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Ali In Wonderland: And Other Tall Tales [Paperback]

Ali Wentworth

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Paperback, Jan. 30 2012 CDN $18.17  

Book Description

Jan. 30 2012
Mix 1 oz. Chelsea Handler, 1.5 oz. Nora Ephron, finish with a twist of Tina Fey, and you get Ali in Wonderland, the uproarious, revealing, and heartfelt memoir from acclaimed actress and comedian Ali Wentworth. Whether spilling secrets about her quintessentially WASPy upbringing (and her delicious rebellion against it), reminiscing about her Seinfeld “Schmoopie” days and her appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The View, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, or baring the details of starting a family alongside husband George Stephanopoulos, one thing is for sure—Ali has the unsurpassable humor and warmth of a born storyteller with a story to tell: the quirky, flavorful, surprising, and sometimes scandalous Ali in Wonderland.

“Ali Wentworth is funny and warm and crazy all at once. Like Barbara Eden. But on something. Like crystal meth.” —Alec Baldwin


Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (Jan. 30 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061998575
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061998577
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #196,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

“Hilarious.” (Marie Claire)

“Everything that comes out of Ali Wentworth’s mouth is funny!” (Jerry Seinfeld)

“Ali Wentworth’s book is like Chicken Soup for the Vagina. Gays and straight men, I’m not leaving you out here! Ali is truly one of the quickest, funniest girls I’ve ever met. Enjoy!” (Kathy Griffin)

“Ali has written a truly hilarious book . . . and she’s also a good kisser!” (Chelsea Handler)

“Wentworth is amusing and frank, often frenetic, with sharp intelligence underneath the sassy wackiness; passages about her struggle with depression, falling in love with her husband, and her daughter’s baptism have funny moments, but they’re thoughtful and touching, too…. Highly entertaining memoir.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Ali Wentworth is funny and warm and crazy all at once. Like Barbara Eden. But on something. Like crystal meth.” (Alec Baldwin)

“I would tone down the pee and fart references.” (Muffie Cabot (Ali's mother))

“[A] lively, laugh-out-loud memoir....Fans of Amy Sedaris and Merrill Markoe will enjoy Wentworth’s warped Weltanschauung and wicket wit.” (Book)

“Ali Wentworth tumbles comically through Ali in Wonderland.” (Vanity Fair)

“[H]ilarious...” (Food & Wine)

“Unanimous applause greeted this actress-comedian’s tour of her fabulous life…all recounted in a manner that had one reader wondering if Wentworth is ‘a long-lost sister of the Sedaris clan.’” (Elle, Readers' Prize February 2012)

“[A] satirical dissection of class and privilege….A smart, often-funny memoir.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“A breezily amusing memoir...” (New York Post)

“One of the most hilarious reads I’ve enjoyed in a long time.” (Gwyneth Paltrow, goop)

“With candor and humor, [Wentworth] writes about her life, her marriage and growing up in the elite world of her illustrious mother…” (Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press)

From the Back Cover

Growing up in a family of political journalists—and daughter of President Reagan’s White House social secretary—Ali Wentworth rebelled against her blue-blood upbringing, embracing Hollywood, motorcycles, even a few wildly inappropriate marriage proposals. Today she is an acclaimed comedic actress and writer, former Oprah regular, wife of political and media star George Stephanopoulos, and a mother who lets her two girls eat cotton candy before bed. Though she’s settled down, her rebellious nature thrives in her comedy and her view of her crazy world.

In this addictively funny and warm memoir, she takes us through the looking glass and into the wonderland of her life, from a childhood among Washington’s elite to a stint in the psych ward they called a New England prep school; days doing L.A. sketch comedy (with then-aspiring artists Will Ferrell and Lisa Kudrow) to a series of spectacularly failed loves (that eventually led her to Mr. Right). Constant throughout is her mother, Muffie—a flawlessly elegant yet firm, no-nonsense force of nature and pure WASP convictions.

As charming and off-the-wall as Ali herself, Ali in Wonderland is an entertaining look at life that is both intimate and hilarious.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  237 reviews
87 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ali is Wonderful Dec 1 2011
By Lisa M - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
My first memory of seeing Ali Wentworth was when she was a regular on the Fox series IN LIVING COLOR. Since then, Ali has gone on to appear on shows such as Seinfeld, The Tonight Show and Oprah, as well as the films Jerry Maguire, Office Space and It's Complicated.

Ali has lived quite a colorful life. She was born and raised in Washington, D.C., but after college she moved to L.A. to pursue her acting career. Later, she moved back to D.C. and eventually ended up in New York with her husband, George Stephanopoulos and 2 daughters.

Ali In Wonderland is part memoir, part essay collection and all funny. Written in groups of related topics, these stories reveal much about Ali's early years, living among the political world of our nation's capitol. I loved the style of writing and often felt as if she were speaking directly to me. She made me feel like it was a personal "girl's night" gossip session, where she revealed parts of her life reserved for very special friends.
One of my favorite stories was about an attempt to hand deliver a thank you gift to Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, after attending a Christmas party at his home. I will not spoil it by giving it all away here, but it is quite humorous.
Ali said her mother taught her to always be gracious and send thank-yous. She proved she still follows that rule today, as when I posted on Twitter I was preparing this review, she responded by asking if she "should I send brownies?". (I promise my review was all thought out before the offer).

