My Horizontal Life

Do you know Chelsea Handler? She’s a New Jersey born comedienne who has appeared on various TV shows including Girls Behaving Badly, The Bernie Mac Show and The Tonight Show. She now has her own show on E! called Chelsea Lately that focuses on Hollywood gossip and is completely over the top, disrespectful, inappropriate and absolutely hysterical. So, of course, when a friend of mine brought me her book, I lept on it with a frenzy.

I wasn’t planning on writing up a review of this book but I had such an overwhelming response to my Singular Saturday comment that I felt I must appease the masses. 😉

My Horizontal Life is a series of short stories about various sexual encounters she has had during her life time. In fact, the book’s subtitle is A Collection of One-Night Stands. Now, in no way would I describe this book as good literature, but wow, is it ever a fun read!

The best description of this book I have read yet says, “Chelsea Handler writes like Judy Blume, if Judy Blume were into vodka, Ecstasy, and sleeping with midgets and nineteen-year-olds.” Oh how true it is!

Obviously I would not recommend this book to anyone who is even slightly prudish, but I laughed my way through it, literally out loud laughing.

Each chapter of the book is a tale of a sexual encounter with a total stranger. Ok, sometimes they weren’t total strangers, she may have met them on the internet or spoken with them for 10 minutes or so before following them home.

Now I realize that in the culture of “abstinence only sex-ed”, a book like this is bound ot be highly unpopular. However, I think the idea of teaching absitnence instead of sex-ed is not only ignorant and narrow minded, but also hazardous. There is nothing wrong with sexuality. In fact, let’s be honest, sex is a good thing, and done properly a GREAT thing. Although Chelsea’s take on sexual promiscuity is perhaps a bit extreme, I have to applaud her on one thing for sure: She is happy with herself and is not ashamed of her actions simply because a large segment of society thinks she should be. The overwhelming vibe I got from this book was that of a woman who had no qualms about being who she wanted to be, even if her actions might be considered by the society at large as being more appropriate for men than women. Fuck that. There is no reason a man can take pride in the notches on his belt and a woman can’t. As long as the sex is safe, who cares if it’s with midgets or strangers.

NEXT UP : Vanilla Bright Like Eminem by Michael Faber.  This is a book of short fiction by a British author.  Other than that, I know nothing about it.  It was brought to me by a friend who knew I was looking for something new to read.

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~ by CableGirl on Tuesday, February 19, 2008.

13 Responses to “My Horizontal Life”

  1. Heh, the book would probably be popular over here. Last night we started watching a very graphic American channel and it ended up being the Playboy channel, which is apparently free to receive/view here. I’m still working on The Circus in Winter and The Salmon of Doubt. After that I have The Book Thief. I tend to read two books at one time.

  2. I will have to chedk this one out. I loved her on Girls Behaving Badly. Have you ever read any David Sedaris? Your review reminds me of one of his earlier short story collections — Barrel Fever.

  3. Debbie, no I’ve never read Sedaris, but I keep meaning to. I just forget about him whenever I’m in the bookstore. lol. I will certainly pick up Barrel Fever on your recommendation.

  4. I might have to track that book down. Sounds like a big naughty laugh.

  5. I can’t wait until her next book comes out in April!

  6. Hmm, I may not put this one on the coffee table at my house, although I see the point of this book, I think the problem in this is the chance for disease and unwanted pregnancy. I wonder how the book would have went if it ended with “…and I contracted HIV. Go girl power, just be careful is all 😉

  7. Hmm, looks like an interesting read! I agree with the whole sex-ed thing. I think teaching abstinence only is a terrible thing. How can you make the right choices if you don’t understand all the options? Of course being the mom of 4 girls, I’m obviously not relying on the schools to educate my children.

  8. Joeprah, I totally agree with you on the diseases and unwanted pregnancy issues. I should have made it clear that Chelsea does talk about using condoms in the book. We are talking safe sex here.

    Amy – I couldn’t agree more with you about not being able to make choices without being fully informed and no, I don’t expect my daughter to learn about sex solely from school.

  9. I second the Sedaris recommendation.

  10. I definitely need to read this…

  11. This has the makings of an interesting meme… ;->

  12. I really want to read this book. Maybe I’ll suggest it for book club! I’m totally with you on the sex ed. I’m going to push it a little bit further and say that what I really want for my kids is for them to be able to make well informed safe decisions when they’re ready and to be able to have an enjoyable sex life. In fact I joined the Abolish Abstinence Only Sex Education on Facebook about a month ago.

  13. Sounds very interesting/entertaining! I just may have to take a peek at this one!

    Makeshift Sinatra~
    Bloghoppin’ on a Saturday Nite.

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