You’re Not Doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death, and Other Humiliations

Michael Ian Black. S&S/Gallery, $23.99 (274p) ISBN 978-1-4391-6785-4
In this memoir, comedian-performer-screenwriter Black provides a humorous take on his path from New Jersey kid through single Manhattan guy to suburban husband and father. Black lost his father early and was primarily raised by his mother and her lesbian partner. An interest in the theater led him to sketch-writing gigs and a show on MTV and VH-1’s I Love the... series. However, Black’s focus is on private life and we learn of his dating mishaps, fear of marriage, dislike of children, various health problems, and the guilty pleasure of buying a new BMW. Nothing about Black comes gracefully. He tells us he can’t stand his wife; he’s not very good at sex; and he notes that raising children is horrible. When he tries marijuana for the first time on his honeymoon, he passes out in an Amsterdam hash bar. Black positions himself as a kind of infantile fool. This is all shtick, of course, and Black can often be amusing in his role, but the succession of one-liners grows monotonous. He doesn’t lack ability as a writer, but his attempts at greater emotional range, such as the section on his father’s death, are undercut by his reduction of everyone to a sit-com stereotype. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/12/2011
Release date: 02/28/2012
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-449-01541-4
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-4391-6786-1
Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-4391-6795-3
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