The most embarrassing thing you will ever read (The Times
Read, laugh, empathise and cringe until your toes curl! (Daily Record
A laugh-out-loud collection of real teenage angst, along with melodramatic notes, bad poetry and biting commentary from the 'adults' who once penned them (Cambridge News
This will take you on an uncomfortable but hilarious trip down memory lane (No. 1 Magazine (Scotland)
From the Author
I began hosting Cringe as a monthly reading series at Freddy's Bar in Brooklyn, New York, in April 2005. Brave souls would come forward and read aloud from their teenage diaries, journals, notes, letters, poems, abandoned rock operas and other general representations of the crushing misery of their humiliating adolescence. It was (and is) cheaper and better than therapy.
Cringe first came to London in June 2007. Everyone asked, 'Do you think this sort of humour will transfer well? Aren't the British more reserved?' (I'm all for these kinds of broad national stereotypes, as you can tell by how often I shoot my Stars and Stripes pistols into the air and shout, 'Yee-ha!') I had faith that the fact that everyone was once a miserable teenager would be a concept that would cross all cultural barriers, and I was right: the London Cringes have been some of the funniest on record, and the Dublin Cringe in October 2008 was right up there with the best. No matter the country or culture, there are always people with enough bravery and a wrong enough sense of humour to stand up in front of a few friends and a lot of strangers and poke fun at their dramatic former selves. These are my people.
Spin magazine has called Cringe 'the funniest night out in New York', and Thelondonpaper gave it four stars. It's been featured in all forms of media all over the world, from television to radio to print. It made the front page of the Los Angeles Times and featured on an hour-long segment on an Australian radio station. This sort of shared pain and humour has the power to cross lines and unite former angry goths from all over the globe.
I always tell people who are unsure what to read at Cringe to pick the excerpt that physically makes them cringe when they read it to themselves, the one that makes you think, 'I can't read THAT part.' But then when you do, and the room erupts in laughter, you suddenly think, 'Oh, I can top that.' You are among friends. We were all the same teenager underneath. And aren't you glad you never have to be that person again?