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My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands (original 2005; edition 2005)

by Chelsea Handler

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1,794883,903 (3.5)37
Member:tamarajp
Title:My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands
Authors:Chelsea Handler
Info:Bloomsbury USA (2005), Paperback, 213 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:borrowed

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My Horizontal Life by Chelsea Handler (2005)

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Showing 1-5 of 87 (next | show all)
I don't know exactly how I should describe this book. If you are familiar with the style of comedy that Chelsea performs, then you are pretty well prepared for what you would find in the book. Her abrasive, irreverent, charming style flows in each of the essays of the book. Each essay gives people a better understanding of Chelsea's views on sexuality, relationships, and alcohol, as well as the support system that she's had in her life.

There are essays that are more disturbing than others. For example, in the very first essay, Chelsea describes walking in on her parents while they were having sex, taking a picture of them, then hiding in the basement because her father wants to punish her by hitting her. He doesn't get to do so that night,of the but, after charming her into letting him take her to school, he hits her that morning and takes her to school with a busted lip. Some might find this to be acceptable, but I felt like it was a bit abhorrent behavior. Of course, it wasn't as bad as when he made lascivious comments about Chelsea's body later in the book and how attractive he found her. He also made other comments in other essays where he comes off as homophobic and racist, including trying to call the police on one of Chelsea's boyfriends because he thinks he must have stolen a car (one that rightfully belonged to the boyfriend) because of the color of his skin.

Chelsea also has moments where she acts quite ignorant, and those were times when I almost put down the book. She is extremely judgmental, moreso than I ever expected. She makes slurs often, and is not above belittling those who try to be nice to her. She makes fun of her sexually inexperienced roommate for being a virgin, which is just as bad as when others mock her for her experience and comfort with being sexual. She is quick to play to stereotypes, including ones that are degrading to her own life, heritage, and background. Because of this self-deprecating style, she ends up coming off as someone who may have more issues with her self-esteem than you'd expect,

Potential readers need to know that the book, though marketed as being about her one-night stands, is more about Chelsea's friendships, family members, and longer-term relationships. She has more relationships in the book than she does one-night stands. People also need to be of the aware that her schtick about needing vodka or booze of any kind is also present throughout the book. I doubt of the anyone would be surprised by that, but just in case you are, you can't say that you weren't warned. Chelsea also admits to using a variety of substances and has friends who use illegal drugs, as well.

Other than the substances, the bigotry, and the other acts that I have mentioned, the book comes off as humorous and fun. Chelsea is more awkward than I would have expected. And her experiences explain a lot about her sense of humor. I don't mean for this to sound like a psychoanalysis of her, but I totally get why she is how she is now. Yeah, that still sounds analytical, doesn't it? I guess I would say just be careful not to judge this book too quickly based on what you think you know about her.
( )
  janersm | Jul 1, 2014 |
Nothing special. Not particularly funny or witty. The only part that was really enjoyable was the part with the M&M costume. ( )
  sweetzombieducky | Feb 14, 2014 |
This is a vacation read -- something I wouldn't normally pick up, but it was sitting there, and I was headed out to the beach to suck down some tropical concoction in the sun. So, why not?
My Horizontal Life was definitely not my kind of book, but I enjoyed it sporadically, as much as I simultaneously found it offensive.
Chelsea Handler has written an account of one-night stands that she has experienced. The cast of characters is interesting, and sometimes bizarre, and the situations range from laugh-out-loud funny to irritatingly off-putting.
I don't know how much the author has embellished, and how well she's hidden the identity of some of her subjects, but I'd sure be sorry if I showed up in her book! She's rather merciless and shallow, a hedonist who wants to have a good time and doesn't even try to spare the feelings of men who, er, aren't up to the task. I'm trying to imagine a book written with genders reversed, where a man takes a woman home from a bar, only to reject her in the bedroom because of, say, her breast size. Eeyuck.
It's also a shame that Handler thinks that hedonism is cool when it extends to being an alcoholic. Again, maybe she's exaggerating things for comedic effect, but if that's the case, the unintended consequence was to make herself out to be a happy drunk.
That said, if you can accept the author's total pursuit of her own pleasure (her feeble attempt at the end to portray this as a phase coming to an end doesn't really ring sincere), the book does have some pleasure to offer the reader as well, with a couple of very funny predicaments and sexual disasters.
If you want a few sexually-charged laughs, you could sure do worse than this book. And it was okay as a vacation read. That's as far as I can go in recommending My Horizontal Life.
( )
  ksimon | Feb 6, 2014 |
Given to me by a close friend (though I'm not sure why?) this book covers the various odd relationships of the writer over her lifetime. Filled with all sorts of odd stories of dating, it's sure to bring, at the very least, a smile to your face. Have you ever hooked up with a dwarf or had to crawl through your kitchen window in the middle of February in an M&M costume? Read it, it's well worth the short amount of time required to get through it. ( )
  AKLibGirl | Dec 21, 2013 |
Fun comedy read. Chelsea, the comedian author, wrote several vignettes about her sex life and it was truly funny. However, if any of it actually happened, I'd be really surprised. ( )
  buffalogr | Nov 5, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 87 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chelsea Handlerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blong, JenniPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Itallie, ElizabethCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my parents-
Thank you for having me. Now look what I've done.

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I was seven years old when my sister told me she'd give me five dollars to run upstairs into my parents' room while they were having sex and take a picture.
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Handler chronicles what can happen to one very intoxicated, outgoing woman during one night of passion-- repeated over and over with lots and lots of men.

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