- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 8 hours and 50 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Random House Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: April 29, 2014
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00JOMPABO
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Shrinkage: Manhood, Marriage, and the Tumor That Tried to Kill Me Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Sure I bought this book because I am a fan of the Adam Carolla Podcast, and The Film Vault, but this book could really be enjoyed by anyone... anyone who is a fan of the Adam Carolla Show, or Bald, or have a sick sense of humor, or cancer... great company you are in.
Buy this book, because despite how awful of a person Bald Bryan might seem like on the air, and probably in real life, he seems like he might be a good person. Or at least his wife Christy is a saint, she deserves 50% of the royalties on this book (even after the divorce... thanks California!!).
All joking aside (if you call them that), This book was fantastic. I kept finding excuses on my honeymoon to pickup the book, not because my wedding is doomed, but I could not wait to read the next chapter. The pacing is great, the humor is wonderful and the story is compelling. I read about 3-4 books a year, and usually they take a couple days to a week to read, but this one just flew by. Good job Bald Bryan!
- behind the scenes for Adam Carolla and Love Line fans
- cancer memoir
You put that all together and you get a mishmash. NO! That not what you get. Somehow what everyone assumed was a quickly cash-in book to monetize a built in audience has turned into a genuinely humorous, fast-paced read for a general audience.
How did this happen? How does something by all rights should be book on an express train to mediocrity some how turn out to be very good? It would be like if Transformers 7 gets a Best Picture award.
Credit has to go to Bryan, who has manage to not only construct smooth flowing paragraphs, but manage the overall themes of his book in a very skilled, professional way. He gives effusive thanks to his college professor TC Boyle, and the best thanks is probably that this is so well written a book. This is really surprising, to me at least, since my impression of Bryan is entirely audio- his only expression sentence fragment "drops" and a few spoken sentences on pod casts. To find out that he can write this well is surprising, and it makes wonder why he hasn't had some sort of written expression all along [... costing Mike Lynch another job!]
I already knew the 'beats' of Bryan's life- "drops", movies, bald, frat, usc, cancer, former fatty, alleged felony smugness. There is a saying "You are as happy as you want to be", and it really proves out in this book. Here is one version of his life: born to blue collar barely 20 year old parents at the end of the '70's he grew up in near poverty and was often warehoused with grumpy grandparents; his only entertainment was vcr tapes on movies and tv game shows. He was a fat, unpopular kid who struggled to make even the JV team. He competed and fought with his more popular brother for his parents' attention. He was disorganized and inept at school and had a terrible GPA. He never graduated from college. He held a string of low paying jobs and a series of failed relationships. He finally became engaged to a woman who drank Miller Lite unironically, but then was crippled by an inoperable brain tumor.
While all those basic facts are true, Bryan meets every life event with cheer and humor. This isnt mere Pollyannaishness- he sees and acknowledges the bad times. And he is frank about his lowest points in dealing with chemotherapy and radiation treatment. But this book shows there is a giant difference to be made in people's lives in how you approach events. This isnt denial. And it isnt wallowing in pity. It's an outlook at finds humor in everything, discovers that founding a frat is better than joining a frat, revels in discount sushi and finds swim-up bars fun even when you have weakness in one side of your body. Being trapped by an exploding volcano is a chance for a side trip to the church where your parents renewed their vows.
So its a pretty inspiring story of how someone takes on life, not just cancer. This is no drippy "Listening to Prozac". Bryan has a meet-cute story with his wife and an engage cuter. And fun time telling about back stage stuff and discussing movies and songs he hates and likes. And the supposedly unpopular, fat indoor kid has a life full of friends, events and celebrations. He even has a reconciliation with his brother and comes clean about a cringeworthy snubbing of a 13 year old girl at a dance in summer camp.
One thing not to miss is the footnotes, where Bryan 'drops' many of his jokes. On the kindle version it looks like they are at the back of the book instead of the bottom of the page, which was a mistake by the publisher because it will discourage people from checking them out. A footnote next to Arizona State students goes to this quip "If you're a "student," shouldn't you technically be "studying" something at least part of the time?" and a reference to banana bread has the aside " Adding chocolate chips to almost anything aside from cookies-- pancakes, banana bread, etc.-- is just an apology for making an inferior product.". And this one "Pet peeve: people who pronounce it FOY-er It's foy-YAY, you unrefined rube." Ha ha! First entry for pronunciation in the Kindle dictionary is "FOIER". Take that you smug baldy!
This would make great reading for a high school student.