Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang

September 14, 2010

Summary: Having read and enjoyed Chelsea Handler’s previous two books, Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea and My Horizontal Life, I was looking forward to getting some more crazy stories and laugh-out-loud antics in the comedienne’s third (and reportedly last) literary effort, Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang.

This book pretty much follows the format of the other two. Chelsea starts off with a chapter about her childhood (in this case, she tells about how she learned about, uh, getting in touch with herself at the tender age of eight) and then segues to stories about her adult life.

Unlike the first two books, which featured stories of drinking binges and sexual encounters, the stories in this one seem to focus more on pranks she pulled on then-boyfriend Ted, the CEO of the E! network (and therefore, Chelsea’s boss). The pranks weren’t all that funny (except the dog funeral — and that’s only because of the photo Chelsea included of her acting hysterical while Ted comforts her), and Ted came off as either a dumbass or a douche in most of the anecdotes.

Other anecdotes include a raucous, drunken trip to Turks and Caicos with a bunch of friends; a frantic, nighttime swim across the lake at Martha’s Vineyard in search of her high-as-a-kite brother; a long, angry letter from a dissatisfied renter of Chelsea’s father’s house on Martha’s Vineyard; an email thread between Chelsea and her siblings about their father’s increasingly erratic behavior; a story of Ted ordering a helicopter to whisk them away from a wedding, only to have it turn up early and interrupt the vows; and a chapter about Chelsea spending a weekend in bed, binging on Lean Pockets and Diet Coke while watching the Sex and the City movie over and over.

Liked:

  • I liked that Chelsea included photos in this book. Some of her tales just sounded so outrageous that I began to think, “Oh, no way did this happen!”, and then on the very next page there would be photographic evidence. I’m thinking of the Turks and Caicos adventure in particular, especially the part about wheeling the one drunken woman back to her room on a chaise lounge. Yep, there’s a picture of that!
  • What woman hasn’t had a weekend that included doing nothing but scarfing down food while watching movies in bed? Good to see that even someone like Chelsea Handler goes through those days every once in a while.
  • The book was pretty short and I was able to finish it quickly. I think it only took me two or three days to get through this one.

Disliked:

  • I was not a fan of the first chapter because of the subject matter. I’m not a prude or anything, but I really can’t find the humor in an eight-year-old girl who masturbates all the time. I just can’t.
  • I noticed some anachronistic references in the first couple of chapters. Chelsea is the same age as me, so when she referred to a Cabbage Patch doll looking like “Chucky”, I immediately went to IMDb to see when Child’s Play came out. It was 1988, which was about 5 years after the time Chelsea was talking about. Also, she said something about calling someone’s maid “M-Dawg”. Back in 1983??? I don’t think so. Obviously these are nitpicks, but I still wanted to mention them. I am usually not the kind of person that obsesses over such minor details, but these stuck out so much that I couldn’t overlook them.
  • I can’t figure out if the father is as over-the-edge as Chelsea makes him out to be. Sure, I can see an old guy sitting around on the couch in his underwear reading through ads for male enhancements so he can get (and keep) his much younger girlfriend, but how about all that other stuff? Like overselling the Martha’s Vineyard rental property? How could that guy have never been sued before?
  • The emails between the siblings were just outright boring. I skimmed, particularly when I saw that some were printed in all caps. Ugh.
  • Honestly, a lot of the practical jokes she talked about either weren’t that funny or went on for too long, like a bad SNL skit. Again, I skimmed some of that stuff.

Rating:

I usually like Chelsea Handler’s books, but think she pretty much missed the mark in Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang. The other two were much funnier and more involving. This one had no focus, wasn’t as well written, and failed to make me laugh out loud. I give it 3 stars out of 5.

One Response to “Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang”

  1. I am sorry you didn’t enjoy this one as much as her others. As with all three of her books, some chapters were hysterical for me while others weren’t quite as funny. I love the story about her dad and his rental home. in fact, I think her dad is the funniest “character” in her books!

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