Sunday, October 12, 2014
weird audiobook addiction
is everyone hanging out without me (and other concerns)
read by mindy kaling
read by tina fey
official book club selection
read by kathy griffin
dad is fat
read by jim gaffigan
a little bit wicked
read by kristin chenoweth
read by bob saget
bedwetter: stories of courage, redemption and pee
read by sarah silverman
I have tried audiobooks a few times. I couldn't get into them very much. The reading was painfully slow to me. I kept thinking 'I could read this much faster than this guy'. I would find myself tuning it out and then realizing I missed an entire chapter. Not good when reading a book with a plot. A friend recently mentioned to me that Jim Butcher's series is read by James Marsters and he does a fantastic job. Since I'm only on the second book in the series I thought I'd try it out and while I do like James Marsters's voice the same complaints I have about audiobooks remained.
But while I was searching the library for the audiobook of Fool Moon I saw Bossypants by Tina Fey and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling. Both books, by the way, that I own but have yet to read. So I checked those out as well and thought I'd try it out.
What I discovered, which should have been obvious is that I can listen to an autobiography much better than a fiction novel. I say it should come as no surprise because when I was a kid my mom would play Bill Cosby's stand up on tape for us and I took that everywhere with me. When I had my lasik I stocked up on Dane Cook and other comedians' albums to listen to for the time I had to keep my eyes closed after the surgery. I've listened to thousands of hours of Kevin Smith and Co. wax poetic about Hitler and gay sex. So really, an autobiographical audiobook should have been a no brainer.
I started with Mindy Kaling and Tina Fey's books. Eerily similar, they both discussed how awesome Amy Poehler is, working on SNL, photo shoots and how they make them uncomfortable and awkward dating moments. Tina Fey goes into being a working mother and if I didn't already like her I would have after her discussion on breastfeeding. Thank you, Tina Fey.
Mindy Kaling and Tina Fey both read in a chatty, easy way although I found myself more engaged in Fey's storytelling than Kaling's. Tina Fey seemed like she was telling you a story while Mindy Kaling sounded as if she was reading you one. Either way, they were both good and I did laugh out loud a couple of times.
I dragged through Bob Saget and Sarah Silverman. I'll admit, I'm not really a fan of either. I just thought, hey maybe they'll be super funny and I'll become a big fan. Everyone seems to love Sarah Silverman so maybe after listening to this, I'll love her too.
Not the case.
I just found her story to be kind of boring and pointless. She seems like kind of a sweet person. After offending an Asian guy, Paris Hilton and Britney Spears she wrote them emails apologizing. But really there was nothing interesting in any of her stories. She portrays herself as this cute chick with big boobs who is just one of the guys but also hopelessly naive that you should think she's even cuter. Blech. Mostly, she really wants people to know she likes fart jokes. And ohmygod her voice. She has - hands down - the worst audiobook voice on the face of the planet. And when she imitates her father, get those earbuds out of your ears because you will cry. It's horrible.
I'd read an article after Bob Saget's book came out mentioning how he dishes on the wildly crazy and inappropriate things he, John Stamos and Dave Coulier did while filming Full House and how incredibly funny the book was.
Also, not the case.
His book was incredibly sad. Having lost most of his family so early in their lives was so, so sad. His visiting Larry Fine as a teenager and listening to stories of how terrible everything was for Mr. Fine and his wife's nearly dying while giving birth to their first child. When he finally got to his Full House days his wild and crazy antics were getting not high on Redi Whip. He says 'to this day' a lot. Maybe four or five times a chapter. And every celebrity he talks about he prefaces their introduction with the title, 'my friend'. He does joke about that though. When it came down to it, he never really talks about anything, reveals anything about himself except for his fondness of his balls and poop jokes. He and Sarah Silverman would make a really good team.
Now Kristin Chenoweth is not a comedian, but being a big fan of hers, Wicked and Pushing Daisies it was a no-brainer that I check this one out. There was much more religious talk than I am used to, but it wasn't like she was trying to convert you, she just wanted to express how important Christianity is to her. Listening to her book made me nostalgic for Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip and Pushing Daisies, two brilliant shows that were cancelled well before their time. Despite what you think, her voice was pleasant to listen to and while it was obvious she was reading it still came across very natural.
I love Kathy Griffin. And I loved her book. I laughed at her self-deprecating humor, her honesty and brashness and I cried when she spoke of David Strickland and Phil Hartman (full disclosure, I cry whenever someone talks about Phil Hartman). She talks about her time with The Groundlings and Suddenly Susan. Bad comedic choices she made and her successes as well. Her parents feature largely and she even speaks of her brother that she suspected was a pedophile. And not in a funny way. She is both at times brutally honest and serious and then brutally honest and hilarious. She reads the book as if she's chatting along with you and I have a hard time believing that the book was written before the audiobook. It felt like they took this recording and transcribed it into a book.
But I laughed the most listening to Jim Gaffigan's Dad is Fat. Oh man, did I laugh. Instead of being an autobiography, Dad Is Fat is simply his observations and experiences being a father of 5 kids under 8. He is spot on about everything and I swear there were times I had to stop whatever I was doing because I was laughing so hard. Highly recommend.
All in all I can definitely listen to audiobooks....as long as they're funny.