and finished the book so fast that I wanted more.

Paula Poundstone presented a very popular stage comedy routine on the Bravo television channel. This book is an excellent extension of the stage routine. The book is even better than the Bravo television presentation.

Read this book.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By L. Goff on November 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
My suggestion is to first watch Paula's new super-funny stand up routine on Comedy Central entitled Look what the cat dragged in. Then sit down with this book and you'll understand the unique writing style she uses. I'll think of Paula every time I interrupt someone. I want to thank Paula for being a real "stand up" person - she fostered kids, adopted kids, stopped drinking, held her head high when the media broadcasted her personal business, made us laugh with her comedy shows and wrote this great book (one of the best I've read all year). I'm impressed as all get out.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Ruth on November 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
No matter how much I love a book, at some point, I'm going to fall asleep while reading it. But that was not the case with Paula's book.

In fact, when I received 'There's Nothing In This Book That I Meant To Say' in the mail a couple weeks back, I read it from start to finish throughout the night. This is not a book that can be put down! It is brilliantly written, extremely funny, reflective, sweet, endearing and engaging as is the author herself.

I HIGHLY recommend this book to everyone. Definitely a must for Christmas!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Pamela T. Wright on November 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Paula Poundstone is honest, wise and witty and her mind is all over the "map," so to speak. Just when you're beginning to wonder where she's going, she slips right back in and leaves you thinking--or laughing--or, sometimes, shedding a tear.

Read this book!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is HILARIOUS....This is a MUST READ....I find myself thinking about what I read throughout the day and giggling. You can't put this book down. If you have someone who is down or going through something in their lives this book is a perfect pick me up.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By annieflies on June 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Great book. She writes with raw honesty and gentle humour. While reading the book, you feel like you're having a great heart to heart talk, with a good friend.
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