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Microthrills: True Stories from a Life of Small Highsby Wendy Spero
Synopses & Reviews
From a critically acclaimed writer comes a book of clever and profoundly funny true stories about the smaller highs in life.
Raised in Manhattan by her overly protective, sex therapist mother who wore "seven layers of shoulder pads" and her two doting grandparents, life in Wendy Spero's world has never been dull. As a child, she passed the time organizing impromptu "garage sales" on city sidewalks, sniffing fruit-scented magic markers to intoxication, parenting dozens of high-maintenance stuffed animals — and seeking out other "microthrills," which she writes about in this hilarious book of odd but true stories.
Life got increasingly more interesting for Wendy as she grew up and embarked on a stint of door-to-door knife-selling before taking an office day job, where she developed an abnormally close, paternal relationship with her big-time executive boss — which involved as much pot smoking as it did mentoring. (Wendy, in turn, sprinkled glitter in his expense reports and placed gold stars on his paychecks.) Now, as a budding young comedian living in L.A., Wendy grapples with such "grown-up" issues as trying to kick her addiction of eating candy in bed and finally learning how to drive.
Episodic, reflective, and amusing, Microthrills marks the debut of a fresh new nonfiction voice, and one that won't soon be forgotten.
"Every day for comedian and writer Spero is an endless stream of microthrills: intense gratification gathered from mundane pleasures like fruit-scented markers and squishy rubber keychains. Eschewing traditional ideas of fun-dangerous pursuits like roller coasters and bike riding-Spero nonetheless has exciting, zany experiences daily, whether showing her finger puppet collection to potential roommates or dealing with desperate e-mail from her jealous dentist. The drama began early for Spero, growing up with an energetic, anxious, fiercely loving mother: parting each frenzied morning involved 'a tortuous good-bye ritual involving a lot of puckered-lip pecking and Eskimo nose-kissing,' and her mother's late return from work each evening caused Spero to 'pace in my Garfield nightgown, ranting about the dangers of the city to the balding night doorman who doesn't speak English.' Spero has an impressive memory for the sensory details of her childhood; she longingly recalls her Halloween masks, 'how the mouth portion got slightly sticky, and how I'd feel nearly suffocated by the fog of my candy-scented breath.' Though her essays sometimes lack narrative structure, there's plenty of funny one-liners ('I have absolutely no memory of my mother against a natural backdrop, although I do recall her running in heels from furry bees in the park'), and Spero's down-to-earth, adorably compulsive voice delivers some priceless moments." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Microthrills will make you cringe with glee. Wendy takes you inside her peculiar mind and personal history with a brazen vulnerability that is the rare providence of truly great humorists. She has a singular and completely warped view of the world, able to find poignancy and jubilation in life's nagging minutiae. I wish I could see the world through Wendy's eyes. Thankfully, she has graciously handed us a microscope to peek inside her tiny, hilarious world. David Sedaris, watch your back!" Ed Helms, correspondent, The Daily Show
"Microthrills was a series of micro-orgasms for me, not only in my funny bone, but throughout my brain. I love the magical minutiae of the way Wendy Spero's mind works. This book will be loved, loved, loved by all." Jill Soloway, author of Tiny Ladies in Shiny Pants
"Reading Microthrills is like breathing air — it feels natural. You don't feel yourself reading. Wendy Spero paints a world both familiar and unique — so specific that you feel implanted in her moments. What I'm trying to say is I really liked it. And I'm trying to say it in a hoity-toity way." Sarah Silverman
"What saves Spero's chronicle of her youthful escapades from being overwhelmingly tedious is her tender but comic portrait of her family." Kirkus Reviews
Raised in Manhattan by her overprotective sex-therapist mother (who wore nine inches of shoulder pads”), Wendy Spero has always sought excitement in microthrills, the small, strange highs that give her life meaning—from finding a strip tease video of her grandmother to selling knives door-to-door. As a little girl, Spero passed the time sniffing fruit-scented markers and breaking up arguments between her imaginary friends. As an adult, in her first office job, she formed an unusual relationship with her boss that involved as much marijuana-smoking as it did mentoring. Called a profoundly funny human being” by Time Out New York, Spero is now a comedian living in L.A., grappling with such grown-up issues as trying to kick her addiction to eating candy in bed and learning how to drive.
Raised in Manhattan by her tiny sex-therapist mother and her two eccentric grandparents, Wendy Spero has always sought excitement in "microthrills," the small, strange highs that give her life meaning.
Her story begins in the one-bedroom, Upper East Side apartment she shared with her overly protective mother, where, as a little girl, she passed the time gnawing on strawberry-scented erasers, breaking up arguments between her imaginary friends, and being subjected to cut-throat nursery school applications.
Eventually, Wendy broke out on her own - but continued to be admonished by her mother for not having enough quality orgasms. After a stint of door-to-door knife-selling, she began her first (and last) office job, where she formed an unusual relationship with her big-time executive boss - one that involved as much pot smoking and gold glitter as it did mentoring. Now, a comedian living in L.A., Wendy grapples with such grown-up issues as trying to kick her addiction to eating candy in bed, parenting dozens of high-maintenance stuffed animals, and finally learning how to drive.
Sure to be loved by fans of David Sedaris and Laurie Notaro, this hilarious, offbeat, and, at times, touching book marks the debut of a fresh, new nonfiction voice, and one that won't soon be forgotten.
About the Author
Wendy Spero is an award-winning comedian and actress, and acclaimed author of the one-woman shows Microthrills and Who's Your Daddy? She has performed on NPR, Comedy Central, VHI, and NBC.
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