Genre: Autobiography, Humor, Chick-Lit
Published by Bloomsbury on May 12th, 2005
Date Read: August 26th, 2013
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In this raucous collection of true-life stories, actress and comedian Chelsea Handler recounts her time spent in the social trenches with that wild, strange, irresistible, and often gratifying beast: the one-night stand. You've either done it or know someone who has: the one-night stand, the familiar outcome of a night spent at a bar, sometimes the sole payoff for your friend's irritating wedding, or the only relief from a disastrous vacation. Often embarrassing and uncomfortable, occasionally outlandish, but most times just a necessary and irresistible evil, the one-night stand is a social rite as old as sex itself and as common as a bar stool.
Enter Chelsea Handler. Gorgeous, sharp, and anything but shy, Chelsea loves men and lots of them. My Horizontal Life chronicles her romp through the different bedrooms of a variety of suitors, a no-holds-barred account of what can happen between a man and a sometimes very intoxicated, outgoing woman during one night of passion. From her short fling with a Vegas stripper to her even shorter dalliance with a well-endowed little person, from her uncomfortable tryst with a cruise ship performer to her misguided rebound with a man who likes to play leather dress-up, Chelsea recalls the highs and lows of her one-night stands with hilarious honesty. Encouraged by her motley collection of friends (aka: her partners in crime) but challenged by her family members (who at times find themselves a surprise part of the encounter), Chelsea hits bottom and bounces back, unafraid to share the gritty details. My Horizontal Life is one guilty pleasure you won't be ashamed to talk about in the morning.
Language: Moderate to heavy
Sexual Content: Heavy (the entire book is based around sex)
Other: Drugs, alcohol, discrimination, racism
As a memoir, My Horizontal Life dictates a collection of very memorable one night stands Chelsea Handler experienced over the course of her life. Each chapter is a new person and a new hilarious story, that ends with you wondering what the heck the guy thought after that night.
Now, not everyone is a fan of Handler. Her jokes can be quite controversial, her hits pretty hard, but over all, I am a fan, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. You'd have to be a fan of her to read this book - or at least, know what her humor is like, because it's on every page.
'I gently explained to him that I would rather sit at home and staple my hand to a wall than watch someone wearing a wet suit wipe out [on a surfboard] every thirty seconds'
And that quote isn't even one of the inappropriate ones.
I didn't really consider what I was getting myself into when I picked up this book. It was simple to me, a book of one night stands written by someone who I thought was funny. Great, right? Maybe not so much when you kind of look past that the entire book is based around sex. Now, the book wasn't explicit, per say. But it did involve a lot of words that I blush at saying out loud, or even typing. However, each chapter, though involved the deed, was not entirely about it. Sure, it happened, one way or another. Though it wasn't always explained in detail or even told in more than one sentence. The part that makes this book truly funny and an entertaining read are the true happenings before and after the one night stand.
Handler could see a man across the bar, consider him her type, and have to think up a way to approach him. Maybe it would be her, blurting out random lies that she couldn't help, or her friend Shoniqua, who likes to scream to them at the top of her lungs, "Get your ass over here."
But getting out of the guy's house after, that takes true skill, and I consider it an art, especially with clingy guys who you really don't want to cuddle with all night.
Despite not ever having a one night stand and being in a happy three year relationship, I can relate on some level with Chelsea's dilemmas, and I think we all can in some way. There's something about the opposite sex (no pun intended) and the on-going problem of how do I talk to him without looking like a crazy hippopotamus. Each chapter is different from the last, and honestly, like a funny short story of it's own. I liked that it was an easy read that made me laugh out loud, shield the words away from my mother and also make me ask her if she ever had a one night stand.