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Let's Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir) [Paperback]

Jenny Lawson
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)

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Book Description

10 May 2012
Every teenager wants to fit in and be just like everybody else. So imagine how hard that is when your father runs a taxidermy business out of the family home, your mother runs the student cafeteria, and your sister has just been elected high school mascot, which means she walks the halls in a giant bird costume. But as Jenny Lawson grows up, falls in love, gets engaged – in a way that is as disastrous as it is romantic – and starts a family of her own, she learns that life’s most absurd and humiliating moments, the ones we wish we could pretend had never happened, are the very same moments that make us who we are. This is an often poignant, sometimes disturbing, but always hilarious book from a writer that dares to say your deepest and strangest thoughts out loud. Like laughter at a funeral, it is both highly irreverent and impossible to stop once you’ve started . . .

Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (10 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1447223446
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447223443
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 221,612 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


‘Jenny Lawson is the QUEEN of saying too much, and then saying something even worse. And that is why I adore her’ Caitlin Moran

'GET READY. Jenny Lawson has such a disturbing, ill-mannered, rich sense of humor you will wonder, "Am I the sick one for laughing?" Everyone I gave the book to confirmed: We must all be sick, because this book IS HYSTERICAL . . . and yet it was also strangely touching at times. It’s one of my favorite books in the past five years.' Kathryn Stockett, # 1 New York Times bestselling author of The Help

‘Poignant, funny and insane… a celebration of the strength and character it takes to withstand life’s curveballs’ Stylist

‘Even when I was funny, I wasn’t this funny.’ Augusten Burroughs, author of Running With Scissors

‘Displays the wit that’s made her a hit on the Web… hilarious’ Booklist

‘Lawson writes with a rambling irreverence that makes you wish she were your best friend’ Entertainment Weekly

Endlessly entertaining and consistently jaw-dropping’. Glamour

‘There’s something wrong with Jenny Lawson – magnificently wrong. I defy you to read her work and not hurt yourself laughing.’ Jen Lancaster

‘Fucked up in the best possible way. Adorably offensive.’ Jesus* *Jesus is Jenny Lawson’s hairdresser. He pronounces his name differently from that other Jesus.

‘Jenny Lawson’s writing is nothing less than revolutionary… I say this without a hint of exaggeration: she may be one of the most progressive women’s voices of our time.’ Karen Walrond, author of The Beauty of Different

‘Funny, irreverent… a comic character that readers will engage with in shocked dismay as they gratefully turn the pages’Kirkus

‘The funniest memoir ever about a talking squirrel, anxiety disorder, couch etiquette, and more. Believe us, Lawson is hilarious’. Ladies' Home Journal

‘Jenny Lawson is hilarious, snarky, witty, totally inappropriate.’ Marie Claire

‘The Bloggess writes stuff that actually is laugh-out-loud, but you know that really you shouldn’t be laughing and probably you’ll go to hell for laughing, so maybe you shouldn’t read it. That would be safer and wiser.’ Neil Gaiman

‘[A] wondrous knack for bawdy storytelling… Lawson’s self-deprecating humour is not only gaspingly funny and wonderfully inappropriate; it also allows her to speak about subjects like depression, anxiety and infertility in a real and raw way’. O Magazine

‘Take one part David Sedaris and two parts Chelsea Handler and you’ll have some inkling of the cockeyed humor of Jenny Lawson… [She] flaunts the sort of fearless comedic chops that will make you spurt Diet Coke through your nose.’ Parade

‘Funny, raunchy and unexpectedly uplifting… will leave you hoping that Lawson’s next book happens, and soon'. People Magazine

‘Zany… hilarious… takes cues from the memoirs of Tina Fey and David Sedaris’. Reuters

‘Frankly, it would be hard to grow up free of eccentricities if one’s strongest memories of childhood involved a taxidermist father bringing home all manner of fierce creatures, alive and dead… The best and funniest parts of this memoir are the childhood reminiscences…but Lawson also wrings much amusement from the challenge of balancing her eccentricities with the demands of being grown up and having a family of her own’ The Herald

‘Bawdy, irreverent, searingly honest, big and loud… she keeps her readers in stitches’. The Huffington Post

‘A skewering, but deeply affectionate portrait of her family, in the vein of David Sedaris… blends surprising honesty with acerbic wit’. The New York Times

‘Lawson’s sweet-at-the-core book is really about valuing your family, however crazy they may be’ Whole Living Magazine

‘Clever is my kryptonite, and Jenny is one of the most clever people on the Internet’. Wil Wheaton

About the Author

Jenny Lawson is an award-winning and hugely popular columnist and blogger – her blog, www.thebloggess.com, receives 2-3 million page views every month and she has over 220,000 followers on Twitter. She has been called ‘the funniest woman alive’ (by at least three people), ‘one of the most progressive women’s voices of our time’ (by an acclaimed feminist writer), and ‘totally inappropriate’ (by Marie Claire). Jenny lives in Texas with her husband and daughter.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Simple Story Told by an Extraordinary Woman 27 July 2012
By Kyberia
Authored by Jenny Lawson of "The Blogess" fame, "Let's Pretend This Never Happened" is a simple autobiography full of the humour, hyperbole and weirdness that characterizes her blog.

She cheerfully skips over all the boring stuff and gets straight down to the cow vaginas and dead animals in little costumes. I won't spoil the stories for anyone else here, but she tells everything with this slightly tipped view on reality that had me in stitches... when I wasn't in tears.

Jenny suffers from OCD and generalized anxiety disorder, and as a sufferer from mental health issues myself, aspects of her story - all poignantly, yet still humorously told told - were heartbreakingly familiar.

