First and foremost, I don’t know much about Chelsea Handler. After watching a few episodes of Chelsea Lately and reading this book, I can honestly say I still don’t know much about her. People rarely baffle me, but this broad knocks me silly. About halfway through this memoir of sorts, I texted Victoria with this question: I don’t know whether Chelsea Handler is a liar or just a major train wreck.
My Horizontal Life is touted as a shock-fest of in-your-face female promiscuity. I looked forward to Chelsea’s stories of wild one-night stands and tales of feminine individuality and confidence. I wanted to be offended and live vicariously through her naughtiness. Unfortunately, the only thing offensive was a surprising lack of the offensive, but a surplus of far-fetched stories (many that often stopped way short of sex due to abuse of some narcotic or vodka) which just kind of made me sad for an obviously unadjusted, alcoholic, self-demoralizing woman.
Reading the memoir of someone struggling with alcoholism and being truthful about the hardships that occur during addiction would have been enlightening, informative, and interesting – but the book is supposed to be a comedic look at true-life sex romps – not Intervention.
On the other hand, if you like Chelsea Hander perhaps you will like the book as well. I think my biggest problem with her is just that I would never be friends with her – and not because I don’t approve of her drinking copious amounts of vodka (what girl doesn’t like a nice glass of top shelf?), doing the occasional drug and having a good night out with friends, or sleeping with whatever lovely stranger happens to cross her path. Handler writes herself as racist, vapid, and entirely concerned with physical appearance – not only in herself, but in others as well. If I had to read one more sentence about her being fat I was going to go eat a cheeseburger for her.
Another note – she writes everyone as a complete caricature. These people do not exist as she writes them. Actually, I’m fairly certain most of the incidents she writes about are completely untrue or only loosely based on some drunken reality she lives in. Even comedians can’t get away with such blatant lies.
Also, besides the fact that she has lots of sex, Handler is very chaste when it comes to sexy times. She struggles even to say the word ‘panties’.
In the book’s defense, it’s easy to read (first half is better than second half) – just a couple of solid hours and you’ve survived. Exactly two lines in the book made me laugh out loud – which I guess is a small success.
I hate star ratings, but for the sake of argument – 2/5.