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If you are a loudmouth, feminist with real problems and no fairy godmothers - you'll like Lena's work both in writing and on TV. She's honest, funny and direct in this novel. And it's an enjoyable and quick read.
Don't get me wrong- I'm a Lena Dunham fan. Some might say this book epitomizes the millennial experience in some ways. She manages to turn events that are really not all that note worthy into elaborate psychological traumas. It's not to say that her experiences aren't legitimate in the sense that they may have scarred her. Do I want to read about it or do I care? No. It felt like I was reading a teenager's journal. Funny at times, but mostly boring. If I knew the other people she was talking about it may have been more interesting, but she makes no effort to expand on characters other than herself. I'm even counting the one where she had sex outside with a guy she met hours earlier. So shocking, right? And I suppose the fact that a celebrity is writing a book about having done this is supposed to be revolutionary in and of itself. I do think it's pretty cool that we live in a time where certain women can write about personal experiences like this and still be employed in the public sphere. Why shouldn't they be is the obvious answer to that statement. But it kind of does feel like she's just spilling anything she can think of that might be somewhat shocking then standing by expectantly waiting for a reaction. I strongly doubt it's possible to be any more fascinated by Lena Dunham than she is with herself. All that being said she is smart, funny and talented. It's just that her perspective is so self focused that it's hard to get a sense of how she moves about in the world. I'd love to read something she'd write ten years from now. I would also love to see her apply her talents to a subject other than herself. While I applaud her devotion to feminism I'm not sure calling any/all of your own personal experiences "feminist" qualifies simply because you're a university educated female who can comment on them in a larger context. Despite all that I'll probably keep watching "Girls" and maybe even check in on her on twitter from time to time. She genuinely is an original thinker and her success is worthy of applause. Still... a memoir at age 26 is pushing it.
I bought this book because David Sedaris and Judy Blume--writers whom I greatly admire--gave it stratospheric blurbs. But most of the book is vapid--a sad exposé of a personality with almost no interests. I could imagine Judy Blume using Dunham as inspiration to create another "Sheila the Great"--it's harder to imagine why Sedaris likes Dunham so much. I liked Tina Fey's parody of Girls, which seemed to hit on the problem with Dunham's narrative and, for me, the problem of her hit series Girls: Dunham and the girls have no real interests and no real problems, apart from being bored and I would assume having been neglected as children. For all her apparent exhibitionism, Dunham's real problems seem masked. Other writers have done so much more with the same material: Daphne Merkin, for example. Dunham can write, but the popularity of her revelations continues to astonish me. When I think of the lives portrayed by Mary Antin, Maya Angelou, Betty Smith, Mary Karr, Jeannette Walls, Susannah Kaysen, Edwidge Danticat, Cheryl Strayed--women who had struggled and fought to overcome real problems--then I see the point of Tina Fey's "Blerta"--the Albanian refugee in Fey's send-up of Dunham's series. Blerta's had a real life and real problems. Dunham's wandered from one impulse to another, picking up HPV and despair along the way. Ugh.
I've only watched a few episodes of girls so perhaps I just didn't or couldn't rather appreciate Dunam's humour. I found the book very vulgar and at times distasteful. However, fans of the show swear it's hilarious so maybe it's for you if you're a fan but it wasn't for me! I didn't laugh out loud once.
I love Girls and thought the rave reviews would justify the purchase of this book. I couldn't have been more wrong. This book is turgid and feels like a joke from the TV series. Struggling through this book is just one long and painful journey through a world of moaning from a privileged and spoilt individual who seems to be entirely self-absorbed. If she stopped feeling sorry for herself she might realise some of the many positives in her life. Then she wouldn't have to waste my time and money through this book. Stick to Girls and avoid this.
Had decided to give a read due to the overwhelming hype that surrounded Dunham's first published text. I do have to say that although I greatly enjoy viewing Lena Dunham's 'Girls', I found the 'humorous essays'/ (auto)biographical text to be exceedingly self-involved and hard to digest. Not at any point did I find the book to be remotely gripping - it was with begrudging effort that I managed to continue my reading.