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Kasher in the Rye: The True Tale of a White Boy from Oakland Who Became a Drug Addict, Criminal, Mental Patient, and Then Turned 16 by [Kasher, Moshe]
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Kasher in the Rye: The True Tale of a White Boy from Oakland Who Became a Drug Addict, Criminal, Mental Patient, and Then Turned 16 Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 106 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Bookforum

The clever vitriol of the performer's fast-paced stand-up routine meets the vulnerable sincerity of a man who "gave a fuck very much" in Los Angeles comedian Moshe Kasher's first book. Kasher balances the heavier content of his memoir with playful turns of phrase, and continuous, effortless jokes, infusing the prose with an essential dose of levity. —Miriam Katz

Review

"Hysterical, heartbreaking, flat-out hilarious...after KASHER IN THE RYE, Moshe Kasher will no longer be known just as a brilliant, cutting edge young comic, but as a genuine monster writer of the highest order. Think Holden Caulfield on dope and bagels, with a side of crime and insane asylums. This is the kind of book that makes you want to wake up everyone you know at three in the morning and scream at them to read. Little Moshe Kasher lived a life no one should have to endure, and we're lucky he survived to write about it. He is living proof that whatever doesn't kill you makes you funnier. I fucking loved this book." --Jerry Stahl, New York Times bestselling author of Permanent Midnight

"Moshe Kasher is a comic genius. In his memoir, KASHER IN THE RYE, he is able to perform an act of comedic magic which is reserved only for the true greats, such as Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce, and Mitch Hedberg. Kasher's memoir will take you on a dark and hilarious journey of drugs, alcohol, and madness. But, by the time you reach the end of this book, you will be filled with hope and inspiration that even the most vulnerable can find redemption and recovery." --Artie Lange, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Too Fat to Fish

"Out of all the Hip Hop Jewish kids I know with deaf Orthodox parents, Kasher is the funniest. This book is thoughtful, touching, a bit harrowing and hilarious. Don't shy away because his name is Moshe, it's not too 'Jewy'. Emmis." --Marc Maron, comedian and host of the WTF podcast

"Travelling the hard road from teenage addiction to recovery, from lost boy to human being, Moshe Kasher tells it straight. His book over-brims with bravado and heart-breaking awareness, and with an authenticity that rings so true it's shattering. Frank and, above all, funny, this book is a marvel. I couldn't put it down." --M.A.C. Farrant, author of My Turquoise Years & reviewer for Toronto Globe & Mail

Product Details

  • File Size: 2464 KB
  • Print Length: 307 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1 edition (March 28, 2012)
  • Publication Date: March 28, 2012
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004RCNGSA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #244,178 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Kasher in the Rye: The True Tale of a White Boy from Oakland Who Became a Drug Addict, Criminal, Mental Patient, and Then Turned 16

The title alone was reason enough for me to pick up this book. I first heard of Kasher's memoir by listening to Jesse Thorn's interview with Moshe Kasher on the "Boomerang" radio show. Kasher is such a charismatic personality and gives a hilariously funny interview. All of that combined, that was reason enough for me to shell out money for this book.

Let me start by saying this: this novel has a little something for everyone. As a previous reviewer stated, this book can speak to everyone in some way. For me, this novel will really stand out to anyone whose parents are divorced. He does a great job of capturing what that feels like, growing up in that kind of household. The book doesn't let up. Moshe has a very clear and unique voice that lies somewhere between that of Dave Sedaris (i.e., absolutely crazy and unabashedly honest) and Augusten Burroughs (i.e., somewhat dark at times but equally mad). Kasher does an incredible job of delivering enough development of the core characters and the relevant details of his life. Meanwhile, he points out his own flaws in a loveable and relatable way, even for people who don't have his level of problems.

Put simply, this book will likely not get as much adoration and appreciation that it deserves. It's easily one of the best books I've read in the last year, and it's one of my favorite memoirs of the last decade. I loved it! Please, please do yourself a favor and buy this book!
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Format: Hardcover
Funny and incisive, KASHER IN THE RYE is a great book for young adults, especially those who are in trouble and need a guide through the dark. It's the story of the son of deaf parents who was a problem child and a dangerous, self-destructive per-teen and teenager. The narrator-protagonist is wickedly funny and brutally honest, sparing no one, least of all, himself.

The reason I am rating this book so highly is that I think it could be today's CATCHER IN THE RYE for troubled teenagers--despite the author having unique issues, the drugs/alcohol and fighting and modern-day outsider-looking-in approach are all things troubled youth can relate to and get some insight from. It's so accessible and funny, they won't realize they are being given a way out until they finish the book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wonder if I would have liked this book as much if I hadn't already been familiar with Moshe Kasher as a stand-up. I wonder if I would have liked this book as much if I hadn't related so strongly to the boy it described, who couldn't stop himself from screwing up no matter how much he wanted to.

But those questions are moot. I was already familiar with Kasher, and enjoy his stand-up quite a bit. I find him incredibly intelligent, and very good at subverting what seems like fairly standard, offensive/un-PC humor. And man do I relate to that boy that Moshe Kasher was. I may not have been raised by deaf parents, nor am I Jewish with an ultra-religious father, and I didn't slide as far as Kasher, but I very easily could have, very nearly almost did. Additionally, Kasher is only a couple years older than I am, so a lot of the cultural touchstones mentioned here are the same I experienced. I felt like I was Kasher, or could have been. I knew him. He was just like some of the kids I was hanging with, sharing forties and smoking weed and taking pills. Screwin' up.

It's probably because I related so strongly that I was able to overlook most of the problems of the book, some of which are fairly glaring. The biggest issue is that Kasher doesn't go out of his way to separate his voice from the voice of his 13 through 17 year old selves, so a lot of times he comes across as, well, a dumb kid who is acting out. He says offensive things, and we don't really get much of that intellect that Kasher injects on stage to defuse or flip the obnoxiousness. Still, that's not to say that the book is without insight, and the further you get in to the book, the better it gets. By the end, it's actually quite touching, and I'm not afraid to admit that I teared up quite a bit once Kasher finally found himself and started to heal rather than just numb the pain.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not sure how I came upon this book -- maybe Amazon flagged it for me and it sounded like it might be worth the risk of buying since there's no bookstore in this area and I had nothing left to read.

I'm here to tell you the book is everything it's advertised to be, and more. It's a wonderfully well-written page-turner, and I finished it in two or three days. It's at once funny, clever, profound, self-effacing, and informative. Moshe Kasher has been through all this nonsense so you don't have to ... but you can read about it and experience it vicariously. It ends on a lovely sentimental note (brief), so in the end it's a feel-good ride even though it gets pretty down and dirty, but fortunately in a light-hearted tongue-in-cheek way. Kasher lets humor transform the insanity he lived into jewel-like adventures of the kind you don't want your own kids or relatives to experience. It's all good, and it's all hilarious.

This is a funny, clever, deep, authentic, well-written true story. Take a chance on it -- pick it up. You'll be glad you did.
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