Thursday, November 12, 2009
Cannonball Read Entry #4 - Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea - Chelsea Handler
I'm honestly a little surprised Chelsea Handler doesn't have a greater Pajiba following. She's sharp as a tack, loves the booze and has a pretty fantastic set of boobies. Throw in a devotion to Godtopussy and a desire to fuck Nathan Fillion dickless and the girl's a bonafide Pajibette, and Are You There Vodka? pretty much just proves it.
If you're just getting acquainted with Handler's style...Well, she kinda falls somewhere between Sarah Silverman and Tina Fey. While she plays her self-absorption for laughs, but if you can read between the lines about it there's something of an undercurrent of self-deprecation running through her work. And alcohol. It's a pretty potent combination.
As for the book itself, Are You There Vodka? could accurately be described as a memoir, though it sort of reads like Chicken Soup For The Alcoholic Slut's Soul. Naturally, I ate that shit up. The stories she throws in, essentially bits and pieces from various moments in her life, are grounded pretty firmly in reality, but thankfully, Handler manages to embellish the stories just enough to both spice them up and keep a consistent character running throughout without ever sacrificing believability. She's like the friend you had in high school that would go out at night and come home shirtless, drunk, and with the authorities in tow.
Unfortunately, while she's a goddamn force of nature if given an open mic and a mickey of vodka, Handler's writing style is still her Achilles heel. While she knows how to set up an effective punchline, I found that too often she would end up repeating the same punchline over and over, albeit in a different context. You don't notice it at first, but after the third time she uses a Giraffe to complete a simile, you start to wonder if perhaps she's stretching herself out a little thin. It really does sort of confuse me, because she really does have more material than this, which leads me to believe the fuck-up can be chalked up to Handler's forgetfulness and a lazy editor.
If anything, Are You There Vodka? is one of those books you need to take with you on vacation. You can probably finish it off in the space of a day or two, and it's a nice little read to have on the beach or whatnot. And really, the cover prominently displays both booze and cleavage. That's not too shabbs now, is it?