Saturday, November 22, 2008

#19 - "My Horizontal Life" by Chelsea Handler

My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands (2005) by Chelsea Handler is a book I discovered through Alabama Pink's review. A funny book about sex sounded like more than enough entertainment for me, so I immediately looked it up in the library. Surprisingly, for a book from 2005, there was quite a long wait list for it, which only made it more appealing. So, when it finally became available, I forgot about all the other books I have piled up and waiting for me and read it immediately.

And I completely agree with Alabama Pink. This book was thorougly entertaining and hilarious. Chelsea Handler is a smart, funny writer and even in the first couple of pages I was already laughing out loud. Some of the situations she gets herself into as well as some of the lies she comes up with are absolutely unforgettable. I don't particularly want to describe any of her stories. They're all funny and probably better if you don't know what to expect, but I enjoyed each and every chapter.

Now, I don't want this next bit to take anything away from what is a non-stop funny book, and I feel like even mentioning some of these issues completely ruins the intention of the book, but I can't help it. So, every once in awhile I thought Chelsea Handler couled actually be kind of mean and it occasionally bothered me. I guess it doesn't help that I'm the most sensitive person in the world and automatically imagine how I would feel in someone else's position. And it's not that I would ever actually sleep with some of the guys that she lied to and then snuck out on, but sometimes I actually felt bad for them. Or at least the way she thought about them and treated them.

One other thing that I noticed was that Handler wasn't always having fun with all the sex she was getting. Quite often the book went directly from one "low point" to her next "low point." It would be so satisfying to actually see a real woman able to sleep around and enjoy it. I've tried the whole casual sex thing and sometimes really, really wish I could enjoy it, but it never works for me. I was kind of hoping that Handler could be some kind of role model of a woman enjoying casual sex. It seemed instead that something--unhappiness maybe--was spurring her on into these one-night stands, but that she wasn't getting much/any satisfaction from them. And maybe this is the problem with reading so many books, one after the other, but there were also some eerie similarities between Chelsea Handler's father--who occasionally acted kind of creepy--and the father from the much more serious book that I just read, If I Am Missing or Dead. And Handler herself even started saying that she needed to make changes and that she wanted to get married. I was almost afraid that the last chapter would be of Handler finally finding the man of her dreams. But fortunately that didn't happen here, and the book ended, as it began, with a laugh.

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