The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death: Reflections on Revenge, Germophobia, and Laser Hair Removal

Laurie Notaro, Author Villard Books $20 (218p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6503-5
In her latest collection of essays, Notaro (The Idiot Girl's Action-Adventure Club) turns out a double-handful of chuckle-worthy vignettes, looking at episodes of panic on an airplane, spying on guests at a mountain resort, learning to live with the ex-con down the street and, of course, handling the numerous disappointments and betrayals of the human body. Notaro blends sardonic, often self-deprecating comedy with disarming sincerity, delving into weight gain and body hair issues without hesitation, but staying closer to house, hearth, and everyday life with husband and dog. Most of the time, her quips rise to the occasion, but occasionally fall flat (as in ""Death of a Catchphrase""). Although the majority of Notaro's musings are light-hearted, she reveals an affecting serious side in her essay on a pet's death. With plenty of humorous insight into the everyday debacles of an average gal from Arizona, these entertaining essays should make satisfying, bite-sized beach reading.
Reviewed on: 06/02/2008
Release date: 06/01/2008
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