Saturday, January 25, 2014

My Horizontal Life: A Review

My Horizontal Life
Written by: Chelsea Handler
Paperback: 213 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Language: English
June 2005
Genre: Humor/Essays

Meet Chelsea Handler. Gorgeous, sharp, and anything but shy, Chelsea loves men... lots of them. In this raucous collection of true-life stories, she chronicles her romp through the bedrooms of a variety of suitors. My Horizontal Life is a fearless account of what can happen between a man and a sometimes very intoxicated, outgoing woman during one night of passion.


“At some point during almost every romantic comedy, the female lead suddenly trips and falls, stumbling helplessly over something ridiculous like a leaf, and then some Matthew McConaughey type either whips around the corner just in the nick of time to save her or is clumsily pulled down along with her. That event predictably leads to the magical moment of their first kiss. Please. I fall ALL the time. You know who comes and gets me? The bouncer.”

Everyone loves Chelsea or so I hear. Admittedly in the acting roles I have seen her in she has been quite funny, but I have not watched her show at all. But I have had this book and Its Me Vodka in my To Be Read Pile for some time. With my 2014 Reading Challenge to not buy a new book until I read 10 from the TBR pile, I decided it was high time that I actually see why everyone loves Chelsea. Conclusion…I am not sure I get it.

The Good and The Bad: Someone suggested that the book itself is very much like the one night stands she describes: brief, meaningless, but kid of fun. I would completely agree. It is the result of one too many cocktails, bad judgment and a self-deprecating attitude. It is a cotton candy book for sure, fluffy and fun. And yet I am not sure it is ultimately my thing. I couldn’t relate to the stories as much as I thought I might. Though I have had a couple of one night stands myself on the whole one night stands are not my thing nor are drunken stupors and complete lack of judgments.

This is not to say that I didn’t laugh. I did. Though I may not be a walk of shame sort of girl, I certainly could relate to a few of her escapades (I just dated them for 2 months rather than a few hours). Told in a series of short little stories, Chelsea chronicles her search for…well, a good time. She is snarky, self-deprecating, and candid. She gets shiny gold stars for being all three. Each chapter involves one of her sexual misadventures and for the most part each is funny for a very different reason. The stories range from fetishes, a string of men she hopes her father won’t approve of, and her personality shines through whether it is her true personality or the Chelsea persona she sells as a living. Often she is quite good at delivering punchlines, though other times they are a bit forced and by the end many of the stories are similar.

I think my biggest problem though as it felt less like an empowered woman who is comfortable with her sexuality and her adventures and more of a this is why you should do drugs or drink heavily. I seriously cannot fathom half of the situations happening and when I have that disconnect, it gets hard for me to continue reading since I don’t really like the person telling the stories. She gets points for being witty and awesome in a few can’t believe that happened moments, but overall it’s not a book that will remain on the shelves, but I had fun for the few hours while it lasted. Sorry Chelsea, I guess you were my one night stand as well.

Buy or Borrow: Borrow

Part of: Stand Alone
Also Recommended: For more anthologies I recommend any of Laurie Notaro’s books or I was Told There’d Be Cake by Sloane Crosley. Mary Roach’s Bonk is also hilarious

2 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks 

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