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Microthrills: True Stories from a Life of Small Highs Hardcover – August 3, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Every day for comedian and writer Spero is an endless stream of microthrills: intense gratification gathered from mundane pleasures like fruit-scented markers and squishy rubber keychains. Eschewing traditional ideas of fun-dangerous pursuits like roller coasters and bike riding-Spero nonetheless has exciting, zany experiences daily, whether showing her finger puppet collection to potential roommates or dealing with desperate e-mail from her jealous dentist. The drama began early for Spero, growing up with an energetic, anxious, fiercely loving mother: parting each frenzied morning involved "a tortuous good-bye ritual involving a lot of puckered-lip pecking and Eskimo nose-kissing," and her mother's late return from work each evening caused Spero to "pace in my Garfield nightgown, ranting about the dangers of the city to the balding night doorman who doesn't speak English." Spero has an impressive memory for the sensory details of her childhood; she longingly recalls her Halloween masks, "how the mouth portion got slightly sticky, and how I'd feel nearly suffocated by the fog of my candy-scented breath." Though her essays sometimes lack narrative structure, there's plenty of funny one-liners ("I have absolutely no memory of my mother against a natural backdrop, although I do recall her running in heels from furry bees in the park"), and Spero's down-to-earth, adorably compulsive voice delivers some priceless moments.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Never one for derring-do, comedian and actress Spero is content to inhabit a "small world brimming with tiny thrills." Fittingly, this series of vignettes prompts many pleasant chuckles but few gut-busting guffaws. Sure, she has a quirky family: a petite, sex-therapist mother, who sports nine layers of shoulder pads and with whom Spero long shared a tiny apartment on Manhattan's Upper East Side; an adoring grandfather, a dead-ringer for Albert Einstein, insistent upon videotaping her every dramatic inclination. Her habits are odd, too: as a child, she sniffed scented markers and removed her arm hair with Nair; as an adult, she continues a strangely intimate relationship with a sprawling collection of stuffed animals. Spero's juvenile tendencies carry over into her professional life as well: she regularly leaves Tootsie Roll residue on memos and sprinkles pink glitter on her boss' budget reports. This memoir doesn't reach the hilarious heights of David Sedaris, but it possesses a sweetness often lacking in today's comic fare. The book is inspired by a one-woman show of the same name. Allison Block
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
After reading the rave reviews on Amazon I figured I would get the book and it would be a letdown. Good, but not 5-star good. Well, I was wrong -- and the reviews were right. Do yourself a favor and get this book.
You probably won't learn any life lessons that you can teach your children, but you'll close the book with an understanding of life in another person's shoes. There were lots of things I was shocked about (people live like that?!) and just as many things I identified with (oh my gosh, me too!!). As soon as I finished this book I forced my roomate to read it -- every 5 minutes there was a roar of laughter from the next room for the next few nights.
Its honest. Its funny. You'll want to read it all, and you'll be sad when it is over. I recommend it.
After finishing her book I had a general feeling that I needed to be more observant in life. Wendy shows us that no life is ordinary if you look at it through the right kind of eyes. Situations which we might perceive as painful or awkward can be seen as novel and humorous. We're surrounded by absurdity. Recognizing the absurd makes life that much more interesting.
I enjoyed the whole book, cover to cover. Unlike albums where there are only a few songs you REALLY like, I felt every chapter of this book was worth reading.
In this book, Wendy "Wendaay" Spero tells readers true stories about her life in a way that only she can do. From her childhood, to her awkward years, and on up to the present day. Being raised by a mother like Wendy's makes for some interesting memories. (I will think of Wendy and her mother every time I go to a fair from now on.)
***** Engrossing, packed with humor, and just all around fun, this is one book you will never forget. Very highly recommended! *****
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
Most recent customer reviews
youll end up reading it so fast