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Tiny Ladies in Shiny Pants: Based on a True Story Paperback – October 17, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

There's one joke that Soloway, writer and co-executive producer of Six Feet Under, keeps coming back to, about a little girl who tells her mom a boy has paid her to climb a telephone pole. Her mom keeps telling her he just wants to see her panties... so the girl says she's "fooled" him, by taking them off. It's an apt metaphor for Soloway's view of women's situation today, which, she says, is ruled by the "Porno-ization of America," with younger women wanting breast implants and white boys thinking pimps are the height of cool. Soloway's rants are right-on and entertaining, too, probably because she includes herself among the occasionally deluded. She recounts her own 1970s upbringing as a liberated child who thought she might become president, only by seventh grade she'd "forgotten what Bella Abzug looked like" and gotten her "Ophelia card stamped." Fortunately, she recovered to become a delightfully sex-positive "Jewess" ("a word invented by others to conjure someone bossy... that I have reappropriated as prideful") who can joke about her cute "Jewish bush," her fun lesbian sister and her own unaccountable attraction to "Toolbelts" (hunky construction worker kind of guys). Soloway's book is an amusing work of feminist humor.
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.

Review

"In Tiny Ladies in Shiny Pants, Soloway courageously dives right into her past -- armed with a dangerous intellect, a prickly sense of outrage, and a scathing wit -- and comes to the surface with a riotously good read...I can't help considering a woman who's this honest and this funny as nothing short of revolutionary."

-- Salon.com

"Tiny Ladies in Shiny Pants will remind you of those rambling, all-night-long, nothing's sacred talkfests that can happen with a good friend."

-- Glamour

"Sisterly, smart, funny, and vulgar, Soloway's debut deserves a space on the shelf beside David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs."

-- Entertainment Weekly

"FINALLY, a woman has written a hilarious manifesto for the post-feminist generation.... Soloway's wickedly entertaining prose and willingness to bare the most amusing, intimate moments of her life reveal the contradictory challenges of being a smart, sexy woman who wants to have it all."

-- New York Post

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (October 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743272188
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743272186
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #450,669 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By James W. Doyle on October 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First of all, you should be warned: don't start the book at night unless you don't need to get up early. I started this book last night at midnight. At some point (around two a.m.) I felt like I was on the coolest sleepover ever, the kind every gay boy wanted to have but couldn't with the coolest girl in school who let you brush her hair. So I had oreos and milk, and they were the Halloween ones that make the milk orange, and I stayed up more. At five a.m., I was mad at Soloway, the way you get mad at babies for being so cute. I didn't "laugh out loud" at times, I drew in breath, and went, "God, she's brilliant." And then I wished I could braid her hair. I'm buying this book for everyone I know. Of course, it'll be hard, since I missed work today and maybe won't have a way to make the money to buy the book for everyone I know, 'cause I was up all night. So whatever. I have a huge crush on Jill Soloway.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Doug on October 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jill is the quintessential opinionated Jewish comedian, similar to Larry David, unafraid to address issues head-on with such candor and refreshing personal insight, that you can't help but love her. Is she really a feminist or is she just using feminism as a platform to make us laugh with all of her talk about what men expect and how women do it for them when they shouldn't? She also makes herself out to be the nerd who is never accepted by the cool people, and it works. She is very endearing. And she's willing to go where few have gone as she talks about potty habbits, a hilarious footnote about her real thoughts as she is engaged in a certain sexual activity, her role as a mother and her lack of luck obtaining diamonds from the men in her life.

At the same time, she is far more down to earth and thoughtful in her approach to life and the female/male "relationship" than much of what comes through to us from Hollywood.

For me, it was a fun quick journey into the world of an up-to- date Hollywood writer who is influencing our thinking and our world view as her humor trickles down to us through Television. I'll be watching for her stuff. To me, she's could be the new female version of Seinfeld.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By insomniac on August 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After years of reading Jill's pieces and seeing them performed at her writers' reading series, Sit N' Spin, I am so excited that she's compiled this book.

Jill is not simple to categorize. I suppose this book feels a bit like David Sedaris and a touch like Sandra Tsing Loh... but her voice is singular. Jill is funny without shortchanging her more serious subject matters; sexy but not sleazy; proudly Jewish without leaning on the "neurosis" crutch; feminist without dissing men.

In this book, she reminisces about her younger years -- most notably in a chapter about the much older man to whom she lost her virginity. She unflinchingly describes the vulnerable awkwardness and self-doubt (her best friend was "prettier")that made her, at 17, such an easy target for the man she'd later disparagingly refer to as "Lotion Bag." The story is hilarious even while it disturbs us and makes us feel protective of that teenaged girl. Jill has strong opinions -- about women, about men, about sexuality -- and while she never sacrifices her story to put forth an agenda, her points do land.

I love it when Jill zeros in on embarrassing secrets -- her chapter on her secret dislike of dogs made me laugh out loud. This is one of those books that makes it seem easy to write a book -- because Jill's storytelling is so skilled that the work is effortless. You feel like she's sitting beside you on the couch, having a glass of wine and ranting articulately till you laugh so hard you pee in your pants.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Learn2Birth on October 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
My girlfriend gave me this book warning me it was raunchy. I'm ok with raunchy as long as it isn't just gratuitous. There needs to be a point to it, otherwise the writing isn't art, it's just shock and sleaze, and that's not something I invest my time in.

I finished this book in two days laughing out loud in so many parts and finding myself understanding her and women like her in ways I usually don't.

Jill and I have led very different lives. I am a 30-something Christian, stay-at-home mother of three, who married my first boyfriend. So in terms of our female experience, we don't have much in common. But...we do! Because we're are all just women afterall and we have a man (or men) in our lives and we all have to live and grow older in this society that is pretty much toxic to us. Her observations on these matters really speak right to the heart of the female experience and I think it is definitely worth it to read this book just to hear Jill's take on things.

So why not 5 stars then?

Well, you know how when someone is 21 and drinking too much we can blame it on his youth? But when that same person is 35 and still drinking too much it seems pathetic?

Unfortunately I found myself finishing this book feeling that Jill still doesn't really "get it". She doesn't get men. She hasn't really tapped into her femininity. I found myself yearning for more maturity and depth at the end because by now she is writing about herself in the present and she is older with a son. But I didn't see the growth. She ends the book with a proposition that we all form a commune on "Lesbo Island" a girls only community.
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