Hard Laughter eBook á Paperback

Hard Laughter eBook á Paperback Give me anything by Anne Lamott and I will read it. I was expecting this book to cover the whole bell curve of her father s illness, from diagnosis of brain tumor to passing, concentrating heavily on things like days visiting him in hospital, ethical quandaries, and a daughter s hagiography of her father.Instead it waslike Some Several Months In The Life Of The Author, During Which Her Father Begins Treatment For A Possibly Malignant Tumor It was much, muchabout the protagonist the author , her thoughts and life And it is therefore I was expecting this book to cover the whole bell curve of her father s illness, from diagnosis of brain tumor to passing, concentrating heavily on things like days visiting him in hospital, ethical quandaries, and a daughter s hagiography of her father.Instead it waslike Some Several Months In The Life Of The Author, During Which Her Father Begins Treatment For A Possibly Malignant Tumor It was much, muchabout the protagonist the author , her thoughts and life And it is therefore much less emotionally wringing in the way I expected it to be, and therefore also much funnier, and touching, and excellently, honestly written.This is the first book I can think of, that I can remember, where I was laughing loudly out loud and then crying sobbingly and then laughing great snorting laughs again, within three paragraphs Or perhaps five And without a trace of sentimentality.Delicious, and, despite the long tracts on mental illness and neuroses, incredibly wholesome Love I think many nonfiction books should be pamphlets.This novel should have been a short story A very, very short story.Yes, it is, at times, funny and sweet but good god, make something happen. When I interviewed Anne Lamott in 1999, she said Hard Laughter was her worst book I have not read all of her books, but I ve read Bird by Bird, which I found to be a wonderful guide to good writing Tender Mercies, and Operating Instructions Unlike these non fiction books, Hard Laughter is billed as a novel, yet anyone familiar with Lamott s life knows much of the book is autobiographical I have not read any of Lamott s other novels But of the books I have read, Hard Laughter i When I interviewed Anne Lamott in 1999, she said Hard Laughter was her worst book I have not read all of her books, but I ve read Bird by Bird, which I found to be a wonderful guide to good writing Tender Mercies, and Operating Instructions Unlike these non fiction books, Hard Laughter is billed as a novel, yet anyone familiar with Lamott s life knows much of the book is autobiographical I have not read any of Lamott s other novels But of the books I have read, Hard Laughter is by far my least favorite She told me that she was still drinking when she wrote the book, and I found it to be a bit amateurish at times, perhaps reflective of her lack of sobriety The book bears Lamott s trademark wit and sarcasm, but they re just not as effective as they are in her other books Don t let this be your first Lamott book to read Rather, start with a great one perhaps one of the three I mentinoned I ve heard other writers rave about Bird by Bird I saw Operating Instructions listed at the bottom of a list of the top 100 or so non fiction works of the 20th century or whatever I thought that was a bit overplayed, but any overwhelmed mother can identify with it As for Traveling Mercies, I just thoroughly loved it I was trying to read the Anne Lamott books in order, but I just got this 1979 one, after I had started my reading, so it s out of order So I already know a lot of the facts of the apparently, most autobiographical story from reading the other books Still, there s lots in the book besides the facts I m enjoying getting to know this Anne Lamott It s like finally getting to meet a friend of friends I ve heard so much about her. The main thing I would say about this book is that I wouldn t recommend it to anyone That doesn t just mean I would specifically say Don t read this but also literally, I can t think of anyone I d say Here, read this to, and that s unusual for me With pretty much any book, I can think of one or two specific people who I think would like it, get something out of it, what have you But this oneit s so..meh It s so oddly writtenit s partially stream of consciousness, but the bad part The main thing I would say about this book is that I wouldn t recommend it to anyone That doesn t just mean I would specifically say Don t read this but also literally, I can t think of anyone I d say Here, read this to, and that s unusual for me With pretty much any book, I can think of one or two specific people who I think would like it, get something out of it, what have you But this oneit s so..meh It s so oddly writtenit s partially stream of consciousness, but the bad part It s partially Real Life but in a very fake feeling way It feels almost like it should have been two separate books that the author decided to mush up into one The funniest thing is the reason I bought it in the first place is that it was a staff recommendation book at my local bookstore Guess that tells me something about some of their staff Anne Lamott s poignant first novel, reissued in an attractive new editionWriter and sometime housecleaner Jennifer is twenty three when her beloved father, Wallace, is diagnosed with a brain tumor This catastrophic discovery sets off Anne Lamott s unexpectedly sweet and funny first novel, which is made dramatic not so much by Wallace s illness as by the emotional wake it sweeps under Jen and her brothers, self contained Ben and feckless, lovable Randy With characteristic affection and accuracy, Lamott sketches this offbeat family and their nearest and dearest as they draw ever closer in the intimacy Jen prizes among the other estimable things good music, good hard laughter, good sex, good industry, and good books This is a must read for anyone whose family has survived tragedy and loss with love and dark humor I love this family because it reminds me of my own Anne s struggle to cope with her father s terminal illness hit very, very close to home I love this book. I love Lamott s voice the dialogue in this book is some of her best writing The characters are perfectly drawn Worth reading This is Anne Lamott s first novel It is also the first Anne Lamott novel I read Maybe if I didn t know her themes so well, it wouldn t have felt so painfully, awkwardly autobiographical, but because I have read some of her memoirs, I cringed at how transparently the sweet but screwy protagonist, Jennifer, represented the author.Jennifer is 23 and her father has recently been diagnosed with a brain tumor She seems to have an unacknowledged drinking problem She isn t religious but the numinous This is Anne Lamott s first novel It is also the first Anne Lamott novel I read Maybe if I didn t know her themes so well, it wouldn t have felt so painfully, awkwardly autobiographical, but because I have read some of her memoirs, I cringed at how transparently the sweet but screwy protagonist, Jennifer, represented the author.Jennifer is 23 and her father has recently been diagnosed with a brain tumor She seems to have an unacknowledged drinking problem She isn t religious but the numinous haunts her She is obsessed with her skin and hair She is zany Her family is oh so delightfully quirky, as are her deeply troubled neighbors in the hippie wilds of Marin County She refers to a ten year old as her friend, very earnestly if adorably, as if relying on a ten year old for emotional succor, and subjecting the child to one s romantic woes, is OK and charmingly eccentric, not messed up.So, basically, it s a novel that isn t as good as the memoirs that follow but which tracks the themes of the later memoirs.However, Lamott s voice is great, and there is a vividness to her descriptions, and a pleasing if too cute candor to her discussion of her home, romantic life, and emotional stability I will try another Lamott novel, methinks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *