In the tradition of Christian Lander’s hipster/yuppie-friendly bestselling Stuff White People Like, Michael Ian Black delivers his unique brand of quirky, deadpan humor in this new collection of comedic essays. Now that Black has become the guy he swore he’d never be–a Yuppie A-Hole–he has a lot to say about his family life in suburbia, and he shares his incisive yet absurd observations with readers in You’re Not Doing It Right. Chronicling his adventures cruising the neighborhood for his inevitable future “divorce house” (despite being happily married) or discussing Our Second Shitty Baby, Black delivers his straightfaced musings with the same sardonic humor that has earned him a rabid cult following. Want to know the pros and cons of hamster ownership or why kindergarten recitals are so boring? Looking for tips for lying to your kids about Santa? Clever, dry, and laugh-out-loud funny, You’re Not Doing It Right will “blow your mind all over your face” just like My Custom Van.
You're Not Doing It RightTales of Marriage, Sex, Death, and Other Humiliations
eMusic Review 0
Full of inventive insults, but undoubtedly a tribute
In his new memoir, You’re Not Doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death, and Other Humiliations, Michael Ian Black passes out in Amsterdam, fantasizes about telling his kids that Santa is fake, and calls his wife an unprintable word that begins with the letter “c.” And still, after reading the book’s 19 essays, you’re convinced that he’s a great guy: devoted husband, generous father, moral compass.
Black, known for more than a decade now as a stand-up comic, screenwriter, pop-culture pundit, and even serious poker player, deftly weaves in and out of his past and present, giving us a memoir-in-essays that’s as funny as it his heartfelt. We learn about his father’s death, his mother’s lesbianism, his wife’s ex-boyfriend, and his kids’ ceaseless cries. We follow Black from suburban New Jersey to the NYU dorms to first city apartment to Westchester homestead — a trajectory that makes him more than a little self-loathing. As a bohemian-turned-family man, Black spends a lot of time asking himself, “How did I get here?” (the book’s epigraph is Talking Heads lyrics). His answers are never definite and always shrewd. Dedicated to his wife, Martha, You’re Not Doing It Right — full of inventive insults and backhanded compliments — is undoubtedly a tribute to her. Behind every funny guy, after all, is a great woman: ready to laugh and more than ready to put him in his place.
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You're Not Doing It Right, Done Right
I thought that this was a great, honest book. This is not a book of scandal though it has a few surprises. It is not a book that glorifies even though I left it thinking he is a good dad and husband. It is an truthful look at a minor celebrity. He is self deprecating and sarcastic at times and sweet and kind at others. Some of the best parts are how blunt he can be about family life. He says things people sometimes think but feel ashamed to express. In all I found the book well balanced and enjoyable.
Good, but not exceptional, unless you're a big fan
Those hoping for something like his his standup may be disappointed - this is first and foremost an autobiography, and the jokes are sparse. Also, you'll probably find that the life it describes is kinda ordinary, and you may wonder why you've paid to listen about something you've already lived through yourself. If Black was a writer of astounding insight, then this would probably be really interesting anyway, but the book, though certainly intelligent, is not particularly eye-opening or hilarious. Mostly, his insights are common life lessons. And it's kinda bipolar: like the bitterly cynical exterior of his personality is so tough that only the most uplifting of emotions are able to crack it, at which point a deluge of sentimentality pours out. There's hot and cold and little else, and it gets repetitive. Overall, it's a decent listen, with some laugh-out-loud moments and some genuinely touching stories, though nothing exceptional, on either the comedy front or the biography front.