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on 27 July 2012
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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on 10 March 2013
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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on 22 March 2016
I bought this after reading a review for Lawson’s second book ‘Furiously Happy’. I was intrigued by the review and started to follow Lawson’s blog ‘The Bloggess’ -which is quirky, weird and hilariously funny. Lawson suffers from OCD and generalised anxiety disorder, both mental health issues with which I have personal experience. I also noticed a testimonial on the cover from Caitlin Moran. I adore Caitlin Moran so knew that I had to read this.

The book tells the story of Lawson’s rather unconventional upbringing - I won’t spoil it but it involves all the usual horrors and embarrassments of growing up made a thousand times worse by taxidermy, unfortunate accidents involving dead animals, an incredibly embarrassing father with a penchant for bringing home anything he finds alive or dead by the roadside, anxiety attacks and a memorable occasion involving an arm and a cow’s vagina.

It is, and I hate this term, genuinely laugh out loud funny in parts. But while Lawson is hilarious, she is also self-aware. The book goes on to detail Lawson’s relationship with the long-suffering Victor, their marriage and their attempts at conceiving. Lawson manages to avoid sentimentality and her honesty is refreshing. One minute you’re laughing out loud at the notes she leaves on the fridge threatening to poison Victor because he’s left a towel on the floor, the next you’re crying with her (and it really feels as though your with her) as she suffers another setback.

She’s real, she’s human and she is an excellent writer.

This book is for everyone who isn’t normal (and isn’t that most of us to some extent). Embrace your weirdness - and do read this book.
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on 28 October 2013
This book is Bat. S***. Insane.
Probably because the woman who wrote it is Bat. S***. Insane.
It's also utterly awesome, and makes me wish everything was like this - only, then it would be called Bat S*** Normality. Still, it'd be a lot more fun!
NOW BRACE YOURSELF FOR MY SERIOUS VOICE: I loved the weird, eclectic stories, the quirky, stream-of-consciousness humour that crossed the line so frequently it was like one of those dotted ones with gaps they paint down the middle of the road to show you're allowed to overtake... and the plethora of references to dildos and vaginas (which may be because I'm a man, but then many of the vagina references are to a cow's vagina which, as an object, holds very little fascination for me at all. Wow. I think I used the word `vagina' more in this review than I have in the last ten years. But then, I'm married.) Sorry - I seem to have lost my `serious voice' somewhere in there. Perhaps I should just wrap this up by saying, I love vaginas. No! Sorry, that just slipped out. I mean, I LOVED this book. I laughed so hard at the first half that my wife made me go out and buy incontinence pants before she'd let me read the second half. Thank God for leather sofas, is all I can say. And... side-tracked again, my apologies. Where were we? Oh yes. Buy this book. And don't sit on anything that stains whilst reading it, unless you have exceptional bladder control. Or a dog to blame.
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on 15 July 2012
I had absolutely no expectations when I started this book as, admittedly, I'd never heard of Jenny Lawson before but now I can definitely say I am fairly gutted I have missed out on her hilarity for this long. This book is utterly hilarious, always surprising and will, without a doubt, leave you wanting more. Thankfully we have her blog for that, but I wouldn't say no to another book if it ever came out.

Although a lot of the book is adapted from her blog, it flows very well and there is only one point at which there is a real time discrepancy but even Jenny herself points this out and berates herself for it! Most of the book is unceasingly funny but there are also many poignant and touching moments too.

Finally, I also really like the little pictures which are added every so often in the book....and act as proof for many of the crazy moments of Jenny's life which sometimes seem so insane they couldn't possibly be real.
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on 29 October 2012
I first picked this book up whilst browsing in a book shop. Flicking through it was enough to make me smile, and so I decided to treat myself, and bought it for my Kindle.
This book is only the second book (Caitlin Moran's How to be a Woman was the first) to make me laugh out loud on the tube. Proper laughter, the kind that bubbles up and you are unable to suppress. The kind that leaves you helpless and spluttering.

I absolutely loved this book.

Ok, it might not be for everyone. There is a fair amount of swearing which didn't bother me in the slightest, (in fact I found it quite amusing) but I suppose it might be too much for some. For anyone looking for a book that will make you grin and potentially lead to you making a total d1ck of yourself laughing aloud on public transport, this is totally for you. I really cannot recommend it highly enough.
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on 9 May 2012
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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on 30 July 2012
I have to say I found this writer's style hard work. It was sort of like finding a moderately funny 13 year old girl and then giving her 5 red bulls to drink and writing down the ensuing stream of consciousness. Started to grate by about page 3. There were some funny parts (her high school), the touching parts (her dog's death and the ensuing vulture...problem) and she certainly does good character sketches of people around her but I'd be stuck on three stars for that. But then there is the magic squirrel story. I cried from laughing so hard and actually had to take a breather because it had reached that stage where laughter has become actively unpleasant and I couldn't bear to read on without calming down a bit. I still can't even hear the word squirrel without chuckling a bit. So for that it gets 4 stars. Provided your sense of humour is quite...dark.
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on 28 September 2014
If you already know Jenny Lawson as The Bloggess, then you will know what to expect (mostly). If you don’t, then go and subscribe to her blog immediately!

Terrifying, startling, disturbing, but mainly laugh-out-loud funny, this tells certain incidents in Lawson’s life that many might think implausible, but for which there is significant evidence (we’ve seen the photos of Beyoncé the giant metal chicken, after all). It’s all (mostly) in the same breezy style as her blog, even when the incidents are what most people would think as traumatic. We see more of Jenny’s childhood, and of Victor, than in the blog posts. There’s blood, and romance, and bobcats, and panic attacks, and zombies, and stuffed animals, all rolled into one.

Great stuff.
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on 21 August 2013
Oh, Jenny Lawson, the brilliant Bloggess I bow (or curtsy if you prefer)to your innate ability to make me laugh until my sides hurt and unladylike snorts erupt from deep with in. This could have been titled "Adventures in Taxidermy" or "Beyonce the Giant Metal Chicken Lives in my Backyard" (Actually it's a rooster, but really who cares? Right?) This book is filled with strange but true accounts of Jenny's AWESOME life. Okay, so she might have a small disease, and be clinically depressed SOMETIMES....but, man she makes it all work for her with the help of her husband Victor, her daughter and menagerie of (mostly) live animals. Highly recommended to anyone who needs a decent laugh and doesn't mind a few hundred F bombs :D Go Jenny!!!
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