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My Fair Lazy: One Reality Television Addict's Attempt to Discover If Not Being A Dumb Ass Is the New Black, or, a Culture-Up Manifesto Hardcover – May 4, 2010

3.9 out of 5 stars 180 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Jen Lancaster and Dave Barry: Author One-on-One

The New York Times has pronounced Dave Barry "the funniest man in America." But of course that could have been on a slow news day when there wasn't much else fit to print. True, his bestselling collections of columns are legendary, but it is his wholly original books that reveal him as an American icon, like I'll Mature When I'm Dead. He wrote for Humor Hotel and Jen Lancaster eventually took over his nationally syndicated humor column. Dave Barry Read on to see Dave Barry's questions for Jen Lancaster, or turn the tables to see what he asked her.

Dave: Which has a higher IQ: gravel or the cast of Jersey Shore?

Jen: On the surface, gravel clearly seems to have the edge. Gravel’s managed to exist for thousands of years without ever once having started a bar fight when someone looked at its Ed Hardy T-shirt funny. However, after the episode where Pauly D. went swimming and emerged from under the water with every hair still firmly in place, I’m forced to declare Jersey Shore the winner. The kind of civil/chemical engineering it takes to hold that ’do in place is nothing short of genius.

Dave: What can we, as a nation, do about the Kardashians?

Jen: One word: caning.

Dave: Do you ever watch Dog the Bounty Hunter? If so, do you agree that he would be a really fun United States senator?

Jen: I love Dog and believe he’d be a fantastic senator. He’s clever, he’s efficient, he’s no-nonsense, and he’s not afraid to knock a few heads together if needed. He’s exactly what this country needs. Plus, I’d like Mr. Dog to Go to Washington if for no reason other than to see his wife dressed up like Jackie O while on the campaign trail. (The caveat is I’m from Illinois and most of our living governors are felons, so it’s possible my standards aren’t terribly high.)

Dave: How come women are so good at appearing to not be thinking about sex?

Jen: Because we’re the ones in charge of doling it out, so there’s no guesswork involved on our part. Ergo, we can think about more important stuff. Like handbags.

Dave: Like many men, I have four kinds of shoes: 1) black shoes, 2) brown shoes, 3) sneakers 4) backup sneakers. Do I need more? What should they be?

Jen: I reject the premise of this question because whereas most men own four pair of shoes, they own nine different kinds of hammers. Framing? Claw? Tack? Ball-peen? Any woman worth her salt knows that almost all household repairs can be accomplished with one of two tools—a butter knife or the heel of a loafer. Jen Lancaster

Dave: Do you think ketchup has to be kept in the refrigerator? Why?

Jen: Yes, but less for food safety concerns and more because we don’t want to damage the self-esteem of the other condiments. (Mayonnaise can be so self-conscious.)

Dave: Are cats malicious, or actually the spawn of Satan?

Jen: Um, cats are wonderful and loving little creatures who live to make us happy, and they only barf in our shoes and scratch the bejesus out of our new ottomans and trip us at the top of the stairs to demonstrate exactly how special we are to them. They are in no way, shape, or form evil, meaning they would never trap me and both of my dogs in my office, causing me to send out cryptic interview answers hoping desperately the reader will properly interpret them and SEND HELP.

(Photo of Dave Barry © Raul Ribiera/Miami Herald)
(Photo of Jen Lancaster © Jeremy Lawson)

From Publishers Weekly

After embarrassing herself in front of her idol Candace Bushnell, popular memoirist Lancaster (Such a Pretty Fat, Bitter is the New Black) decides she needs more in her life than reality TV and hamburgers; to that end, she sets out on an Eliza Doolittle-esque project of cultural self-improvement to expand her knowledge of art, fine dining, and all the attendant trappings of "high class" life. Lancaster's latest will no doubt appeal to fans of her blog and her other books, but readers unfamiliar with her strident manner will have to get past her abrasive, initially judgmental façade; she puts on a proud display of her ignorance that can be off-putting, especially when couched in her excessively scattered writing style. Though she's unquestionably funny and comfortable in her own skin, for all the joking self-regard there's little actual exploration, and the analysis of what she does find doesn't go far beyond a sassy thumbs-up or thumbs-down.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: NAL; 1 edition (May 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 045122986X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451229861
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,169,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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By J. Peplinski VINE VOICE on April 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Don't get me wrong, Jen Lancaster is still pretty funny. Her writing style is always conversational and witty, and her books feel like long letters from a cool friend. But I have to admit it: I only laughed out loud ONCE during this entire book. That's still not bad, because most books don't make me laugh out loud ever. But after Bright Lights, Big Ass: A Self-Indulgent, Surly, Ex-Sorority Girl's Guide to Why it Often Sucks in the City, or Who are These Idiots and Why Do They All Live Next Door to Me? made me put down the book multiple times because I couldn't stop giggling, I guess the bar for "hilarious book" just got too high.