In the early stages of the book, the writing feels a little strained, as if she were trying to force her own hand to write a standard-issue and somewhat dull autobiography, but later she relaxes and lets her own signature bursts of "WTF?!" come through.

All in all, there is room for improvement in her transition from blog to novel, but that will surely come in the next book, and even as it stands, no-one could ever possibly regret reading this book. It's just a simple story of one woman's life, but with all the unexpected bobcats and giant metal chickens you could possibly hope for.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it.. But not for your mum...! 19 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Laughed so much from start to finish. Jenny Lawson writes with a sharp wit, way too much information and her honesty is really refreshing. If you want a book that is a bit sweary, hilariously funny and wrong on so many levels... Buy it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Works better as a blog 10 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I bought this book as I occasionally dip into Jenny's blog and find it hilarious. She's very unusual, honest and interesting. But as a book, I didn't like it. Her childhood stories were unpleasant and the stream-of-consciousness writing style that works well in a short blog post got really irritating in the book. When you read a blog you come to identify with the writer and feel like you 'know' them, which I expect is why books by popular bloggers sell so well. This feeling of knowing Jenny is also giving me some guilt about writing a bad review, which is perhaps a factor in why it gets such high ratings here. Or perhaps I'm weird for not liking it.
(I usually only write reviews when I have strong opinions; I wrote this one because the Kindle app gave me a neat option to write it as soon as I'd finished reading. Cunning, Amazon.)
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Stick to the blog. 17 Dec 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was pretty late in discovering The Bloggess - not entirely sure how it happened, I think one of my friends re-posted something of hers onto their Facebook page, or something like that. So, then I had to investigate & I loved reading her crazy blog! I gradually worked my way through some of her back catalogue, laughing at the insanity of her life. (Plus, I so loved the bit of Wil Wheaton coallating paper!)

So, when her book came out over here I wasn pretty excited & wanted to get it straight away, only it was pretty expensive, so it had to wait a bit. Then things happened & I became the recipient of an amazon gift card, so I (of course!) bought Let's Pretend This Never Happened.

Everyone was raving about it. That is so rarely a good thing in my reading experience. Not often have I enjoyed a book that everyone else was raving about & sadly this was no exception. Lawson begins the book by admitting that someone somewhere is going to be offended by her book, by the things she has written/is saying & well, I was at one point.

The book starts out well enough - I did laugh in a few places, but they were more chuckles, than the belly laughs that I was used to from reading her blog. And, honestly, it just got worse from there. There is no sort of cohesion to the blog, it's just randomness clumped together into book format. It doesn't follow a timeline, or any kind of theme - it's really just a bunch of her blog posts called a book. Only, there is something missing, it isn't really like her blog. It isn't really funny - it's almost like she's desperately trying to be funny & failing miserably. Maybe these were the posts that were sitting in her drafts, that she wasn't really sure were up to being published on her blog?
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty and bold & I loved it 9 May 2012
By D.G.
What a surreal read! It was given to me, and I loved this book for its bizarre well of stories laced with very anecdotal wit. Stuffed animals crop up a lot, along with eccentric relatives and all I can say is I'd recommend it to anyone. Taxidermy and liquor never struck me as two things that go well together before, but that's all in the past.

There's a lot more to this book but what I've mentioned has left the strongest impression. There are many personal details about a real struggle as well, and it's very moving in many places, so it's worth reading for that, but I'd recommend it for the funny parts, which are consistently good and really hit the spot. It's a wonderful book.

A lot of recent humour has been very disappointing, but this one succeeds handsomely. The only books I've read recently that were anywhere near as funny are Charlie Brooker's acerbic Dawn of the Dumb: Dispatches from the Idiotic Frontline and Chris Wood's brilliant Sherlock Holmes and the Flying Zombie Death Monkeys, which is hilarious. Most of the others have been let downs.

I thoroughly enjoyed this one, though. Buy it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
My girlfriend had to keep taking it away because it made me laugh so hard I couldn't breathe.

If you're a fan of her blog, buy the book. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Dominic Humphries
2.0 out of 5 stars i wish it never had
I am also still wondering why I am still reading it. I keep looking at the bottom line on my kindle to see how far into the book I've read and have I given it a decent chance? Read more
Published 3 days ago by Harts
4.0 out of 5 stars entertaining
Good read and she is definitely barking mad but I liked this book a lot look forward to her next one
Published 12 days ago by Jean Durie
1.0 out of 5 stars Didn't enjoy
Read this book for book club and if it hadn't been book club I wouldn't have read more than a few pages and then binned it.
Published 1 month ago by Laurie
3.0 out of 5 stars Not that funny
Was okay, some funny stories but I got bored half way through and haven't yet finished it several months later.
Published 2 months ago by Julie Philp
1.0 out of 5 stars I really wanted to give it no stars (but I wouldn't have made it to...
A Book Club read - and one I didn't vote for - so a labour to get as far as I did without reaching the 'my life is too short to finish this!' stage. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mrs A C Grafton
5.0 out of 5 stars really laugh out loud!
Found Jenny through twitter feed, then the blog. Love, love this book! My husband kept asking me why I was laughing; -too many reasons!
Published 3 months ago by Aislinn's opinion
5.0 out of 5 stars The funniest book I've ever read!
I'm one of those 'accident waiting to happen' people. Evidently, I'm not alone, as it seems to be the way with Jenny Lawson too. I literally cried laughing at this book. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Lisa Borrett
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book!
Full of irreverent stories, just like the blog. Very easy to laugh out loud at, easy to dip in and out of. Lovely stuff.
Published 4 months ago by HunnyforTea
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully bizarre!
I really enjoyed this book. Jenny Lawson is wonderfully eccentric and her life has been pretty bizarre. A funny and unique book.
Published 4 months ago by Edna Ming
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