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Kick ME Paperback – 1 Feb 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Publications; 1 edition (1 Feb. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609809431
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609809433
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 480,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"It's shocking that one person could have so many humiliating experiences and even more shocking that he chose to remember them. Kick Me is like an unofficial prequel to Freaks and Geeks. If anything, Paul Feig's real stories are actually more harrowing than what his fictional characters went through." --Ira Glass, host of This American Life
"I love Paul Feig's sense of humor--in a platonic way. This book is hilarious. I recommend it to people like me. And to people who don't like me." --Garry Shandling
"Paul Feig's Kick Me is an astute study of growing up in the seventies that thinks it's a happy-go-lucky humor book."--Joel Hodgson, creator of Mystery Science Theater 3000

It s shocking that one person could have so many humiliating experiences and even more shocking that he chose to remember them. Kick Me is like an unofficial prequel to Freaks and Geeks. If anything, Paul Feig s real stories are actually more harrowing than what his fictional characters went through. Ira Glass, host of This American Life
I love Paul Feig s sense of humor in a platonic way. This book is hilarious. I recommend it to people like me. And to people who don t like me. Garry Shandling
Paul Feig s Kick Me is an astute study of growing up in the seventies that thinks it s a happy-go-lucky humor book. Joel Hodgson, creator of Mystery Science Theater 3000"

From the Inside Flap

Written in side-splitting and often cringe-inducing detail, Paul Feig takes you in a time machine to a world of bombardment by dodge balls, ill-fated prom dates, hellish school bus rides, and other aspects of public school life that will keep you laughing in recognition and occasionally sighing in relief that you aren't him. Kick Me is a nostalgic trip for the inner geek in all of us.

