Initial reaction: My first read from Jenny Lawson and I loved it – I laughed and at the same time found Lawson’s expansions on mental illness and her experiences to be very insightful. The story early on where she would lean Rory the Raccoon over her husband’s shoulder to test whether people would mention there was a raccoon about to attack him had me dying laughing. (Figuratively speaking.)
Quick review for a quick read. I randomly picked this audiobook up for perusual because I’d heard so many good things about Jenny Lawson’s blog and style of humor in her autobiographical books. Figured I might as well take the plunge and pick up one of the two books she’s written (this one just happened to come first – I think the spasmic eyed taxidermied raccoon that’s raising the roof on the cover might’ve helped a little.) There have been times I’ve noted that her humor has been hit and miss, but for the most part – this book completely entertained and engaged me. I appreciated her random stories just as much as her insight to her experience with and insight on mental illness. I think the title of the book perfectly captures the tone of the book “A Funny Book About Horrible Things” because it touches on topics that many people are hesitant to talk about and Lawson brings a raw honesty and openness to her approach to some very serious topics. It’s not all seriousness though, there are some funny random tangents taken in the book discussing Lawson’s thoughts and experiences. Though I never thought I’d learn anything about kangaroo sexual anatomy from this book.
I think the one critique I could give in the aftermath of reading this is that sometimes the jokes feel a little more stretched towards the latter part of the book – or at least it felt like the narrative wasn’t as tight in places as it could’ve been. I don’t fault Lawson for her ability to be entertaining, though, because I didn’t put this book down through the time that I read it. I kept reading wondering just what kind of theory Lawson would come up with for some of the most random observations, as well as the stories themselves. A couple of my favorite stories involve Rory the Raccoon, who not only had a featured role over her husband’s shoulders, but also being stuck to the back of their cat after Jenny was trying to pose them for a photo. (LOL forever at her husband’s reaction to the latter.)
I’d certainly read this again for the ride it took me on and the insight. I appreciated Lawson’s raw honesty and find her narrative voice (as well as her narration of the audiobook) awesome.
Overall score: 4.5/5 stars.