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The Will to Whatevs: A Guide to Modern Life Paperback – February 10, 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“When to serve duck confit? What’s the haps with sexual harassment? In a world full of questions, the entertaining Eugene Mirman has all the answers.” (—Sarah Vowell, author of Assassination Vacation)

“Eugene Mirman is the Andy Warhol of comedy. People look to him for what’s next in comedy, and he emails these people back promptly. The Will to Whatevs put me in a great mood because I was laughing out loud. Alone. That’s hard to do.” (—Mike Birbiglia)

“I laughed out loud reading this. I was reading it in public. Three cute girls at a nearby table laughed at me. I swear one of them mouthed the words, ‘fat loser’ to her friends. I now hate Eugene Mirman.” (—Patton Oswalt)

“Do you need tips on how to live? I mean besides the breathing and eating part? Then this book is for you! Including self-help tips for Jewish robots from the future (I’m guessing)!!!!!” (—David Cross)

“This book is good, and not just because it was free. Knowing what I knownow about the quality, I would have paid at least nine thousand dollars.” (—David Willis)

“A work of penetrating insight and rigorous scholarship. By turning our attention away from the ‘will to power’ and toward the more deeply significant will to whatevs, Mirman reshapes the debate in a way that will doubtless influence philosophers for generations to come.” (—Joshua Knobe, professor of philosophy and cognitive science at Yale University)

“This book is a knee-slapper, a gut-buster, and a side-splitter. Don’t read it unless you have health insurance!” (—Kristen Schaal)

“I liked the sh*t out of this book!” (—Greg Behrendt, author of He’s Just Not That Into You)

“Reading this book is like having a tiny Eugene riding on your shoulder and whispering his advice in your ear. I agree with Eugene on all aspects of this book except taking acid at an office party. I am never doing that again. Buy this book.” (—Zach Galifianakis)

“At last, now, you can be truly happy, the MIRMAN WAY. Just be sure to adjust your rubber mask eye holes to ‘READ MODE,’ or else this book will not help you.” (—John Hodgman, author of The Areas of My Expertise and More Information Than You Require)

“Armed with eccentric wit and charm, the Russian-born comedian offers compelling insights on contemporary living, from starting a band to high-school social etiquette.” (The Austin Decider)

“Easily as hilarious as Mirman’s stellar stand-up comedy, featuring meta pull-quote jokes, funny author blurbs from other comics and indispensable wisdom.” (The Austin American-Statesman)

“A freewheeling mix of bemused ironies and trenchantly silly non-sequiturs.” (The Boston Phoenix)

“Eugene Mirman is a very humorous individual. Buy a copy of Eugene’s book. You won’t regret the purchase.” (Paste Magazine)

“The book is easily as hilarious as Mirman’s stellar stand-up comedy, featuring meta pull-quote jokes, and indispensable wisdom.” (—Austin360.com)

“It’s clear from the get-go that comedian Eugene Mirman’s life guide is not your typical self-help manual bent on nurturing the soul with hot soup or some other bullshit, but instead with flat-out humor.” (Filter Good Music Guide)

“Mirman has seamlessly translated his stage sensibility to the page. Which is to say that the king of Brooklyn comedy has written a book that’s ridiculous, nonsensical, often rambling and generally pointless—yet will make you laugh out loud with enough frequency to embarrass yourself in front of strangers nearby.” (Time Out New York)

“The Will to Whatevs is one of the funniest things I have read in years. This book delightfully skewers the self-help genre, Mirman reminds me of Woody Allen’s prose works with his self-obsessed narrator, witty asides, and non-sequiturs that will leave you reeling.” (Largehearted Boy)

“Whatevs is filled with tons of Mirman’s patented laser-targeted yet random as hell asides, and his clip-art illustrations and graphs are truly inspired.” (—CMJ.com)

“Whatevs . . . is the type of book you’ll want to look up from and quote to whoever is around you.” (—Boston Comedy—Funny Grown Here)

“The seasoned standup comic dispenses invaluable, hyperbolic advice in his debut tome, The Will to Whatevs.” (—Flavorpill NYC)

“Mirman offers moments of startling clarity: When defending his authority to dish out advice, he writes, “In America, ‘authority’ is an attitude. And I’ve adopted it.” And earned it.” (Seattle Weekly)

