August 28, 2009

People Are Unappealing, by Sara Barron

Sara Barron keeps on talking about how fat she is in this collection of personal essays, so out of curiosity, I searched for a photo of her. Turns out when you search for "Sara Barron", Google suggests you add "Perez Hilton" or "Michael Stipe". I guess she got a bit of notoriety for the penultimate story in the book, which I'll get to. Anyway, she's not fat.

I read about this book in Bust, which only gave it a half-hearted review, but I thought I'd try it anyway. The cover blurb by Sloane Crosley, whose book I quite liked, gave me hope, but no. Bust was right. The stories, which tell of annoying people she has known from her pre-teens to today, remind me of David Sedaris-lite and This American Life. But she's no David Sedaris.

Now the good things: I did giggle quite a bit. I also admired how self-deprecating she was; if I had serious facial fuzz, I don't know that I could be so open about it. But I didn't like that she saved her 2 stories of unappealing celebrities for last, as if they were the best for being about famous people (but with pseudonyms like "Madrid Days Inn.") I thought the appeal of the stories was that they were just about everyday folk from school and her family. The tale of the asshole rock star who ate at her work (supposedly Michael Stipe at Babbo) was indeed juicy, but I think giving it such a prominent spot takes away from the relatibility of the humour.


brie said...

I like the title of this book, but I will wait to borrow it from the opposed to ordering it from Amazon. I have quite a collection of books here in Geneva. Amazon---blessing or curse?

I'm reading one right now that I think you would enjoy. It's making me laugh so much and I feel a bit of a kinship to the author, Beth Lisick. It's called "Helping Me Help Myself." You should definitely borrow it from the library.

Lydia said...

Yeah, just borrow it. I requested that Lisick book and I'm going to pick it up soon!