cover image Feel This Audiobook

Feel This Audiobook

Ben Stiller. HarperAudio, $18 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-694-52146-3

Television-bred celebrities as humor authors--the likes of Paul Reiser and Drew Carey--have used spoken audio as a means to help establish their literary audiences. Books on tape offer a natural conduit for such actors' messages, better, often, than the print versions. Stiller and Garofalo, both young, sophisticated and genuinely funny film actors, go a step further, parodying one of audio's nonfiction staples: self-help tapes. They start with dry disclaimers, stating that they are celebrities and so know nothing of psychology, then describe calls from their agents asking them to record ""a funny audiobook about relationships."" Taking the classic he-said/she-said format, the two trade off with first-person vignettes that tell a modern love story, with all its ""mistakes."" Stiller tells of going home with Garofalo to meet ""her people"" in Nutley, N.J. She counters with descriptions of his goofy behavior once there. The humor is deadpan, with a bitingly sarcastic undercurrent. There is good chemistry between the pair, lending to a sense of playfulness and spontaneity often absent from audio programs. Stiller and Garofalo know their audience well--and just how to play them. Based on the 1999 Ballantine hardcover. Also available on CD. (May)