I absolutely love Laurie Notaro's non-fiction books, and had high hopes for her first novel. But, for me, while it was funny, it wasn't laugh-out-loud funny like her other books.
It's a wacky story, but some of the characters were just TOO unbelievable, or TOO stereotypical. The plot was also predictable - it didn't take me long to figure out the "mystery", and I'm not usually the type of reader to pick up on plot clues.
It's a fast read, and does have it's share of silly moments, but I'd recommend her other books over this one.
I had only read The Idiot's Girls Guide to Christmas or whatever it's called from this author before and it was funny - like really funny - so I had high hopes for this one. Plus the title is enough to crack me up. I'm very mixed on this book. The first half really wasn't all that funny. I was thinking "Yeah, and there's a very good chance I'm going to throw this book across the room in disgust". But once they dubbed "Finding Nemo" it got funnier. It ended on a pretty funny note, but left me wondering about Ruby. It's worth a read. It may have been I just wasn't in the mood for this book, but I wish the funniness was in the first half too. It just fell flat for me in the start.
I have loved everything that Laurie Notaro as written- I consider myself a definite "Idiot Girl"...however, I'm not as crazy about her fiction, as her other books. Sure, there were a few laugh-out-loud moments, but not as many as her other collections.
I see a lot of the humor in "Spaulding, WA." AKA Eugene, Oregon, as I live in Eugene. Many of her observations are spot-on. Yes, I know this isn't really about Eugene, and in this book, that's really not the issue. One can certainly divine her affection for her new home town. Not a bad book, I just think I like her collective stories better.
Notaro pulls off an engrossing farce with her first novel. The protagonist, Maye, leaves a perfectly fine life in the city to accompany her husband to a small town for his new university job. She soon learns it's not easy to be new, to make friends, to start over finding people to know and trust. Instead, she experiences snafu after snafu until she decides the one way to make friends is to enter and win the town's annual Sewer Pipe Queen pageant.
Notaro's townspeople are guaranteed to make you laugh, wince, smile and cringe. From the sleazy newspaper reporter (who works alone and hollers "CUT! at the end of his scenes) to the dog-baiting Yeti-like mailman to the dance-naked-in-the-moonlight lesbian witches to...oh, way too many great characters to list.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Thank goodness Notaro took time out from her essays to foray into fiction. It certainly lived up to the intriguing title.
I absolutely loved this book! I would literally laugh out loud because her humor is so forward and similar to mine. I wasn't sure at first how the book was going to be, but I immediately started to enjoy it. At the end, I even felt satisfied unlike many books I've read in the past. I definitely suggest reading this book if you are looking for a good laugh!
To be honest, this book sat on my shelf since 2007. I was slightly put off by the cover and even wondered why I had bought this book. In a fit of "I have to read something light and funny", I picked it up.
I found it quite funny. A woman and her husband, an academic, move to the Northwest, where she DEFINITELY does not fit in. I laughed out loud at several parts. The way that Maye dressed up her dog....(you'll have to read to understand).
The solving of the mystery at the end was not as compelling as I had hoped, but it was overall a good book and a pleasant diversion.