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Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything Hardcover – July 5, 2016
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***A NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER***
"Her book, as if she were a marine biologist, is a deep dive...Perhaps the highest praise I can give Seinfeldia is that it made me want to buy a loaf of marbled rye and start watching again, from the beginning."
—Dwight Garner, The New York Times
“Even for those of us who imagine ourselves experts, Armstrong scatters delicious details throughout her book, like so many Jujyfruits we can’t resist… [I]n describing the making and writing of this singular show, Armstrong is queen of the castle. Her stories about “Seinfeld” are real — and they’re spectacular.”
“Armstrong is an excellent writer and a first-rate journalist. I can attest from firsthand knowledge that Seinfeldia is not only a great read but an accurate historical description about two comedians and one TV show that changed the course of television history.”
—Kenny Kramer, the real-life inspiration for Sienfeld’s Kramer
“Lively and illuminating. A wildly entertaining must-read not only for Seinfeld fans but for anyone who wants a better of understanding of how television series are made.”
—Booklist, starred review
“Even as someone lucky enough to be on the show, I couldn’t put Seinfeldia down.”
—Larry Thomas, “The Soup Nazi”
“[S]avvy and engaging…the best way to enjoy “Seinfeldia” is to read the book with TV remote in hand, calling up episodes on Hulu as Ms. Armstrong adroitly recounts the back story of these still-captivating shows that were never, ever about nothing.”
—Wall Street Journal
"Armstrong proves herself the perfect guide to understanding who, what, when, where, why, and how this show came to define American culture in the ’90s…. Seinfeldia is as funny and interesting as a good episode of the show it covers. Armstrong’s pacing and attention to detail makes it a book about pop culture that goes by almost too quickly."
—A.V. Club, Grade: A-
"The heart of Armstrong’s book and its most engaging quality is how it all came to be: the Seinfeld rules of the road that seemed to be without rules; the actors who left their indelible mark (Bryan Cranston as dentist Tim Whatley, Teri Hatcher as one of Jerry’s “spectacular” girlfriends) and the parade of moments about nothing that really turned out to be something."
“Armstrong's intimate, breezy history is full of gossipy details, show trivia, and insights into how famous episodes came to be. How nothing could become something or how a national TV audience learned to live in a Beckett-ian world. Perfect for Seinfeldians and newcomers alike.”
“Armstrong offers a masterly look at one of the greatest shows. The research involved makes this a boon to television scholars, but Seinfeld enthusiasts will also enjoy this funny, highly readable book.”
“This book is the ultimate score for any Seinfeld addict.”
—Fred Stoller, author of My Seinfeld Year
“At last, here is the quintessential book on how and why a show about nothing managed to wend its way through the mediocrity and emerge as a hit. Read it.”
—Mike Sacks, author of Poking a Dead Frog
“Seinfeldia is an addictive read for any TV lover. Jennifer Keishin Armstrong's trenchant insight into the cultural phenomenon and pervasive fandom of the beloved show is real, and it's spectacular.”
—Maris Kreizman, author of Slaughterhouse 90210
“From the stories behind the stories to the characters behind the characters, Seinfeldia delivers everything you always wanted to know.”
—William Irwin, editor of Seinfeld and Philosophy
“Jennifer Keishin Armstrong has managed to do the impossible - she's written a book about nothing. Which is everything. Because it's Seinfeld. Through Armstrong's pen, we learn exactly how a couple of neurotic comics hijacked "nothingness" (once the exclusive domain of Buddhist monks and their serene, mountaintop "monk-spas") and transported it into every TV set in America.”
—Mary Birdsong, Reno 911
About the Author
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong is the author of Sex and the City and Us, Seinfeldia, and Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted, a history of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She writes about pop culture for several publications, including The New York Times Book Review, Fast Company, New York’s Vulture, BBC Culture, Entertainment Weekly, and others. She grew up in Homer Glen, Illinois, and now lives in New York City. Visit her online at JenniferKArmstrong.com.
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Agree with other interviewers that it can be slow in parts