Thursday, 10 April 2014

Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

Remember how I've been lamenting my lack of getting American humour? How British humour makes me giggle, but American humour seems to leave me relatively cold? I take it back. I just haven't been reading good enough American humour, if this book is anything to go by. This book had exactly the tone that makes me laugh. You can ask my husband if I've ever giggled more while reading next to him in the living room. I'd be surprised. Sorry, American humour. It is you, unless it's Jenny Lawson. Apparently.

It is very hard to describe this book, other than hilarious. Sometimes the content is horrifying, often it's describing excruciatingly awkward situations. But damn it, it's funny about all of them! I have a soft spot for women who swear this much. It's part of what I liked about Julie and Julia. I identify with foulmouthed women. The hilarity is an amazing side effect.

Why? I don't know. Maybe I'm emotionally still ten. Maybe I just respond to that honesty of swearing a mile a minute when it's appropriate. You know what? Fuck it. I just like swearing.

Lawson apparently had a strange and sometimes traumatizing but not necessarily horrifying childhood, although I can see how some people might perceive it that way. But there's such affection in this book, and love for those strange moments that might have resulted in a need for therapy. We're all fucked up. Sometimes, we can celebrate how we got there.

Also, a raccoon in jammies? Eeeee!

It's of particular note how Lawson writes about mental health issues, and manages to make it very damn funny indeed, while never underplaying or dismissing it. It rings very true, and the ludicrous note that creeps in doesn't undermine how difficult life can be.

Let's see, what else. It may tell you more about me than anything else that when I was telling him Lawson's stories about starting to collect very strange taxidermied animals, my husband's first reaction was to look me in the eye and say very firmly, "No!"

Even when I told him about the little alligator dressed as a pirate. Which, come on! Who wouldn't want that?

He's no fun sometimes. 

Look, I don't know if you'll like this. What strikes me as possibly the funniest book I've ever read may not strike you the same way. But try it anyway. What have you got to lose? At worst, you'll have read about getting your arm stuck in a cow, strange taxidermy, and social anxiety. There's no downside, right?

But I giggled my ass off all the way through this book, sometimes accompanied by gasps. I hope you do the same.


  1. Hi, I followed you over from Goodreads. This book was hilarious! I thought it was so funny I gave it to my sister, but she was freaked out by the beginning and never finished it. So I am excited to find someone else who thought it was funny.

    I was thinking that some Americans are funny, but then every funny author I could think of was British. Maybe Kage Baker who wrote sci if and fantasy, but she died in 2012 and now her books are getting hard to find.

    1. Welcome! It's too bad your sister was freaked out, because the subject matter may not be easy, but Lawson is just so funny about it.

      I have never read any Kage Baker - I will have to fix that at some point!