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 10 May 2003
Format: Paperback
Buying "Kick Me" for a long plane flight, I soon discovered this was a mistake as, before long, my fellow passengers were moving away from me and my ill-concealed snorts, giggles and out right hysterical laughter attacks. Paul Feig writes very well even though a lot of his material could stand alone in binary code. I am very worried if all of this actually took place to him- it makes me fear that what I thought was a normal childhood -i.e. free of homoerotic incidents in the changing rooms, being unmolested by a life-saving instructor, having intimate relationships with the climbing rope during P.E.- is actually one of extreme privelege. Buy this book if you like humour--- and aren't afraid of anything described graphically and with scary honesty...
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By A. Ross TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 12 Jan. 2006
Format: Paperback
Here, the creator of the outstanding (and greatly mourned) TV show Freaks and Geeks, lays out his most embarrassing childhood moments in hilarious vignettes that will have readers cringing their way from start to end. The book takes him from first grade through high school over the course of the '70s, as he evolves into ultimate suburban geek: polyester clad, germ phobic, Monty Python-lovin', sports hating, pimply, awkward nerd. If you're a Freaks and Geeks fan, he's basically kind of a combination of the worst parts of the Neal and Ken characters. And if you're not, think of a lighter version of David Sedaris and you're on the right track.
Feig fully admits his neuroses and total cluelessness, yet I categorically refuse to believe that one person could have suffered so many mishaps, indignities, bullying, and general embarrassment and lived to write about it. The contents of this book simply cannot be true -- but I don't care, 'cause it makes for great reading. Even though a number of the episodes are total cliches (the dodgeball game in which everyone gangs up on him, the horrific first gym group shower, the parents to cheap to get him a proper Christmas pageant costume, the horror of the CPR dummy, Little League ineptitude), Feig manages to make them funny all over again.
This is a great book for any guy who looks back at their youth with distress at their inability to charm the ladies. No one does it worse than Feig: Childhood crush wants to kiss you? Play coy until she gets bored. Crush on cute girl in homeroom? Give her a family heirloom as gift and watch the confusion on her face as she tries to work out who you are. Crush on classmate? Tell tasteless joke comparing teacher to simian and watch her report you.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9d068698) out of 5 stars 53 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c1e90b4) out of 5 stars Life in the geek lane 19 Mar. 2004
By Eileen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Remember those times in grade school when you were picked on or laughed at? The gym class you couldn't wait to end? That awkward first encounter with the opposite sex? Those tense moments performing in front of your classmates? Paul Feig's adolescent angst will make yours seem trivial in comparison. These essays about his experiences as an insecure, picked-on, but yet ever-hopeful kid from the wrong side of the popularity tracks will have you laughing and nodding as you recognize some of those same scenes from your own childhood.
Paul was a quiet and fearful boy obsessed with germs, undressing in the boy's locker room, and dealing with girls. He alternately either tried to gain acceptance from, or avoided the attention of, the other kids... all of which, of course, made him the target of ridicule or worse. He describes every anxious moment in his childhood from his unusual homemade elf costume in his first grade class play to his misgivings about his date at the senior prom. I suffered along with him on horrendous school bus trips. I felt sympathy for him when his teacher mispronounced his last name, prompting his classmates to dub him with an unfortunate permanent nickname. I cringed at his Little League and football announcer fiascos. I rooted for him when he performed in the school talent show. I worried about his decision to dress in his Mom's clothing for Halloween. And above all else, I laughed.
These stories are not just funny, however. They are masterpieces of observation about the social interactions among kids, or between kids and their parents and teachers. The anecdotes are undoubtedly exaggerated for effect, yet they ring true because they describe every adolescent's fears of fitting in. I recommend this well written and highly entertaining book.
Eileen Rieback
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c1e9108) out of 5 stars Days of Yore in Gym and in Love 22 Dec. 2002
By Robert Wellen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Paul Feig is a gifted writer and director. As a fan of his work on Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared, I was excited to read his memoir. His book is actually better than most of his TV work. There is a poignancy to the writing that really stands out (and could be found in some of his TV work too), but the book is always better than the movie anyway. The book is hilariously blunt. Most of us had one or two of these embarrassing events happen to us as children, but how many of us had 278 pages worth? You will indeed laugh so hard that you will cry and perhaps even want to cry. Feig is clearly one of the good guys. He remembers a time that was indeed simpler--but not one that has gone away. Every kid has his traumas reading about his make your own more endurable. I'm recommending this extraordinary book to everyone I know. If only more people had his honesty and insights, the young adult world would be a better place. Nevertheless, kids like Feig make super adults.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c937324) out of 5 stars Freaks & Geeks: The Book! 13 May 2004
By Jonathan Monaco - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I picked up this book because I loved the show Freaks & Geeks. You see, Paul Feig, author of this book, also created the show. This book definetly fits right along, side by side, with Freaks & Geeks.
Paul Feig tells of his geeky and embarrasing adventure throughout school. Never have I laughed so much from reading a book. From his showering in gym escapade to the first time he discovered, erm, self love.
This is a must read for anyone who ever felt left out or completely embarrased during their school days. In fact this should be part of the required reading for school kids so they can see it could always be worse.
All jocks and cheerleader should pass, as they'll probably laughing at instead of with.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c1e9390) out of 5 stars Freak or Geek- which one were you?... 15 Jan. 2003