This was a very fast read for me and I found myself wishing it were longer. Maybe Ali will write a follow-up some day, telling tales of raising her daughters and more of her marriage to George. I am sure she has many more tales to tell.
32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars laughed my *(_* off...... Dec 6 2011
By Colleen M. Schneider - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I don't know what it is about Ali Wentworth I like so much-that she is clever, off the cuff, self-deprecating and hilarious? The facial expressions? The no-holds barred, ok, I'll try that kind of attitude, that gets her into "Lucy" kind of predicaments or what, but I have found her to be a great and underated comic. I have enjoyed her on her show "Headcase" as well as her spots on the Oprah show. I was hoping her book would be just as entertaining and it was.

Ali is the daughter of Reagan's Social Secretary and grew up in DC. She had a privileged upbringing and some of these tales make for some of the funniest chapters of her book. Her book doesn't necessarily run in any type of order and is not a memoir per se, it is short chapters of funny stories about her life. I think of it like having your best friend come over with a bottle of wine and you sit and play remember when......there are stories of her childhood, like when her older sister is recovering from major surgery and is in a body cast and decides to run away and her mother tells her to go too, so her sister won't be alone....Ali doesn't want to go, but doesn't want anything to happen to her sister so she hurriedly packs snacks, including a can of tuna, sans opener and dutifully treks behind her sister, but not too close... There is the story about the family she stays with in Spain and how the family needed a chicken for dinner and Ali, not understanding that they don't want her to "buy" a chicken, they need one to slaughter plays a curious games of charades until she figures it out.....there are stories about her internship at Christie's auction house and tales of her dates prior to George and how she and a friend once rented a house from Robert Englund (aka Freddy Kreuger in the Nightmare on Elm St. movies).

I read the book over a short weekend away and found myself reading it out loud to my husband. Often I would be laughing so hard that I would have to stop and start over since he couldn't understand me.....then we both got going.

Ali and I are the same age, so I enjoyed reading about her teenage stories because a lot of the references were flashbacks to my own teen years and so it was a fun book for me on many levels.

Overall, if you are a fan, I'm sure you will enjoy Ali's adventures. If you are looking for a more serious memoir, then I'm not sure why you would be looking for a book with a woman in a polka-dotted bathing suit, jumping into a teacup....really?

Enjoyed it immensely!
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mark Twain In Stilettos Dec 29 2011
By Crabigail Cassidy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
This is a wonderful book by comedienne Ali Wentworth that I can only describe as part memoir, part monologue, with essayist thrown in.
Ali has managed to pop up all over the place for a number of years, but the turning point in my life re: Ali was when the "O" began her big exodus from her daily talkfest grind and handed the show over to a panel which included the bubbly and relatable Ali Wentworth on Fridays. I became a faithful Friday viewer and really looked forward to Ali's take on life, love, and current events. I was semi-amused when I realized Ali was married to George Stephanopolous. Suddenly I realized that George must be a pretty funny guy because he had Ali around.
This book was fun. Ali Wentworth writes as if she is talking to a friend. You feel like she is a gal pal and a very approachable one at that. Whether she talks about her politically involved family, growing up among power people in D.C., a summer spent in Spain as a teen or her mother who seems like quite a character, nothing is off limits. She looks for humor and irony in the mundane and ordinary, finding true love after some misfires, and odd/funny encounters with famous people. Regardless of what she is talking about, the end shot is going to be funny and very uniquely Ali Wentworth. That's the thing that makes her comedy and her standout. She appears to be a naturally funny person and has no qualms when it comes to making herself the joke.
Reading this book provided a great respite from the flurry of holiday activities and gave me the chance to relax and laugh. My only question is why this lady doesn't have her own tv show. Too busy I guess, but she is a real hoot.
42 of 54 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my kind of humor Dec 3 2011
By Kathy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I'm really surprised that I disliked this book so much. I loved Ali when she was on Oprah and I even love her Tweets. I thought I was going to love the book, but it was just not good. Ali's humor isn't exactly vulgar, but it definitely made me feel uncomfortable. I love comedians who are self deprecating, but the picture Ali paints of herself and people around her is definitely unappealing to me. I caught myself making a face most of the time I was reading this book. To quote what her mother says on the back of the book, "I would tone down the pee and fart references - Muffie Cabot (Ali's Mother)". I would add vomiting references to that also. It's probably just me because I'm overly sensitive to talk about bodily functions, but if you are too, this may not be the book for you.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My New Favorite Author/Comedian Dec 4 2011
By Busy Mom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I must confess that I have never heard of Ali Wentworth and if I had seen her in any of the television shows/movies, I would not have remembered her. After reading this book, I will definitely be on the outlook for her books and shows. She is one funny lady! Jerry Seinfeld endorsed this book with "Everything that comes out of Ali's mouth is funny!" ... and he is right.

Ali doesn't pull any punches in this book but she is also not that crude about it either. She is just naturally funny. I love how she described her mother and how she described her siblings and friends and life in a boarding school, her boyfriends and finally her marriage to a famous political speechwriter, then becoming a mother. Ali is funny but she is also down to earth.

Ali covers all the subjects that are important, family, relationships, friendships, parenting, acting, her inability to tolerate alcohol, Muffy, her mother, peer pressure, sex, ... need I go on? And if anyone asks if I have a favorite chapter, I will be hard pressed to pick out just one. I just find this book refreshing and funny and close to home. Ali was born and raised in Washington D.C., to parents heavily involved with the political scene there. Her mother, Muffy, was a big part of the social scene there. Ali spent her growing up years trying to get away from D.C., only to marry someone whose career is about D.C. This book talks about all the years in between.

If you need a good laugh or something that will take your mind off of things, this book would do it for you. It is really one of my favorite memoirs this year. It is a quick read and yet, it isn't a typical forgettable book. It may not be as big as Tina Fey's book, but it is just as memorable.

12/4/11
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