Chelsea Handler’s second memoir doesn’t revolve around a theme the way her first one did. In this collection of humorous stories about her life, Chelsea pulls stories from her past that help illustrate who she is and how she got there. From telling lies about working on a movie with Goldie Hawn when she was in elementary school to her obsession with little people, Handler leaves no stone unturned in this very funny collection of stories.
Handler takes what worked especially well in My Horizontal Life and runs with it. Stories about her childhood and about her family are arguably her strongest pieces. By choosing to tell stories about herself that don’t necessarily all revolve around a theme, Handler opens up her comedy in a way that her first book never allowed her to. This book is much funnier than her first, and it also tackles darker material. The story of her first (and only) DUI is both very funny and also unsettling, but Handler manages to toe the line without dipping too much into serious territory.
Like her first book, though, there are drawbacks to Handler’s brand of comedy. Some readers will find her stories repetitive and overly-long. Others will wonder at the overarching triviality of Handler’s memoir. Of course, Handler’s memoirs are more a parody of memoirs than anything else, and when readers approach her stories with this in mind, they’re much more enjoyable.
Recommended to die-hard fans of Handler’s comedy. Very good summer reading.
Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler. Regan Books: 2007. Library copy.