The Wreckage of My Presence

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The HarperCollins page for this book says: "Laugh-out-loud, deeply insightful, and emotion-filled essays from multi-talented actress, comedian, podcaster, and writer Casey Wilson." Sounds good! I had dim memories of her stint on Saturday Night Live (two seasons, 2008-2009). Plus which, it was a Reason Roundtable Recommendation back in August from Pun Salad fave Katherine Mangu-Ward. So I stuck it on the get-at-library list, and…

Well, it didn't work out for me. Laugh-out-loud? In a 288-page book, I laughed once. And I am famous for being easily amused.

To be fair, the "emotion-filled" part of the HarperCollins description is right. Casey is intensely devoted to family, and her relationship with her late mother, Kathy, is a recurring theme throughout these essays. The story of the health problems with her son (eventually diagnosed with celiac disease) is also striking.

But my major take-away from the book: gee, Casey is kind of high-maintenance. Her friends, co-workers, therapists, and many of her family members can be even higher-maintenance. There are a couple episodes of wince-inducing oversharing. ("I didn't need, nor want, to know that" reactions outnumbered the funny bits two-to-one.) Overuse of caps-lock and exclamation points are another minus.

And none of this was particularly interesting (sorry) or insightful (sorry, again).


Last Modified 2021-12-20 10:31 AM EDT