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This American Life: Lies, Sissies & Fiascoes

Dishwasher Pete, Sarah Vowell, Scott Carrier, Ira Glass, Jack Hitt, Sandra Tsing LohAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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Audio CD, 1999 --  
Audio Cassette, 1999 --  

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All the music, full streaming songs, photos, videos, biographies, discussions, and more.

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 4, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Rhino / Wea
  • ASIN: B00000I725
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,309 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Peter Pan - Mr. Jack Hitt (An Interview)
2. Drama Bug - Mr. David Sedaris
3. Letterman! Cookies! - Mr. Dishwasher Pete
4. Mr. Loh's Not Afraid To Be Naked - Ms. Sandra Tsing Loh
5. Teen Getaway - Ms. Cheryl Tryku
6. Shooting Dad - Ms. Sarah Vowell
Disc: 2
1. Get Over It! - Mr. Ira Glass
2. Hands on a Hardbody - Rob Bindler
3. The Test - Mr. Scott Carrier
4. Xmas Freud - Mr. David Rakoff
5. Apology Line - Ms. Marissa Bridge (An Interview)

Editorial Reviews

Are you a sucker for a well-told story--one that'll make you hoot with pleasure, drop your mouth in disbelief, tear up with empathy? If that be the case, you're likely already a fan of the brilliant beyond-hip This American Life. If you're not yet familiar with the Public Radio show and its ingenious host, Ira Glass, Lies, Sissies & Fiascoes will tickle your ears and engage your sense of wonderment. Underscored by adroitly chosen musical bits from Jonathan Richman to Liz Phair to Yo La Tengo, The Best of TAL springs into action illustrating the criterion for true fiasco with Jack Hitt's lively narrative of an uproariously bad production of Peter Pan. David Sedaris recounts reeling off insults and complaints in iambic pentameter as a teen bitten by the Drama Bug (which bites "Jews, homosexuals and plump women who wear their hair in bangs" the hardest). Dishwasher Pete tells how he duped the Letterman show, Scott Carrier gives a moving account of how his life unraveled and came back together during the season he conducted interviews with schizophrenics, and Ira Glass sounds off on getting over heartbreak. --Paige La Grone

