- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: It Books (July 9, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062223771
- ISBN-13: 978-0062223777
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (166 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Self-Inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation Hardcover – July 9, 2013
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“In her new book, Aisha Tyler embarrasses and humiliates herself for 231 pages—to our extreme reading pleasure.” (Entertainment Weekly)
“Tyler’s work is refreshing not just for its unabashed candor, but also for its humorous insights into the human capacity for screwing up and bouncing back. Things ‘will go wrong…mind-blowingly wrong.’ But under no circumstances should it stop someone from pursuing their dreams. Smart, sassy and surprisingly wise.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Aisha Tyler is one of the smartest, funniest women I’ve had the good fortune of meeting. She makes me laugh every time I see her—and this is coming from the guy who thinks women aren’t funny.” (Adam Carolla, comedian, host of The Adam Carolla Show, and New York Times bestselling author of In Fifty Years We'll All Be Chicks)
“A beautifully tortured and sick-with-self-consciousness manifesto of regret. I’m equal parts proud and embarrassed for Aisha Tyler, which doesn’t get in the way of my loving her, as you will when you read Self-Inflicted Wounds.” (Margaret Cho, comedian, actress, and nationally bestselling author of I'm the One That I Want)
“Self-inflicted wounds are the nastiest, most painful, and most likely to fester. Also the funniest. Aisha brings back every awful, suicidally stupid, shameful, and all-too-familiar episode of a life well lived. Reading this book made me feel a lot better about myself. Prepare to be horrified—and entertained.” (Anthony Bourdain, chef, host of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, and New York Times bestselling author of Kitchen Confidential)
“One of the most kick-ass women I know, Aisha Tyler hilariously rips herself open and shows you her guts. On the schadenfreude scale, Self-Inflicted Wounds is a ten.” (Felicia Day, actress, writer, and producer of The Guild)
“Good God. The Amazon can write. And write well. We are doomed.” (Patton Oswalt, comedian, actor, and New York Times bestselling author of Zombie Spaceship Wasteland)
“For once, Patton is correct. Aisha Tyler is one funny son of a bitch.” (Dave Eggers, Pulitzer Prize-nominated author of New York Times #1 bestseller A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, What Is the What, Zeitoun, and A Hologram for the King and founder of McSweeney's)
“The first time I met Aisha I felt we could have been sisters. Tall, beautiful, African-American, comedienne…after reading Self-Inflicted Wounds I found we had more in common: setting the house on fire, peeing ourselves in public, and an endless list of people we’ve offended in some way.” (Sharon Osbourne, author, rock manager, and cohost of The Talk)
“If you’re the type of sicko who enjoys a hilariously talented person debasing herself for your amusement, then Self-Inflicted Wounds is the book for you.” (Andy Richter, comedian, actor, writer, announcer and man-Friday on Conan)
“Aisha Tyler’s book, Self-Inflicted Wounds, is an uplifting, hilarious trek through her life of insults, agonies and failures. Each story is not only painfully funny, but it’s also thoughtful and stunningly candid. I really do love this book.” (Jay Chandrasekhar, director of Super Troopers, Beerfest, and Babymakers)
“We all do stupid stuff, sometimes on purpose. But rarely do we ever talk about it, let alone publish an in-depth retelling-leave it to Aisha Tyler to help us all feel a little less dumb and a little more connected.” (Seth Green, comedian, actor, creator/writer/director of Robot Chicken)
“Aisha is living proof that for nerdy outsiders things really do get better. But, in her case, before they got better, they got a whole lot worse. It’s impossible not to laugh while reading Self-Inflicted Wounds. It’s also impossible not to worry about Aisha’s mental health.” (Touré, author, critic, host of The Cycle on MSNBC)
“What Aisha says about embracing your fear and using mistakes to forge character is beautiful. What she says about Oprah is unforgivable.” (Baratunde Thurston, New York Times bestselling author of How To Be Black, and CEO/Co-Founder, Cultivated WitBaratunde Thurston, New York Times bestselling author of How To Be Black, and CEO/Co-Founder, Cultivated Wit)
“Aisha Tyler’s incredibly vivid stories of going for big air only to land flat on her face (or possibly a rusty spike) are a unique combination of cringe-worthy and inspiring. That she shares these stories makes me love her all the more.” (Bill Burr, comedian, actor, and host of The Monday Morning Podcast)
“Self-inflicted wounds. We all have them, but no one exploits their own pain for the funny like Aisha Tyler.” (Wayne Brady, comedian, actor, star of Whose Line Is It Anyway? and host of Let's Make a Deal)
“Aisha Tyler’s brain moves faster than a shock spell from the hands of a lightning mage. She is hilarious, hyper-articulate, and will kick your ass in Call of Duty. She is the life of the LAN party.” (Chris Hardwick, comedian and host of The Talking Dead and The Nerdist)
From the Back Cover
self-inflicted wound (n): a spectacularly humiliating, and often hilarious, incident entirely of one's own making.
see also: you did it to yourself.
