I Know I Am, But What Are You? – Review – ***1/2

I still remember the first Samantha Bee segment I saw on the Daily Show. It was about gay penguins (this clip was later re-used in a more recent episode, but I’m talking about the first time through), and I thought it was merely ok. No Colbert or Helms, but what the hey, she’s new. In the years since, Bee has become one of, if not, my favourite correspondent(s). Unfortunately, this may have more to do with the fact that many of my favourites have left, and a general lack of interest in the new-comers (except for John Oliver, I know, I’m so original; some of the others have their moments, too), than Bee’s comic chops, but that statement does her a disservice, because she is very, very good. [Maybe my reviewing gimmick will be “unintentionally mean girl.”]

This book is similar to her pieces in tone, but the subject matter is less off-the-wall, which makes sense, as this is a short-essay memoir in the vein of David Sedaris’ works. It has hits and misses, but it made me chuckle pretty consistently throughout, and I inhaled it in a day. I think my favourite stories were the first one, Camp Summer Fun, The Birds and the Bee, and When Animals Attack (the last story). There are twelve short stories arranged in roughly chronological order, and each has something to recommend them. Bee has led a moderately unusual life, which, combined with her talent for storytelling, means there’s something in here for voyeurs (who want all the dirty details about any celebrity life), fellow odd-balls (who can relate), and even normal people because regardless of the circumstances, Bee is relatable, friendly, and funny, and who wouldn’t want to spend a couple hundred pages with that?

*Side note: One of these days, I am going to have to find a book that I LOATHE because none of these reviews have really been scathing since maybe the first one. I miss righteous artistic anger.

Cannonball Read III: 12/52

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Posted on August 3, 2011, in 100 things in 1000 days, Book Reviews, Books, Cannonball Read 3 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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