CHELSEA CHELSEA BANG BANG by Chelsea Handler. Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (March 9, 2010). 256 pg.
I wasn’t joking but I quickly lost interest in the conversation due to the fact that despite my having spoken to Lydia at great length about misplaced enthusiasm, she insisted on using exclamation points in lieu of periods and continued pairing them with my least favorite invention, LOL. You wouldn’t say LOL if you were out to lunch with someone, why would you write it in an instant message or an e-mail?
Chelsea Handler gets a book deal for unfunny, contrived CHELSEA CHELSEA BANG BANG & I get nil published? Oh, I’m not jealous or anything. And if you believe that, I heard the Brooklyn Bridge is for sale. I find Chelsea Handler to be entertaining on her show Chelsea Lately. Her writing has not impressed me [My Horizontal Life, Are you there Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea]. I expect her stories to be racier, funnier, more adventurous or perhaps more introspective. In CHELSEA CHELSEA BANG BANG, I have a difficult time believing that what she’s writing about actually happened. When her “silver fox” partner Ted, the head of E! Entertainment, wants a fish tank, Chelsea insists on buying a dolphin for the tank. That’s when I just thought she can’t be serious and could this really be true? I know this woman barely graduated high school but she has enough life experience to know that owning a dolphin is just cruel, ridiculous and impossible. The conversations and events she recalls seem as scripted as the silly skits on her show [my least favorite part and thank you TiVo that I don’t have to suffer through them].
Throughout most of CHELSEA CHELSEA BANG BANG , Handler retells stories from her show Chelsea Lately: Ted’s penchant for snorkeling; how she makes fun of him and plays practical jokes on him; her proclivity toward “chunky” or real big people and little people with a little extra to grab, like her chauffeur Sylvan, Ted, and her “assistant” Chuy; also Chelsea’s preference to take others on vacation to her partner’s dismay. One story Chelsea already told in detail on the show, when she brought Sylvan along on an island vacation to try to get him some “action.” Chaos ensues Chelsea Handler-style.
Right off in CHELSEA CHELSEA BANG BANG, Chelsea talks about discovering masturbation . [I would get so excited on Friday nights, knowing that my peekachu and I would be able to have the whole weekend to ourselves.] and then how her parents were so mean and out of touch that they didn’t buy her a Cabbage Patch Kid [I knew that my parents would never fall for what was “hot” on the market. The word “hot” wasn’t even in their stream of consciousness.] Chelsea discusses her sisters and brothers but doesn’t particularly delve into anything substantial.
My major gripe with Handler’s writing is that she should either be completely jokey or actually reveal something behind that façade she constantly maintains. My favorite aspect of Chelsea Handler is the spontaneous, off-the-cuff Chelsea–although perhaps her writers even script what I think is unscripted. Perhaps that’s why I find her antics and writing rather pedantic. CHELSEA CHELSEA BANG BANG will of course earn her a spot on the NYT’s Best-Seller list. I admit that I am NOT okay with that. Bitter pills.
Chelsea Handler will be signing copies of CHELSEA CHELSEA BANG BANG at my favorite bookstore– Brookline Booksmith on April 10.