Product Description


Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Collection of Awesome Storytelling April 17, 2001
Format:Audio CD
Even though I had heard most of these stories already on This American Life, I never questioned whether or not to buy this double CD set. These uniquely American tales are timeless and universal in appeal. Even the more esoteric selections -- Scott Carrier's The Test or Dishwasher Pete's Letterman! Cookies! -- are enthralling and entertaining. It's the kind of collection about which one might honestly be able to say that the David Sedaris story is not the best piece, and this is from a person who has laughed outloud in the work bathroom while reading Sedaris' stories. Like many other reviewers, I've found special joy in sharing this CD with my friends and family. I've given it to co-workers as goingaway presents, loaned it to family members who've set out on long drives, played it for in-laws huddled around the fire on Christmas Eve, and recommended it to friends who faced the prospect of hours sitting and waiting to be picked from jury pools. One of the best things to come from this CD is the reminder of just how special the radio show This American Life is, and how lucky we are to be able to listen to the stories that Ira Glass and his staff cull from everyday life and present to us so entertainingly every week. This set is but a taste of the kinds of stories one can listen to every week on NPR. By the way, my favorite stories are Ira's Get Over It! and Jack Hitt's Peter Pan. The first for personal reasons, which I suppose a lot of guys can relate to, and the second because it's just damn funny. Listening to this collection is a little like living small parts of real lives -- every story is so rich, so real. It is This American Life and worth reliving again and again.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This American Life can be addictive September 5, 2000
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Always a big fan of Public Radio, I stumbled across this radio show about 6 months ago. I have since listened to every episode ever since and was delighted to find that I could listen to any episode online.
This CD is filled with an assortment of the best TAL stories out there. The narrators present their own stories, among my favorites include Sarah Vowell's "Guns" and Cheryl Trykv's "Teen Getaway". Some of the stories will defintely cause you to laugh out loud. This is also a CD you will want to listen to over and over.
Ira Glass is truly a genius in my book, as with the rest of the TAL staff and contributors. Storytelling is really a lost art that has won a place in my heart and one that is not easily duplicated in other forms. TAL is truly a unique experience and concept.
If you crave something different and delightful, this CD is a must purchase!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WORTH A LISTEN March 11, 2002
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
If you have never heard THIS AMERICAN LIFE on N.P.R., this is your easy way to become addicted. The subtitle of this collection of eleven "self-relevatory radio monologues" is "an assortment of favorites, both grotesque & dainty."
What is THIS AMERICAN LIFE? In a nutshell, it is a weekly, hour-long radio show with a different overall theme each week. The hour is divided into acts---each act presenting one main speaker/writer whose subject is somehow connected to this week's theme. The themes? How about "Family Ties," or "Amateurs vs. Professionals," or "Holiday Treasures." You name can be sure THIS AMERICAN LIFE has aired it or will air it soon.
Host Ira Glass has one of the most singular voices ever to narrate a radio show. At the top of the second CD, Glass talks about getting over (NOT getting over?) a doomed love affair. Perfect. You'll find yourself yelling at the radio (or CD) "Stop it. Let her go. Don't be a patsy." It's happened to all of us. And that is the key to THIS AMERICAN LIFE. Every one of the 60 minutes, every week, has happened somehow, some way to ALL of us. And yet, because of the originality and talents of the various writers, it all seems new and incredibly entertaining. "Christmas Freud" where the narrator (David Rakoff) actually sat in a chic clothing story window pretending to be Sigmund Freud for extra holiday money and David Sedaris' "Drama Bug" are two of my favorites. But then, all eleven are worth a listen. Better yet, tune in weekly.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mostly good stories from NPR's radio show January 28, 2003
Format:Audio CD
As a fan of NPR who no longer lives in the US, I jumped all over the chance to buy a best-of compilation of "This American Life". The 2-CD set is split into funny stories on the first disc and serious ones on the second, although I thought both "Hands on a Hard Body" and "Christmas Freud" had some nice funny bits. Also on the second disc are the very chilling pieces "Test" and "Apology Line".
The only segments I did not like in this set, in fact, are the first one on each disc; these happen to be the ones that feature the show's host Ira Glass. I found "Peter Pan" (a piece about a small town drama production that goes awry) to be patronizing and overly long; the remainder of the first disc was very funny. Opening the second disc is "Get Over It!", a segment in which Mr. Glass explores an awkward weekend with an ex-girlfriend for whom he still has feelings. Although it has a good ending, I thought that he was just begging for sympathy with this story, and I felt manipulated. It's admirable in a way that Mr. Glass is willing to showcase his private pain for our entertainment, but not if he's going to make it a pity party.
But otherwise I think the compilation is great and I thank him for creating and hosting the show. I recommend it for anybody who's been a fan of the show (and most of you will probably enjoy Mr. Glass's pieces more than I did).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great radio show, great CD
Ira Glas has produced the radio show on NPR for years, and this CD includes some of the best episodes. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Lola S.
5.0 out of 5 stars I love This American Life
I'm a long time listener of This American Life, so it's great whenever I can get my hands on something that is "On Demand" - I enjoy the stories they picked for this... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Jake
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of This American Life
The first of three "Best of" compilation CDs from the radio show "This American Life". Many of the stories are laugh-out-loud funny and others that range from serious to sweet. Read more
Published on July 18, 2012 by Miles Price
1.0 out of 5 stars Tiresome narratives of the Defeated
If you've failed massively in life, enjoy wallowing in it, and the best response you could muster was slack-jawed bewilderment ... Read more
Published on July 25, 2010 by tierny
5.0 out of 5 stars Great CD!
This CD met my every expectation, witty, funny, and vastly entertaining. I love long car rides listening to these shows, especially the gut-busting story in the FIASCO segment,... Read more
Published on January 21, 2010 by Jemi E. Broussard
4.0 out of 5 stars good, not great
I bought this audio book for a recent road trip and found that it did help to pass the time. I was engaged in most of the stories; however, I did not have very many laugh out loud... Read more
Published on February 8, 2009 by cc
5.0 out of 5 stars This is my favorite
I found this to be my favorite of the series. I like the story of Ira speaking of his break-up (getting over it) with her girlfriend. Read more
Published on June 29, 2008 by smiles
4.0 out of 5 stars A few great ones, the rest mediocre
I enjoy listening to T.A.L. whenever I'm able to catch it, which unfortunately isn't very often. I had anticipated that this disc would contain the show's very best segments, but... Read more
Published on June 3, 2004 by Louis Rios
5.0 out of 5 stars This American Life from PRI is fabulous!
What a fantastic "best of" This American Life CD. It was the first and one of the best. I have been a fan of the program distributed to public radio by PRI, Public Radio... Read more
Published on December 15, 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars disappointed baby boomer
perhaps I'm too old to appreciate these stories. I was too impatient to hear several of them out to the end, though all I was doing was driving to a destination, without alot on my... Read more
Published on November 21, 2002
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