The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee by Sarah Silverman

May 10, 2013

bedwetter silverman Description (from the publisher):

Warning from publisher to reader:

At HarperCollins, we are committed to customer satisfaction. Before proceeding with your purchase, please take the following questionnaire to determine your likelihood of enjoying this book:

1. Which of the following do you appreciate?

(a) Women with somewhat horse-ish facial features.
(b) Women who, while not super Jew-y, are more identifiably Jewish than, say, Natalie Portman.
(c) Frequent discussion of unwanted body hair.
2. Are you offended by the following behavior?

(a) Instructing one’s grandmother to place baked goods in her rectal cavity.
(b) Stripping naked in public—eleven times in a row.
(c) Stabbing one’s boss in the head with a writing implement.
3. The best way to treat an emotionally fragile young girl is:

(a) Murder the main course of her Thanksgiving dinner before her very eyes.
(b) Tell her that her older sister is prettier than she, and then immediately die.
(c) Prevent her suicide by recommending she stay away from open windows.

If you read the above questions without getting nauseous or forming a hate Web site, you are ready to buy this book! Please proceed to the cashier.

Reaction:

I wouldn’t consider myself a huge Sarah Silverman fan. In fact, I know about her from only two performances: her turn as easily obsessed fan Marci Maven on Monk and her “I’m F***ing Matt Damon” video. Other than those two things, I’ve never seen any of her shows or stand-up routines — which means I’m probably not the target audience.

Regardless, I still found many things to enjoy about the audiobook version, read by Sarah herself. The stories of her childhood and struggles with bedwetting (particularly at sleepovers, summer camp, school trips, and the like) were funny and poignant at the same time. If there are any 16-year-old bedwetters out there, hopefully they can take some solace from Sarah’s words.

I also enjoyed Sarah’s fond recollections of trying to break into comedy and her excitement at getting hired as an SNL writer despite not having the Harvard background that so many others in the room possessed. This is a woman who definitely paid her dues over a period of years before making it.

And finally, I appreciated the fact that she freely admits to Googling herself to see what others have said about her various performances, wardrobe, etc. You ALWAYS hear celebrities saying they DON’T do that sort of thing, but I call bullshit on them. I suspect that a lot more of them DO Google themselves — at least from time to time — than abstain completely. At least Sarah has the balls to admit it.

Nevertheless, I wasn’t completely taken with this memoir. The first half was wonderful, but Sarah unfortunately ran out of steam down the homestretch and resorted to talking about politics (of all things). It irks me when Hollywood types spout their political opinions because that’s the last thing fans want to hear about. Sure, they’re entitled to have these opinions; that’s not what bothers me. But I guarantee that NOBODY became a Sarah Silverman fan because she voted for Barack Obama. I mean, come on!

The vignettes in the second half of the book became progressively shorter, and many of them ended abruptly, making me wonder wth the point of the story was. Oh, and there were some completely disgusting tidbits in Sarah’s book (to be expected, I guess), not the least of which was getting some, uh, vaginal transfer, from a friend who’d just performed oral on a woman. talk about NASTY!!!

Rating:

The Bedwetter by Sarah Silverman is a funny enough memoir that will probably provide sufficient entertainment for true fans. However, if you’re not that familiar with Silverman’s type of humor or if you’re easily offended, why put yourself through the torture? I fall in the middle of these extremes and so does my rating. I give the book 3 stars out of 5.

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