From performing in a comedy troupe to starring in sitcoms to his national standup tours, Michael Ian Black (My Custom Van) knows how to make an audience scream with laughter. When Black takes on topics like sex, marriage and parenthood in You're Not Doing it Right, readers should expect nothing less than a hilarious, poignant look at the timeless trials inherent in human relationships.
In this essay collection/memoir, Black alternates between reliving his youth and his adulthood, describing the affair that later became his marriage in one chapter, only to poke fun at his childhood with a gender role-deploring mother and her lesbian partner in another. Darkly funny rants on why child abuse isn't more common intertwine with raw sentiment as Black tries to identify with the experiences of his own father, who died when Black was 12. While Black's irreverent tone and brutally honest confessions may shock at times, his sardonic wit will leave readers helpless with laughter, whether he claims to hate his first baby or describes how experimentation with legal marijuana derailed his Amsterdam honeymoon.
The most memorable comedians are those who are able to identify common human fears and foibles and find the humor in them. Not only is Black a master of this art, he is equally adept at showing his wit's other edge, a sentimentality as raw as it is moving. Ultimately, this quality elevates You're Not Doing It Right from a funny book to a slyly touching collection most readers will connect with immediately.
***This review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness Readers Edition. Sign up for this free and awesome newsletter at http://www.shelf-awareness.com for the latest news and reviews! This review refers to an ARC provided by Shelf Awareness.***