Saturday, January 02, 2010

Microthrills by Wendy Spero (2006)

Once again the lovely St. Murse loaned me a book that he didn't like. To be fair, he wasn't really sure I would like it either, but he knew I would give it a shot: and he was right on both counts!

Wendy Spero's Microthrills: True Stories from a Life of Small Highs is a book of essays based on the stand-up comic's one woman show about her life. The back of the book compares Spero to David Sedaris -- to be honest, I like Sedaris but have never really gotten why people are so super excited about him -- Sedaris does, however, actually make me laugh. Spero, not really so much.

Not that this is a bad book. Actually it was a pretty good book to read in spurts over the holidays while I took refuge from the negative twenty degree windchill on my mother-in-law's couch. The stories of Spero growing up in Manhattan, her journeys through her first jobs, her neuroses, her mother's neuroses, and all the rest are all very nice and not poorly written. And yet, despite all that, they didn't really make me laugh or think or anything at all. Although Spero and I are about the same age, I didn't feel like I related to her or her problems or worries at all -- there just wasn't any connection there.

I am pretty sure that Wendy Spero is a fine stand-up comic, and that her one-woman show is pretty entertaining. But for me, at least, that entertainment just didn't come through in the print version of her memoir.

1 comment:

St. Murse said...

In my defense, she did in fact enjoy at least one book I passed on to her.

One story in the book was much, much better when I heard a recording of her telling it in front of an audience. Just looked, no link available. Oh well.