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Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, ChelseaReview - Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea
by Chelsea Handler
Simon & Schuster Audio, 2008
Review by Christian Perring
Aug 26th 2008 (Volume 12, Issue 35)

Chelsea Hander is a stand-up comedienne and sometimes works on entertainment cable shows.  Her first book about her one-night stands, My Horizontal Life, wasn't very good.  However, this new collection of stories about her life is surprisingly funny.  Her performance on the unabridged audiobook is full of energy, and Handler brings some emotional heft to her words.  She grew up in New Jersey with a Jewish father and a Mormon mother, and then moved to Los Angeles once she was an adult.  The first two stories are from her childhood, and the rest are from her life in LA.  She is consistently crude and offensive about most people, and her insistence on calling dwarves "midgets" and talking about them as if they were children is particularly unpleasant.  However, she is also self-deprecating and so while she sometimes crosses the line, she doesn't seem malicious.  Her rudeness is just her style.  She is generally at her best when talking about her dysfunctional family, since they are all big characters and even though they shout at each other often, they basically get on well.  Her stories about her childhood tell about her tall-tales in the third grade about being a Hollywood actor, and her seventh-grade career as a babysitter.  When she gets to her adult life, she talks about her friends and boyfriends in LA, going on dates, going out to dinner, and going on vacation to London.  There's nothing particularly remarkable about her life, but she is good with words and she is so irreverent about everything that she ends up even being likeable. 

© 2008 Christian Perring

Christian Perring, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Dowling College, New York.


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