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Sleepwalk with Me: and Other Painfully True Stories Paperback – May 3, 2011
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"Mike Birbiglia can write an entertaining yet soulful story in his sleep--that and jump out of motel windows." --Sarah Vowell, author of "The Wordy Shipmates" and "Assassination Vacation"
"First, know that this book is well written and funny. Now, know that I hate cynicism. Hate it. This book is the opposite of cynicism. I love "Sleepwalk With Me"." --Jeff Garlin, Co-creator and Co-star of "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
"Funny. Very funny. Birbiglia is the child Woody Allen and Bob Newhart never had--please don't try to picture that 'encounter.' Smart and self-aware, with just enough perspective on his quirks and issues that you don't have to feel too sorry for him...as you laugh at and/or with him." --Bob Odenkirk, creator and star of HBO's "Mr. Show with Bob and David"
"Mike Birbiglia is a good friend of mine but I'm still really happy when weird, bad things happen to him because I love hearing the stories." --Seth Meyers, head writer and host of Weekend Update, "Saturday Night Live"
""Sleepwalk with Me" is so funny, inspired, and jealous-makingly well written, I am beginning to suspect that Mike Birbiglia MAY ACTUALLY HAVE BEEN AWAKE WHILE HE WROTE IT. This changes my whole worldview." --John Hodgman, author of "More Information Than You Require"
"Mike Birbiglia has always made me laugh and so did this book. No one explains their insanity as sanely or as honestly or is as funny as Mike. If you think you're crazy, this is the book for you. It's a good thing the kid is a talented writer and comic or he'd be screwed." --Lewis Black
"Insightful, heartfelt, and comedic--what more could you want from a book? Mike Birbiglia is a unique and wonderful new voice in American theater and letters." --Jonathan Ames, creator of HBO's "Bored to Death" and author of "The Extra Man" and "Wake Up, Sir!"
""Sleepwalk With Me" is about the things that keep us all up at night: love, family and growing up. In equal parts hilarious and moving, this book should cement Mike Birbiglia's status as a national treasure." --Andy Borowitz, author of "Who Moved My Soap: The CEO's Guide to Surviving Prison; The Bernie Madoff Edition"
"Mike Birbiglia is a great storyteller, just as funny on the page as on the stage. These comic gems strung together create a hilarious and touching memoir of growing up awkwardly and finding his way in the cruel world of stand-up. An original wit who raises self-deprecation to an art form, and always leaves you thinking and laughing." --Nathan Lane --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
In the AV Club interview that persuaded me to buy the book, I took notice when Birbiglia explained that his writing's guiding principle is that it not be about him so much as it be about the audience. And indeed, having been born into a very Catholic family in a northeastern suburb in the late '70s, much of this book is about me. But somehow I find the childhood anecdotes that make up its first half to be so familiar as to be uninteresting. Acting mostly as a character witness, they provide a good framework for what's to come, but despite their relatability, they are generally inessential. It is with Birbiglia's more unique adulthood experiences in the book's second half that the pages really start turning. The titular story of his sleep disorder, a strong finish, is worth the price of admission all by itself.
Birbiglia's self-awareness, gift for mixing humor and candor, and total lack of cynicism make this an engaging read throughout; I just wish it was less uneven. It's a good first book that I'm confident will lead to a great second one.
What I like so much about this is the same thing I like about Birbigs' comedy. It's not like every other comic where he provides observational commentary or rants on something for ten pages. To know this guy's comedy is to know the actual guy Mike Birbiglia because most of his comedy is based on personal and embarrasing things. He reveals a lot about that, which is actually a recurring theme in this book, and sometimes you feel bad for/with him and other times you can't help but laugh out loud at a book. The narrative's very readable to the point where you can almost hear his voice reading it to you. It's more than a comedian writing about embarrasing stuff to make us all laugh. It's an entire insight to his life and creates a deeper more shared experience with the reader.
This book is great. It is easy to read and laugh out loud funny in many chapters. Mike also touches on a lot of those topics I was wondering about. He also touches on some topics I definitely would not touch upon especially with anybody else in the room. Definitely worth reading and looking forward to seeing one of his shows.
I am old enough to be Mike's Mom, but sadly, I am not! I do have two children of my own that are about Mike's age. What does that have to do with Sleepwalk With Me? I'll tell you later!
Now... about the book!
Mike's a great storyteller. I have listened to his CD's and even seen him perform on Letterman and at Caroline's in NYC, so I know! I am absolutely delighted that he writes as well as he performs!!!
I ride the NYC subways and reading helps me pretend I am somewhere else. So, I read SWM and while reading a story about his Catholic childhood... I had to look away because I was laughing so hard. When I looked back I thought I was going to laugh my head off...right there on the #1 train! For a moment, I was just another one of those subway-riding crazy persons...a happy crazy person!
You find out in SWM, Mike's not only HILARIOUS, he's inspirational! Mike shares his "on the road" and "his rise to the top" stories, too.
It seems to me that Mike's success is his, home-grown style of storytelling. AND that makes him the funny guy he is. It's his gift to us.
AND... he works blissfully hard at his sharing his gift...and this is where my 2 kids fit into this review...
My two children are both working artists with the vision of sharing their gifts and talents and vision with the world! They too, like Mike, work blissfully hard.
We all work hard, but we need to laugh and be entertained. Artists do that with their lives! Hooray for artists! Hooray for, Mike!
Mike has what it takes to be funny and share it with anyone who will listen. Now you can read it at your leisure, on the beach or like me, on your ride home to or from work.
We all need a few good laughs!!! Read this book.
Laughter is the cure for EVERYTHING. Mike's got the cure
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Many of the vignettes I've heard before on NPR's This American Life or Fresh Air previously and loved them. Read morePublished 16 days ago by dithERINg
An ok book. I've heard some of the jokes before. The personal stories were interesting but there are better books out there to spend time reading.Published 29 days ago by JAM
Mike is a talented guy, but the book leaves pretty much everything to be desired.Published 4 months ago by mosaicmuse
I was disappointed with this book. I heard him tell the story about sleepwalking out a window and it was hilarious to listen to, but it didn't really come across on the page. Read morePublished 7 months ago by JanN26
Loved it. mike birbiglia's book is very similar to his stand-up comedy: real, funny, and down to earth. i love reading about comedian's lives. Read morePublished 8 months ago by walshk
Mildly amusing, a quick-easy read. I bought it to hear about his REM sleep disorder (and the title leads one to believe that's what the book is about). Read morePublished 9 months ago by Yinzer Grrl
Book is mostly made up of stuff he already has said in stand upPublished 9 months ago by Justin Davis
I was afraid this would be just about the sleepwalking, but it's not. It's more like a painfully funny memoir, with many stories beautifully woven together. Fun read!Published 10 months ago by Deb Blue