About the Author

Eugene Mirman is a New York City-based comedian, writer, and actor. He plays the landlord on HBO's Flight of the Conchords and has a half-hour special on Comedy Central. His first album The Absurd Nightclub Comedy of Eugene Mirman was voted Best of 2004 by Time Out New York and The Onion. He has four hundred children and lives in outer space.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Original edition (February 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061346187
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061346187
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #856,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Emmerling on February 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
Usually I find humor books by comedians to be 200 pages of stuff that's 70% as funny as their stage material. Bucking the trend, Mr. Mirman's advice book is dizzyingly inspired and consistently funny from the opening sentence. If you like deadpan absurdity and pitch-perfect non-sequiturs, this book will have you giddy. On many occasions I laughed so hard I had to collect myself on the subway so as not to look like a freak. If you like Woody Allen's early stuff, Steve Martin, David Sedaris, Stewart/Colbert/Conan or the Onion, this is a can't miss.
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Eugene Mirman has a very specific sense of humor, if you "get it" and enjoy it, then this is a great book. Do yourself a favor and check into his stuff before ordering, because if you don't know what you're getting into, you probably won't like it. I think he's super-funny and therefore recommend the book.
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One of the funniest and best books I've ever read from a comedian. Reminds me of Woody Allen's short fiction and the Lenny Bruce autobiography in terms of being playfully surreal but disarmingly frank. This fake self-help book is also surprisingly sensitive and offers better life advice than you might think. This would be a good present for a teenager I think because it creates a dialogue about complex issues like self-esteem, drugs and education without coming across as condescending without sacrificing a goofy and surreal tone loaded with non-sequiturs
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Much like Madonna's acting career or Billy Bob Thornton's music career, Comedians crossing over into the realm of humorous writing is a bit of a dodgy affair at the outset. And unfortunatley, Mr. Mirman's oeuvre falls as conspicuously flat as a viewing of "Shanghai Surprise" on basic cable. Comedy's is about timing, rhythm, and physical presence factoring into the funny. Writing is more about elaboratiing funny ideas and making them live through description and narrative. This book is a rather large, if not surprising, disappointment that seems like a half decent string of funny ideas that never got the attention they deserved in order to find out if they really might be funny in writing. This book is best avoided but Eugene Mirman, the comedian, is very funny and his comedy well worth experiencing. Just not on the printed page, or at least not on these printed pages. His next book (if attempted) could be a different story altogether, but this one at least is the same old story of crossed wires while crossing genres.
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Eugene Mirman, the Russian guy from Delocated and the fat kid from Bob's Burgers AND THATS ALL HE'S DONE. No wait he was also THE LANDLORD in Flight Of The Conchords and he was in a bunch of YouTube videos and he is (in my opinion) the GREATEST comedian of modern alt-comedy. What is there to be said about Eugene Mirman that you don't already know if you are reading a question like this or it could be a statement but I'd rather it be a question and I DONT want it to be a run-on sentence? But too late. I messed up big time. That's ok. No more. No fragments either. That's a bunch of poop. Anyway, if you're looking for some laughing-out loud humor, on just about every page or two... LOOK NO FURTHER. This book is good-natured and genuine humor from the #1 (in my own humble opinion) funniest comedian in SHOW BIZ today. How can I prove that this book is funny so you don't WASTE YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY and BUY the book and then feel regret.......r.eg.r.e..t...........r...e........g.........r......e.........t....? You won't. It's simple. If you buy a book like this and read it, you will be pleased. Just trust me, brah. Brah, have I ever let you down before, brah? Never, brah. The answer is that I have never let you down and if you buy the book, you won't put it down...ever. Maybe that's a big responsibility, so think about what you're doing before you do it. Don't do it if you can't bear with the G U I L T
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I was really, really excited to get this book after enjoying Mirman's performances in Bob's Burgers and in Archer, among others. While there are really funny bits strewn throughout the book (content really is great), it's just that his writing style can be somewhat hard to read in a stream-of-consciousness sort of way. I think Eugene Mirman tried to write much like he would tell a joke - very off the cuff and very conversational - which can be difficult to translate into written language at times, but he did a decent job. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting out of a humor book, but it wasn't terrible either. I would recommend checking out the inside of the book to see if it's your style - and if it is, you'll probably love it. :)
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By Brittney on January 3, 2013
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I'm not much of a reader, but this book is HILARIOUS!!! I bought it to have something to read while bored at work. Sooooooo funny! I would be smiling and kind of laughing to myself the whole time! People probably thought I was crazy! Seriously worth it!
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"Will" is an offbeat, sometimes bizarre and dark, and consistently funny book - just like Mirman's stand-up comedy routines and his work on television (e.g., as "Gene" on the animated show "Bob's Burgers").

If you're not a fan of Mirman's output, know that he regularly riffs on subjects like politics, pop culture, religion and sex with fearless abandon - while he's nowhere near as focused and raw as Doug Stanhope, Bill Hicks or comedians of that ilk, he is still willing to go beyond the norm-pale for a (sometimes) dark punchline.

Perhaps the thing that helped me enjoy Mirman's trademark/weird asides is that I know what Mirman's voice sounds like, so I heard his voice in my head while reading his book. That made the book consistently funny for me.

If you don't know how he talks/sounds, this may be a book to avoid, as the book feels like he talked it out while recording it, then entered his thoughts into a word processor. I've no doubt this would fare better as a 'spoken word' work, but it's still more creative and rewarding than a lot of dogcrap 'meaningful' writers who must have made a deal with some devil to get published.

Check this out from the library or borrow it from a friend before buying it.
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