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The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death: Reflections on Revenge, Germophobia, and Laser Hair Removal Paperback – April 28, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 168 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In her latest collection of essays, Notaro (The Idiot Girl's Action-Adventure Club) turns out a double-handful of chuckle-worthy vignettes, looking at episodes of panic on an airplane, spying on guests at a mountain resort, learning to live with the ex-con down the street and, of course, handling the numerous disappointments and betrayals of the human body. Notaro blends sardonic, often self-deprecating comedy with disarming sincerity, delving into weight gain and body hair issues without hesitation, but staying closer to house, hearth, and everyday life with husband and dog. Most of the time, her quips rise to the occasion, but occasionally fall flat (as in "Death of a Catchphrase"). Although the majority of Notaro's musings are light-hearted, she reveals an affecting serious side in her essay on a pet's death. With plenty of humorous insight into the everyday debacles of an average gal from Arizona, these entertaining essays should make satisfying, bite-sized beach reading.
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

“Hilarious.”—Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“[Laurie Notaro] writes with a flair that leaves you knowing she would be a gal you could commiserate with over a bucket of longneck beers. If you need to laugh over the little annoyances of life, this is a book for you. If you need to cry over a few of them, Flaming Tantrum can fit that bill, too.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“A double-handful of chuckle-worthy vignettes . . . Notaro blends sardonic, often self-deprecating comedy with disarming sincerity.” —Publishers Weekly

“For pure laugh-out-loud, then read-out-loud fun, it’s hard to beat this humor writer.”—New Orleans Times-Picayune
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Villard (April 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081297574X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812975741
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #372,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have bought and devoured every Laurie Notaro book that she has written. By far, I still think that her first book was her best. In this new book, I didn't even chuckle until I was almost halfway through it.

Now, the second half of the book was pretty good, but I paid for a hardback book for which I only enjoyed half. I did laugh out loud at a few moments, but there just seemed to be less to be tickeled by this time around.

One of the other things I found a bit irritating was the phrasing she uses. She writes very conversationally, but her passages become so longwinded and mixed that a number of times I had to reread sentences to understand what she was getting at. I understand that this is part of her humorus effect, but this book felt a bit like it was tripping over itself too much.

Don't get me wrong...I will buy the next one when it comes out...but I don't think any of her new material will be as good as her first, or even her second book.

*** I am amending this review.

Hours after I posted this review, I received an email from the author stating..."Thanks for the crappy review on amazon, beth." I find this to be extremely unprofessional and immature. She sent a second email later that day to say that she should not have sent the email, but she never actually said that she was sorry for sending it. I believe her unapologetic email was to prevent bad PR.

She might have been upset by my "crappy review" (which I don't find to be that harsh at all) but she had no right whatsoever to try and shame me. This is a customer forum. We should be free to present our opinions without the threat of harassment from others, especially when the review was in no way rude or undignified.

Just my 2 cents.
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Format: Hardcover
I have been a fan of Ms. Notaro for a long time. Once I picked this book up, I couldn't stop reading. I stayed up until after 3:00 this morning, and got pinched by my husband a few times because I kept waking him up by laughing out loud. The Germophobia story had me doubled over, trying to catch my breath I was laughing so hard.

One thing that was in this book that I never expected was a very poignant story about the author's dog. I won't give anything away here, but it was incredibly beautiful and sad.

This is my favorite book that Ms. Notaro has ever written. I really enjoyed it, and now I can't wait for the next one!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I KNOW I have a sense of humor. How could I possibly miss the humor in this book? I have to say, this was one of the most boring books I have ever read. In fact, I don't think I have ever stopped reading a book because it was so bad I couldn't finish it, but I just had to stop reading this one. It was like having teeth pulled at the dentist...fingernails on a chalkboard....a metal fork scratching across a china plate. It was just bad, bad, bad.

I found almost nothing funny. I may have chuckled once...I can't remember (YES! It's that forgettable!). I couldn't finish the book and immediately removed it from my Kindle. What a waste of time and money.

The cabin visit...huh? What was so funny about that? Honestly.. It was so stupid! I was left wondering what the heck I had just read that was suppose to be funny in that chapter? The story about their home invasion....I didn't get the humor there either. I can't remember anything else I read in this book. That's how bad it is (though I couldn't read the whole thing. It was just too boring)!

I had to give people a heads up on this book. After I read all the RAVE reviews I couldn't wait to read it! Whoa! What a huge disappointment. [...]

I guess this author is most definitely an acquired taste and most assuredly, not one I will ever read again.
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Format: Hardcover
I was very anxiously wating for this book to come out. On the day it did finally come out, I ran to every possible store so I could read it right away because I was having knee surgery in 3 days. Needless to say, I could find it nowhere so my husband ordered it for me on Amazon. We paid for the next day shipping and I pretty much sat on the porch wating for the UPS man. As soon as he got here, I sat down on the couch and started reading. Most of it was cute, but not funny. I only laughed out loud a couple of times and as anyone who reads her books knows, you are usually crying and calling your friends to read them the funny parts. Not once did I have the desire to do this. I will, of course,buy her next book when it comes out but for this one, the anticipation left me wanting after I finally got it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was cracking up the whole time I read this book. I usually don't read books like this, and I have to say I bought it not knowing it was a memoir. I almost put it down when I realized what I was reading, but I'm so glad I went on. I read it quite a while ago, and there are things from the book that come to me out of nowhere, and I still laugh about it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Before I add my two cents here, let me begin by saying I am a HUGE Laurie Notaro fan. Love, love, love her! I live in Phoenix and have been following her since she was writing for a local publication. However, I do agree with other readers who say this is not her finest work. I bought this to read while on vacation, and I was really looking forward to it. While there were some funny parts-- and a poignant part about losing a pet-- I found it to be somewhat of a letdown. What's missing: the usual biting, laugh-out-loud hilarious kind of humor I normally find in her books. It's almost as if this was a random collection of half-hearted essays that didn't belong in any of her other books. Still, I remain a devoted fan. I would still buy her next book, and the next...
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