Have you ever made a decision you instantly regretted? Humiliated yourself in a room of your peers, or shamed yourself in front of your massive crush? Ever blown a job interview, frozen during a presentation, acted like a total idiot on a date? Ever said the wrong thing at the wrong time, unable to keep your tongue from flapping out the stupidest words you've ever said in your life, ever? If you are a human being, the answer, of course, is yes. Take heart. You're not alone. This is known as the Self-Inflicted Wound, and every one of us bears a scar. Or several.
Here, Aisha Tyler, comedian, actress, cohost of CBS's The Talk, star of Archer, and creator of the top-ranked podcast Girl on Guy, serves up a spectacular collection of her own self-inflicted wounds. From almost setting herself on fire, to vomiting on a boy she liked, to getting drunk and sleeping through the SATs, to going into crushing debt to pay for college and then throwing away her degree to become a comedian, Aisha's life has been a series of spectacularly epic fails. And she's got the scars to prove it. Literally.
Through it all, Aisha's triumphs haven't come in spite of the failures, but because of them. Because with every failure comes a lesson learned, a strength revealed, a fear overcome, or an adventure braved. Self-Inflicted Wounds isn't just about surviving failure. It's about embracing failure—pursuing it, even—on the winding path to success. And after you've failed a time or three, hopefully you'll have learned something. Or at the very least have a really killer story. Because to err is human, but to fail epically is hilarious.
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Top Customer Reviews
The truly great thing about each story though is how Aisha manages to turn it into a message - a learned lesson that for the most part encourages people to embrace what is different about themselves and also embrace that it is inevitable that we all will make mistakes. There are some interesting insights into human nature that comes from being very observant, and throughout it all we get a glimpse of Aisha's childhood which is almost another story in itself. Aisha's love of books and learning also made me very happy (although she had some very esoteric reading material sometimes) as I could completely relate to that.
This book is full of footnotes, which Aisha uses to add in little funny asides that add even more humor to her stories. Even though I'm usually not crazy about having to read footnotes, I started to look to the bottom even before I began the page to see what funny comment or reference Aisha made there. Although that didn't help me get into my reading flow. There are times too when Aisha can be too wordy and excessive in her metaphors - even though everything she says is completely entertaining, I thought it sometimes slowed down the pace of the book. This isn't a big deal though because she gets to the meat of her stories pretty quickly and this book is so entertaining, fun, thoughtful and intelligent.
Self-Inflicted Wounds is a memoir of sorts in which Tyler recounts all the times in her life, beginning at the ripe old age of five, when she (inadvertently) screwed herself over. From setting the kitchen on fire to boy problems to broken bones, she's had a remarkable amount of incidents where she can blame no one but herself. Footnotes are liberally sprinkled throughout the cringe-inducing tales. This is an excellent format for the asides that a stand-up comedian can't help but make when telling a story.
Although she often drops a mini-lesson at the end of a chapter, the best part about these episodes is that they're funny. In fact, they're so funny that I tried my son's patience more than once. See, I'm still nursing him once or twice a day. And when you're reading a funny book and don't want your nipple bitten off, you try not to laugh. But as any private-school girl knows, withholding laughter just means lots of snorting and jerky shoulders. So my kid's head is bouncing on my arm, and I'm trying to stop laughing, which is only making me laugh harder, and then I have to stop reading and use the advice from my scuba certification course: just focus on your breathing. She's that funny.
To be honest, I didn't know who Aisha Tyler was before Friends. I still haven't seen her stand-up (but may need to, since I enjoyed this book so much), but I'm a big fan of Archer and think she's pretty great on there. And now that I know how much I enjoy her particular brand of ranting, self-deprecating humor, I'm even more excited about her gig as host on the revival of Whose Line Is It Anyway? Basically, what I'm trying to say is that I was a tentative Tyler fan before, but now I'll look forward to her upcoming projects with increased zeal. And isn't that a successful venture for an artist?
All in all: Read this if a) you like comedy and b) you don't mind lots of 17+ language.
Note: Only read this in public if you don't mind people staring at you as you try your hardest not to bust out laughing.
Also note: I received a free copy of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
I bought this book because I'm a big fan of her work as Lana on "Archer". Don't make the same mistake.
This book is more literary than a lot of the comedienne memoirlike books out there. It also isn't only about the comedy. There is a lot of introspection as well as lessons to learn.
If you are a fan of Aisha Tyler, this is a must read. If you are looking for a great comedy book with more intellect than most, you gotta pick this up. I listened to the audiobook which is read by Tyler herself. I always like when the author reads her own book.
I give this audiobook a 4/5. It's a great compilation of stories with humor and smarts.
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