Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Yes Please

Poehler, A. (2014). Yes Please. NY: Harper Audio.

Adult / NonFiction / Memoir / Humor

I gave this audiobook 3 of 5 stars

Publisher's Blurb: Amy Poehler is hosting a dinner party and you're invited! Welcome to the audiobook edition of Amy Poehler's Yes Please. The guest list is star-studded with vocal appearances from Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, Michael Schur, Patrick Stewart, Kathleen Turner, and even Amy's parents—Yes Please is the ultimate audiobook extravaganza.

Also included? A one night only live performance at Poehler's Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. Hear Amy read a chapter live in front of a young and attractive Los Angeles audience.

While listening to Yes Please, you'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll become convinced that your phone is trying to kill you. Don't miss this collection of stories, thoughts, ideas, lists, and haikus from the mind of one of our most beloved entertainers. Offering Amy's thoughts on everything from her "too safe" childhood outside of Boston to her early days in New York City, her ideas about Hollywood and "the biz," the demon that looks back at all of us in the mirror, and her joy at being told she has a "face for wigs"—Yes Please is chock-full of words, and wisdom, to live by.

The blurb promised a little more than the audio book delivered, but listening to this book narrated by author Amy Poehler herself was definitely the way to go over reading it, I think. 

I liked the book -- liked it. It was entertaining, and Poehler may just be the Queen of Figurative Language, which I will admit she uses frequently and brilliantly to get her points across. The book is sometimes funny, sometimes serious, and Poehler slings advice (spot on or way off) at every turn of the page. She speaks freely of her career history and has great stories and anecdotes particularly about her improv days, and she keeps her personal life (but not opinions) mostly personal. 

The guest voices ranged from outstanding (Patrick Stewart, Poehler's parents) to awkward (Mike Schur), and sometimes listeners just feel left out while Amy and her guests shoot the bull about things shared between them. Written more as a series of essays about whatever seems to inspire Poehler to write about at the moment, the book isn't in any way linear, often going off on tangents or going on a bit too long about one topic for listeners to stay engaged. 

Though I very much enjoyed listening to Poehler talk about "the pudding," the best chapter was the last chapter, where Poehler reads aloud in front of a live audience. THAT kind of reading was FABULOUS, and it just made it abundantly clear that Poehler is at her best in front of a real, breathing audience. It is there that she sounded inspired, invigorated, and FUNNY making the rest of the book fall a little flat. And one warning -- readers bothered by swearing and blunt talk about sex, this might not be the book for you.

Thank you to Ford Audiobook Club for providing the free download, with absolutely no strings attached -- it was a great way to fill my drive time.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Amy Meredith Poehler is an American actress, comedian, voice artist, producer and writer. Raised in Burlington, Massachusetts, she graduated from Boston College in 1993 and moved to Chicago, Illinois, to study improv at The Second City and ImprovOlympic. In 1996, she moved to New York City after becoming part of the improvisational comedy troupe Upright Citizens Brigade, which later developed into an eponymous television show that aired on Comedy Central for three seasons. Poehler was also one of the founding members of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in 1999.

Poehler was a cast member on the NBC television show Saturday Night Live from 2001 to 2008. In 2004, she became the co-anchor of the Weekend Update sketch along with her friend and colleague Tina Fey. Poehler's work on SNL earned her two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. She is known for voicing Bessie Higgenbottom in the 2008–2011 Nickelodeon series, The Mighty B! and Eleanor Miller in the Alvin and the Chipmunks CGI films. Since 2009, she has starred as Leslie Knope in the sitcom Parks and Recreation, and received the 2014 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Musical or Comedy Series. She is also an eight-time Emmy Award nominee.

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