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The Cursing Mommy's Book of Days: A Novel (edition 2012)

by Ian Frazier

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464251,994 (3.17)4
Member:Addysmom1
Title:The Cursing Mommy's Book of Days: A Novel
Authors:Ian Frazier
Info:Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2012), Hardcover, 256 pages
Collections:Read, Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Read

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The Cursing Mommy's Book of Days: A Novel by Ian Frazier

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I have never read any of Frazier's contributions to The New Yorker magazine or his humour collection Coyote v. Acme. I placed a hold on a copy of this audiobook purely on a whim and because of it's very chicklit-styled cover. I want to call The Cursing Mommy - no, we never do find out her name - the modern Erma Bombeck. I love all of Erma Bombeck's books. The Cursing Mommy is a stay-at-home woman who struggles to keep it all together while dealing with two challenging kids (one has a thing for starting fires and other forms of delinquent behaviour, the other for fainting at school) and Larry, her husband who's capacitor obsession/hobby is slowly taking over their house, while at the same time fending off unwanted advances from Larry's creepy boss/client. Written in epistolary format covering the events of one calendar year, I love how Frazier has given voice and very human expressions to a character who fluctuates between moments of calm philosophical meditation and full on profanity-infused venting. Cynthia Nixon is absolutely perfect narrating this one, making it so easy to visualize our frustrated lead character. There is an awful lot of swearing in the book, as is alluded to by the title, but there are a lot of really good funny bits too, such as the book group's obsession with reading anti-Republican political tell-all books about the Bush administration (with a segue into Reagan territory); the insane things that as a parent volunteer our heroine (really, what else can one call her?) finds herself doing for her son's school; the crazy private-run healthcare company that jacks up premiums whenever the CEO needs an influx of cash and lets not forget the parking lot style grocery store they have (don't ask, I would just struggle to explain that one). On the downside, while the situations our heroine find herself in are all different, the fact that she always ends up lying on the floor screaming for help - except for the one time she ended up in a tree - gets a bit tedious as the story progresses.

Overall, a wonderful way to de-stress or, in my case, to put any stress of the holiday season into perspective, with a chuckle and a smile. ( )
  lkernagh | Dec 24, 2014 |
Just flat out hilarious. Erma Bombeck and Nora Ephron would approve. For those of you who are volunteers at your children's schools, it's a must read. ( )
  froxgirl | Dec 16, 2013 |
the heroine is so stupid she makes me feel intelligent. she has 2 difficult(ordinary?)kids, a husband who isn't home much, and a father in care. she doesn't seem to have an outside job. if there is a strange/bad decision to be made, she's first in line. so she's unbelievable as is her life but it's quite funny.
reader excellent. ( )
  mahallett | Dec 5, 2013 |
An entertaining, light, funny and quick read. ( )
  Brianna_H | Jan 3, 2013 |
Showing 4 of 4
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Book description
From The New York Times, Nov. 4, 2012: The Cursing Mommy, who writes a local advice column, chronicles one year in the life of her appalling family, which is a fun-house version of our own. So her son Trevor’s tendency to set things on fire can be controlled if his therapist can just get his medication right, and her son Kyle will eventually stop fainting and breaking out in hives when he goes to his school, which is slowly and cheerfully being taken over by a cult. The Cursing Mommy’s father in assisted living refuses to die. When her husband, Larry, isn’t sobbing over life’s futility, he’s down in the basement tinkering with his beloved capacitors (whatever the hell those are). She has cats. They are allergic to humans. The Cursing Mommy’s hobbies include a book club that specializes in tomes dedicated to the perfidy of the Bush Administration; an exercise routine she’s experimenting with, combining yoga and screaming; reading self-help guides with titles like “Do Exactly as We Say”; and, of course, cursing. There is nominally a plot, which involves Larry’s quest for world capacitor domination and his billionaire client’s inexplicable and very unrequited passion for the Cursing Mommy herself, a pursuit that echoes Wile E. Coyote’s of Road Runner — ruthless, relentless and utterly hopeless. But the book’s greatest pleasure is watching the Cursing Mommy instruct us, Martha Stewartishly, in how to perform household repairs, test new products and create a variety of cunning arts and crafts projects begun with great spirit, great ambition and copious quantities of alcohol. Which lead, inevitably, to disaster, and Martha Stewart morphs into Sam Kinison. Just as with Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner, the pleasure is not in wondering whether something bad is going to happen; we already know that. The pleasure is in seeing how it happens.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374133182, Hardcover)

Based on his widely read columns for The New Yorker, Ian Frazier’s uproarious first novel, The Cursing Mommy’s Book of Days, centers on a profoundly memorable character, sprung from an impressively fertile imagination. Structured as a daybook of sorts, the book follows the Cursing Mommy—beleaguered wife of Larry and mother of two boys, twelve and eight—as she tries (more or less) valiantly to offer tips on how to do various tasks around the home, only to end up on the ground, cursing, surrounded by broken glass. Her voice is somewhere between Phyllis Diller’s and Sylvia Plath’s: a hilariously desperate housewife with a taste for swearing and large glasses of red wine, who speaks to the frustrations of everyday life.

Frazier has demonstrated an astonishing ability to operate with ease in a variety of registers: from On the Rez, an investigation into the lives of modern day Oglala Sioux written with a mix of humor, compassion, and imagination, to Dating Your Mom, a sidesplitting collection of humorous essays that imagines, among other things, how and why you might begin a romance with your mother. Here, Frazier tackles another genre with his usual grace and aplomb, as well as an extra helping of his trademark wicked wit. The Cursing Mommy’s failures and weaknesses are our own—and Frazier gives them a loving, satirical spin that is uniquely his own.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:38 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Structured as a daybook of sorts, with the Cursing Mommy--beleaguered wife of Larry and mother of two boys, twelve and nine--trying (more or less) valiantly to offer tips on how to do various tasks around the home, only to end up on the ground, cursing, surrounded by broken glass. Her voice is somewhere between Phyllis Diller's and Sylvia Plath's: a hilariously desperate housewife with a taste for swearing and large glasses of red wine, who speaks to the frustrations of everyday life.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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