I suppose, if you are a memoir-writer and have had four books on the New York Times bestseller list, eventually it becomes inevitable that you have to stop cracking jokes about your rotten luck, crappy apartment and trashy neighbors, and start writing about your rich, classy friends and eating meals that cost more than my mortgage payment. I mean, she's a really successful author at this point, she'd be lying if she continued making fun of how lame her life is because it obviously is not! Think about it, does anybody really think Jeff Foxworthy has even SEEN a redneck in the last decade? I don't begrudge her success, she deserves it. But, I'm finding myself less able to relate to her life.

If you have read her other books and enjoyed them, you'll probably enjoy this too. But if you're new to the author and thinking of picking something up, start with her earlier books: a) so you can get the backstory on everything she's talking about and b) because they're funnier. I LIKED My Fair Lazy, it was fun to read...just not as much as her other work.
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Format: Hardcover
I discovered Jenn Lancaster's books a few years ago. Bought the first one off a discount rack, read it, and immediately bought the next two. I toted that to ladies beach week and eagerly shared them and turned everyone in the condo into a Jennfanatic. They all bought there own copies of the books, we read excepts aloud, roaring with laughter. Her sharp wit and brass balls made a wonderful week at the beach that much more memorable.

So I waited impatiently for the release of her latest book. I barely made it home before pulling it out of the bag, settling on the sofa with a glass of wine, and digging into what I hoped would be another side-splitting, snarky adventure through Jennsylvania.

To my very sad shock, Jennsylvania had been transformed into Pretentiousnation. I literally had to force myself through each chapter. But I wasn't going to give up, because I had such high hopes that maybe, just maybe, Jenn would thrash her way through the self-indulgent naval-gazing and bring home the snark.

Sadly, she never did. I found myself, instead of laughing out loud, snorting in disgust and rolling my eyes over her continuous, pretentious, name-dropping and life-styles-of-the-rich-and-self-involved, artsy-fartsy adventures at "bettering" herself with her woefully rich and painfully boring gal pals.

I finished the booked feeling incredibly let down and sad that a writer I once lurved, who I pimped to anyone who would listen, morphed from a witty, fabuous, fearless, sarcastic biotch into an incredibly shallow, shadow of her former snarky self.

Can't say I will be buying her next offering...unless I find it in the discount bin of Book A Millon.
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Format: Hardcover
It's funny how the Amazon review system gives up to five stars, since Jen Lancaster's books started out with five and have now moved down to one. Truthfully, if I could have given negative stars, this would be the book that got them.

The author was at her best years ago, when she was broke and desperate and laugh out loud funny as she received her comeuppance and came through her unemployment a better person. She may not have been likeable at the beginning but at the end she was an every woman hero. Her second and third books tempered her growing arrogance with self deprecation that still entertained her readership. I loved the girl who threatened people with a shovel. I loved the girl with a fear of the scale. That girl is nowhere in this book. This book feels like it was written by the same lady who wrote the first pages of her first book. Lancaster has gone back to being unlikeable, unsympathetic and totally unfunny.

The book is little more than an expansion on her epilogue from Pretty in Plaid (a crapper in and of itself) which leads me to believe that the second Lancaster hit the NYT Bestseller list she stopped trying. That final chapter is a rant about how hard she worked and how successful she is and a step by step detail of how she basks in that success. No really. This book? The same drivel. She talks, again, about spending money most people don't have, doing things the former Jen couldn't do because she was flat broke and creative. I'm not entertained by a story where the heroin spends half my rent price on tea. I'm not amused by her segue on page 267 where she basically whines that she gets negative feedback because her readership is noticing that she has changed from wacky heroine to self-important snob.
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