01 February, 2012

Review: Ali in Wonderland by Ali Wentworth

I did not enjoy Ali Wentworth's book. It is entirely possible her material plays better if you have some frame of reference for her as a comedian. When I read Kathy Griffin, I heard her voice in the story. When I read Mindy Kaling I lacked that voice but the book stood up on it's own. For Ali In Wonderland I had no voice to hold up what was ultimately very weak material.

There could have been a great book from the bones of her story, but Wentworth didn't write it. I felt alienated from the author. Unlike Sedaris, where the joke is generally on him and the evisceration of others is done with some kindness, Wentworth's came across as a child of privilege resenting others judging her for that privilege. It was difficult to find a way to commiserate with her. When I would start to get some interest in her life she would throw something out that derailed it again. Getting through the book was such a chore I posted to Twitter every few pages as an encouragement to finish. Perhaps instead of a proper review I will follow the path taken by the book and offer you my loosely connected and highly personalized thoughts, direct from Twitter and chat.

I am not enjoying this upcoming release. Everyone in the memoir but the heroine sucks and it is saturated in unexamined privilege.


Author Washington insider, assures us all the family money gone, then launches into elite life. Own your status.


Opens with castle rented to propose to her, segues into DC life. Currently in prep school where she can do things like fly home at will.


Her life could be a funny and fascinating memoir but her writing style is SO off putting. Hasn't a kind word for anyone, really.


I could see the material being amusing in certain verbal delivery styles. Not coming across in print at all.


Book has a lot of marketing money behind it, expected to be huge. I'm going to get pummeled for hating it. Whatevs. Kiss my Ammy rank g'bye.


Oh hello, Girl Interrupted.


The author of this book just called out 153 lbs as an impossible tipping of the scales, her own mother doesn't recognize her.


Talking about an ex with a clunker, she relates how her mom is worried about safety so sells him her car at token price of 1k.


She and mom lie to him about why, because crazy pride! But hey, worth it for safe boyfriend car!



Not for boyfriend safety, mind you, but for hers. We should always lie to the poorer classes.


Author started to win me over, promptly killed it with dismissive remark about girls with less advantages than she. Calls them Escorts.


Her class issues are flying through the whole thing, triggering all of mine. She pisses away choices then judges people without them.


She calls herself middle class while jaunting about the world and dining with world leaders.


She walks off on an internship at Christie's because they had a dress code and expected her to fetch tea. London housing, even.


Author wants it both ways. Does not want to be judged for her silver spoon, yet wants to judge them for their lack of utensils.


This next tidbit... Almost gang raped by Mexican crack heads, go to the Four Seasons for 2 wks of pampering. Tries to tie in that old car would have been safer.


Situational humor requires a heart. Author saves her warmth for herself.


I am not sure why this book is funny. 3 big blurbs on it, but I haven't even smiled.


Omg. 9/11 has hit and the author takes to her bed at a luxury hotel when she has a perfectly good hotel room farther away.


No really,  9/11 just used as an anecdote to demonstrate how skewed her family is.


Halfway through. Second time author has said yes to an unwanted proposal. It's easier.


On page 215 I laughed. Yes, it was because she compared baptism to preparing a baby for roasting, but it was a welcome drop in this desert.


By page 234 I am back to frown faced reading.


The book is done! The review will wait. I might start a new personal blog since last night I killed Jesus. (Didn't mean to.)


And thus we conclude our first real time review of a book. I appreciated the opportunity to read Ali In Wonderland, it was an advance copy and I always regret disliking a gift. Ali Wentworth is probably perfectly lovely in real life, charming and amusing on a chat show. I have no doubt she is a better person than she came across to me in this book. If I had to guess, I would predict Ali In Wonderland will hit big and satisfy a core market. The crossover appeal is limited. On to the next. 



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