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Too Fat to Fish Hardcover – November 11, 2008

4.1 out of 5 stars 400 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This debut memoir from the comedian best known as Howard Stern's radio show sidekick is scrappy, funny, tumultuous and profane, just like its author. Lange, a self-proclaimed fat guy with a heroin problem, is difficult to love, but easy to like, his shaggy-dog life story full of derogatory self-awareness and cheerful vulgarity (often in the form of casual profanity and sexism). Many episodes from this life story will be familiar to Stern listeners, including the infamous "Pig Story," wherein Lange snorts cocaine while in full pig costume on the set of television's MADtv. Less familiar to fans will be a sobering account of Lange's suicide attempt and fond childhood memories of his beloved father. Lange's outrageous and horrific behavior involves prostitution, jail time and several trips to rehab; perhaps the saddest recurring theme is the frequency with which Lange thanks someone who's helped him, only to reveal that that person is no longer a part of his life. Glossing over Lange's penchant for alienating people is just one oversight that keeps this warts-and-all memoir from feeling fully honest. Still, for those with a taste for his aggressive, self-loathing brand of humor will find this volume full of compulsively readable stories. Photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“A very funny man.”–David Letterman
“A comedy treasure…One of the funniest guys there is…The pride of New Jersey.” –Jimmy Kimmel
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

That's Not a Defect, That's "Too Fat to Fish"
Due to an intentional design element, some purchasers of Too Fat to Fish have wondered if they've received defective copies. This is the book as Artie Lange and the publisher designed it, with chapter titles on every page, cropped at the top edge. See an example page from the book. [JPG]

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Spiegel & Grau (November 11, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385526563
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385526562
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (400 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #495,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I picked up TOO FAT TO FISH, the autobiography of comedian and HOWARD STERN SHOW cast member Artie Lange, expecting to flip-read it. But, starting with a funny introduction from Stern that Lange matches or exceeds laugh-per-page for the rest of the book, TOO FAT TO FISH did not leave my hands until I read every word.

Despite Stern's introduction, Artie Lange does not say much about his work on the radio show in TOO FAT TO FISH until the last couple of chapters. But Lange and coauthor Anthony Bozza hold your attention throughout the pre-Stern years with tales of the comedian's charmed life. I say "charmed life" because, despite Lange's tendencies toward alcohol/drug abuse, gambling, overeating, and angry outbursts, a world of family and friends - even show-business friends - watch his back. There are a number of touching moments, especially regarding his parents. Prepare to choke up as Artie Lange realizes the only difference between homeless drug addicts and him is the support of those who loved this 296-lb. prodigal son. Nonetheless, even reflections such as that lead to some of the funniest comments in TOO FAT TO FISH thanks to Lange's ability to laugh at himself, wisecracking his way through the details of his darkest moments.

Howard Stern hired Artie Lange on his radio show in 2001 after joke whiz Jackie Martling left. But the void Lange filled best was that of Sam Kinison, a regular HOWARD STERN SHOW guest whose combination of comic talent, substance abuse problems and volatile personality made for hours of compelling radio until his untimely 1992 death.

While there are not as many HOWARD STERN SHOW-related anecdotes as you may expect, TOO FAT TO FISH has a number of celebrity stories. For example, Artie Lange's work with the likes of Tom Cruise and Chevy Chase result in two of his most memorable tales about the ups and downs of the entertainment industry.

Read TOO FAT TO FISH.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Artie bares a lot in this book. It's a nostalgic look at a NJ suburban childhood. But what is SO GREAT is Artie's ability to tell a story. I was teary eyed most of the time reading it, and some of the tears were from laughter! This is a great book for anyone wanting to remember the searing agony and ecstasy of adolescence. His courageous and self-effacing honesty really impressed me. Whether it's losing his virginity, or adolescent screw-ups, the book is a page-turner. Thanks Artie for a great book.
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Die-hard Stern fans will be equal parts delighted and disappointed by "Too Fat to Fish". They'll be delighted because Artie was a great addition to the show (especially during the Sirius years), and reading this book is like hanging out with Artie for a night and listening to him tell stories over a bottle of Jack. They'll be disappointed because there isn't much here that Artie hadn't previously discussed throughout his 8-year tenure on the Stern show. Artie's second book "Crash and Burn" is more interesting, as it reveals a great deal more about Artie Lange the man. The best sections of "Too Fat to Fish" are Artie's stories about his dad: they'll bring tears to even the most hardened man's eyes. What makes Artie such a great storyteller is his attention to, and remarkable ability to remember, every little detail. The fact that he cares to remember every detail of every wild situation he's gotten himself into shows that Artie really does love life at the end of the day, even if, sadly, he sees letting people down as being the main story line of his life.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I used to love Artie on the Howard Stern show, so I was glad to see that I could learn things about his time there that I didn't know about. The book also covers his time on Mad TV, and interesting stories about his family. Artie is tortured soul to say the least, but deep down you can see that he is a great person at heart. Read this with "Crash and Burn" to get the full Artie Lange experience.
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If you are a Howard Stern fan this is a must read. Gives a lot of insight on Artie and what led up to his epic on air meltdown. Also a great biography of his life before the Stern show as well as details about his rise to fame, the comic circuit, drug use and relationship with his mom and sister.
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If you are familiar with Artie Lange at all through the Stern Show or elsewhere, you won't be able to put this down as you laugh aloud. He's a great storyteller, but it's definitely R-rated comedy and anecdotes, and the tales of his trial and tribulations will keep you reading right to the end. Never heard of him? Check out some you-tube on Artie and pick this up. It's well worth it.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Love Artie from MadTV days and then was so happy when he joined the "cast" of The Howard Stern Show. Bought the Audio CD version as I was taking long drives for work and enjoyed him reading his own story. Very interesting book, and definitely worth the read or listen!
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First off it is hysterical, but sad at the same time. Regardless of what you think about Artie Lange this book more than anything is about a young man who took a huge risk to follow his dream, and you have to respect him for it. For anyone whoever dreamed about leaving a good paying secure job for a chance in showbiz it is possible.
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