By Steve - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Without a doubt, if Paul Feig's KICK ME: ADVENTURES IN ADOLESCENCE were to suddenly become the next zeitgeist in comedic culture, it would be a totally justifiable harmonic convergence- all the evidence and reasoning behind such justification would be manifest within its pages. KICK ME will challenge the gut with all of its laughter-inducing anecdotes, all suffered by the hapless Mr. Feig- in a sense, the tome is like a literary version of a happy form of ipecac syrup, where guffaws are brought up instead of bile. So if you're feeling a bit disgruntled or are having a bad day, simply pluck this book from the shelf and use it to get rid of the agent which is poisoning your system.
KICK ME is a collection of stories which chronicle the abject youthful misadventures- forget what the title refers to them as, you definitely have to preface that third word with a mis- of Paul Feig, whose genius mind somehow extracted the quality-show to end all quality-shows, the unfortunately ephemeral FREAKS AND GEEKS, from the chaotic ether of unformed ideas and concepts (wherever/whatever the [heck] that is). Actually, I should take that back; forget this nonsense of a fantastical land that a Muse travels to for the benefit of its Master, bringing back raw, shapeless notions; in Mr. Feig's case, the lightbulbs were already there in his experiences, and his memoir is the proof, the explanation even, behind the eighteen episodes defining the socioecological parameters of circa-1980 high school fauna (which probably smoked a lot of flora in its time, to be sure). That show is not to be missed, and neither is this book. What KICK ME represents is a bible of commonalties in many ways; everything you read never seems strange or alien- you can relate, you swear you've been there before, the deja vu spontaneously transmogrifies into instant recollections of similar events from your own days gone by, the so-called "best time of your life", and you find the substitution of Mr. Feig's shoes in place of your own an easily acceptable event. And it becomes like the argument which attempts to rationalize the success of daytime talk shows: people relish the chance to see that they aren't alone. After reading KICK ME, most of us will realize that, although we believed ourselves to be lonely isolated islands surrounded by nothing but cold, cruel seas, each one of us was in fact part of a close-knit archipelago whose longitude and latitude on the social map were determined by the type of clique represented by such a group; in other words, whatever degree of nerdiness you aspired to, there at least were several others around you who were just as nerdy...and after that, well, there indeed was a long reach of shark-infested ocean.
Mr. Feig possesses an incredibly rare talent: he has the ability to convey in words analyses of certain situations that heretofore I have never been able to express with any cursory bit of verbiage, let alone process fully and satisfactorily in my mind. The reader will find many examples of such meritorious instances of this particular gift, but let me supply one stellar representative: the sharp deconstruction of a French kiss between the author and a girl who had just recently regurgitated a session of imbibing fermented spirits. That brings to mind a red flag about the work; one must realize that, since we are talking about a tome which in turn talks about high school experiences from the point of view of the male of the species, it would behoove you to keep in mind that there will be many descriptions of gross-out scenarios which will challenge even the strongest abdominal region (my own abdominal region is not even close to the middle percentile of strong stomachs, which rendered me susceptible to many a gagging bout during the chapter on germs and multiple persons drinking from the same can of beverage).
But it is not just the physical nausea you feel- it is also the emotional, as well. The chapter on the bus rides from ... and the nasty wasp-stinging inclinations of the "freak girls" resurrected the darker side of the public education system; completely fascinating, of course, but no doubt a tad scary as well. The point is, though, that Mr. Feig masterfully dissected each and every pivotal event in his formative years and made sure that every angle of each incident was properly measured and every theorem that could be possibly inferred from such data was indefatigably extracted. It can be seen, therefore, that this isn't really just a funny memoir; no, in the proper hands- read: in the hands of those about to enter the world of junior high- Mr. Feig's reminiscences could easily serve as an instruction manual, maybe even a textbook for survival (then again, as someone once stated, life is just one big continuation of high school anyway, so maybe this book is good for all demos).
One special note: the writing in KICK ME is, with no qualification, truly incomparable. Mr. Feig's stylings are crisp and efficient without being sparse and clipped; indeed, although his sentence structure is complex and at times packed, it nevertheless never came off as being inaccessible or bloated. Although the mere content of the book would have been suffice to carry it along, I believe the superlative execution of the syntax really brought it all together in the end.
KICK ME is, simply put, one of the best books I have ever had the pleasure of reading; about the only criticism I can levy towards it is a belief that it would have really benefited from a proper foreword and afterword. If you like to laugh, you'll love this. And if you think I've been too glowing about it, read the first couple of pages, and then get back to me...
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c1e95d0) out of 5 stars We love you, Fig Newton! 30 Dec. 2006
By J. Houston - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I'm a HUGE fan of the cancelled (Why?!WHY!) series Freaks and Geeks, so of course when I learned the creator had written a series of stories about his own tortured adolescence, I had to have it. So many things that I loved about the tv series were present in Feig's memoirs. The gym class archipegalo rings particularly true for me. How well I remember the endless games of "Killer" (or "Battleball", as it was known in my school), the way even the most innocuous names could be twisted into something humiliating, the frightening "freak girls" who were worse than any male bully ever thought about being. From a former geek: It's obvious that he knows of which he speaks. And, as promised, he's gone on to do great things (please, please bring back Freaks and Geeks, please!), while his former tormentors probably lead dull and unimaginative lives.

For anybody who's survived middle school and looked back to see the humor~
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