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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 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 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 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 2 May 2016
There are very few books which make me laugh out loud but this is one of the best.
As a sufferer of anxiety disorder, I identify with her symptoms but not the results. I am usually an outgoing, gregarious person but am debilitated by anxiety. I do not have Ms Lawson's strength to go out when an episode is likely to happen so I really admire her ability to take a step back and not just comment but hold herself up to be a source of mirth.
I absolutely loved this book and even paid £4.99 after reading a sample. This is the most I have spent on an Amazon book and I have over 16,000.
I cannot recommend this highly enough.
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on 19 April 2016
I wanted to love it. I'd heard so much good stuff about it, but to be honest I found it boring, I found it like a collection of blog posts (which is basically what it is.) Blog posts are great but why put them in a book? It was funny in places, sad in other places but the writing needed editing (without the "humorous" asides to the editor), it didn't flow and I'm not inclined to read anything else by her. David Sedaris she is not sadly.
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on 18 October 2015
I started out liking this. It was smart and witty and it was clearly one of those 'I had a terrible life as a kid and was a complete weirdo with no friends but look at me now' type books - which I love and empathise with - though not actually empathise with in terms of stuff that happens in this one, just to be clear! But I have to say, that I got a little tiny bit bored towards the last third or so, because it felt just a little tiny bit smug and too self-referential. On saying that, I liked the author enough to follow her on Twitter now and check out her blog because she is weirdly funny and funnily weird.
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on 17 December 2012
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?

I read in a review where someone complained about the number of times the joke about the publisher "hating" something had been done/written in the latest chapter. Yeah, sadly, that person was correct. It was over killed, really. I lost count of the number of times Lawson recycled that "joke"

I think my biggest arguement with the book is it's not a memoire, not really. A memoire traditionally would actually have a bit of a story to it, would have some "flesh on the bone" - this doesn't. It's superficial, rambling, all over the place and in desperate need of a really really good editor.

If you are a fan of the blog - stick to the blog! Do not read this book, as there is a better than not chance you will be disappointed. I was so disappointed I gave up on her blog.
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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 27 October 2014
I have never laughed so much to myself reading a book as I did reading this.
Possibley the funniest most bizarre book I have read. I wasn't expecting it to be like it was when I started reading it but once I started I literally couldn't put it down and read it in about 5 days.
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