Oct 16

Book Review: Furiously Happy

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible ThingsFuriously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson
Humor doesn’t always work well in books, especially if the comedian is used to stand up. But Jenny Lawson works well in the written word. Her tone comes through, her humor works and instead of feeling like I was reading the depressing memoir of a person who thinks they’re hilarious but really needs help, I was reading a hilarious memoir of a depressed person who knows she needs help. She owns her crazy, owns her depression and mania, and owns the fact that she is not like other people.

Some of the things Lawson does seem bizarrely plausible and hilarious, like when she wakes up in the middle of the night and decides to make the cats waterbeds. Lawson uses her husband as a straight man as a foil to her wacky shenanigans. Other of her exploits just seemed affected and ridiculous, like dressing up in a kangaroo suit because she was in Australia. Mostly her off-kilter logic made me laugh hysterically. The obsession with taxidermied animals was both hilarious and unsettling, and I had to remember not to read about it while eating. Taxidermy is basically sculpture using a dead animal.

Lawson also talks frankly about her mental illness and depression, providing a somber note to what is otherwise a wacky and whimsical memoir. I don’t think it detracted from the book. She also name-dropped a few times, which I found off-putting. All in all, I think this is a funny book and I recommend it. If you don’t find it funny, you are probably just too healthy and normal.

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