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It's All Relative: Two Families, Three Dogs, 34 Holidays, and 50 Boxes of Wine (A Memoir) Hardcover – Feb 1 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Crown (Feb. 1 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307718719
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307718716
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 16.2 x 2.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #818,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Damn you, Wade!! Damn you! I missed two ebay auctions and delayed taking my Ambien every night for a week so I could finish It's All Relative, but it was so worth it. This book rocks! Charming, funny and saucy enough to make me blush. Wade's family makes mine look like the Kennedys (the ones not driving around on sleeping pills or the ones charged with felonies)."—Laurie Notaro, bestselling author of We Thought You Would be Prettier

"Wade Rouse is back and better than ever in his new memoir It's All Relative. Rouse's books combine the one-two punch of hilarity and heart and never cease to delight.  Filled with uproarious one liners and enough soul to truly satisfy, readers are going to clamor for a seat at Rouse's holiday table! I can't tell you how much I loved this book."—Jen Lancaster, New York Times bestselling author of My Fair Lazy

"Wade Rouse has officially become the laugh assassin. And with his holiday masterpiece, It’s All Relative, he's getting downright dangerous, delivering even more laughs than usual. Rouse's remembrances of his family holidays are masterfully gift-wrapped in delightful dysfunction and topped with a bow of laser-sharp sentimental insight designed to help you not only laugh at but also fall in love again with your own jacked-up gene pool. This book is the gift that keeps on giving."—Josh Kilmer-Purcell, star of the hit reality series, The Fabulous Beekman Boys and New York Times bestselling author of The Bucolic Plague and I Am Not Myself These Days

About the Author

WADE ROUSE is the critically acclaimed author ofthe memoirs America’s Boy, Confessions of a Prep School Mommy Handler, and At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream and editor of the upcoming humorous dog anthology I’m Not the Biggest Bitch in This Relationship! He is a humor columnist for Metrosource magazine. Rouse lives outside Saugatuck, Michigan, with his partner, Gary, and their mutts, Marge and Mabel. He is available for select readings
and lectures. To inquire about a possible appearance, please contact the Random House Speakers Bureau at
www.rhspeakers.com.

www.WadeRouse.com

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Amazon.com: 35 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
'It's All Relative' is a Five-Star Feb. 1 2011
By Rose A. Valenta - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
If you love to laugh, you need to read "It's All Relative Two Families, Three Dogs, 34 Holidays, and 50 Boxes of Wine (A Memoir)" by Wade Rouse. It was released on February 1st by Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc. It is a compilation of hilarious essays that will have you ROTFYAO.

In his fourth book, Wade tackles family life and holidays and brings out the best in his dysfunctional and eccentric relatives. We all have them, right? Wade says that "Family is the gift that keeps on giving, no matter how much we wish they would stop."

All of the holidays throughout the year are represented, even Swedish Day and a Pez Collector's National Convention. My favorite is an essay where Wade and Gary meet up with a neighbor from hell and begin to fight over relationships and appropriate anniversary presents. Then, Wade tries to buy a new Honda Pilot from someone, who smells like Paloma Picasso, because it happens to be a "steel" (11th) anniversary in "So, a Gift Card to Trader Joe's Isn't Romantic?" His self-depreciating humor is priceless!

Wade Rouse is the critically acclaimed author of three memoirs, America's Boy, At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream, and Confessions of a Prep School Mommy Handler. He is a journalist and essayist whose articles have appeared in numerous regional and national publications. He contributed to the humorous essay collection about working in the retail industry, The Customer Is Always Wrong: The Retail Chronicles. This book was featured prominently on NPR and in The Wall Street Journal and includes pieces from other noted authors. He also taught a writing class to humorists at the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop 2010. I attended his class and was amazed at his ability to get people to write about fear. I'm not talking Freddy Krueger or Michael Moore movies here, where people get chopped up or the government confiscates your first born child on celluloid; I'm talking the real deal. As a humorist, Wade believes that humor writers need to first write about and get rid of fear and inhibitions, find your "inner voice," then get funny.

He was sneaky about it too. "What are you afraid of?" he asked, smiling. "Okay, now write that down."

The class thinking it was a private exercise that we needed to do for ourselves, spilled our guts for 20 minutes on paper, hoping to burn it before ditching it somewhere near the University of Dayton's incinerator.

So, what happens? Professor Rouse makes us read it out loud to the whole class! I coughed, and my inner voice squeaked "I have to go to the bathroom." It was very similar to a Kathy Bates scene in "Fried Green Tomatoes." You remember the one, before she became Towanda.

The Washington Post describes Wade as "An original writer and impressive new voice." I can describe him as fascinating, funny, and talented. He has a great gift. You absolutely need to put this book on your "must read" list.

Wade is a graduate of Drury University and has a master's from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism. He lives near the coast of Lake Michigan with his partner, Gary, and their beloved mutts, Marge and Mable.
It's All Relative: Two Families, Three Dogs, 34 Holidays, and 50 Boxes of Wine (A Memoir)America's BoyConfessions of a Prep School Mommy Handler: A MemoirAt Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream: Misadventures in Search of the Simple Life
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Holidays, Families, Children, Laughter, Tears April 8 2011
By Bill Busse - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
It's all here in another great collection of 'memories' from childhood and beyond (Wade's childhood, that is).
I especially loved the "Christmas" brag letter Wade wrote after receiving such a letter from a good friend. Of course he never mails it because everyone would be mad.

Why is it that we all want to brag about everything we've done (some we probably haven't but say we have anyway) and that without the accomplishments of our children, we have no self worth.

Maybe we all need therapists. In this case, reading Rouse is the best therapy and it is much less costly than the $150.00 per session should you pick a great therapist!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Hilarious and heartwarming memoir Feb. 9 2011
By Bookreporter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I picked up Wade Rouse's new memoir with no small amount of trepidation. In 2009, I warmly praised on this site AT LEAST IN THE CITY SOMEONE WOULD HEAR ME SCREAM, his often biting but fundamentally kindhearted account of the life he and his partner Gary built in the tiny resort town of Saugatuck, near Lake Michigan. I was prepared to be disappointed by this book, but I'm happy to report that Rouse's satire hasn't lost any of its edge, and his generous view of our flawed humanity is just as penetrating and filled with nuggets of insight and wisdom.

Constructed on the scaffolding of a year of holidays (all the traditional ones, with a few of the more obscure, like Arbor Day, "Swedish Day" and even a visit to the Pez Collectors Convention thrown into the mix), IT'S ALL RELATIVE swings between contemporary stories and recollections of Rouse's often painful childhood, growing up as an overweight, gay young man in a small Ozarks town.

In this volume, Gary has morphed from a salesman into an innkeeper. "If Martha Stewart were to have a full-body electrolysis, breast deconstruction, a penis implant, and well, basically just go whole hog and transgender into a man, she would be Gary," Rouse writes. Gary is the kindhearted, generous member of the couple, Mother Teresa to Rouse's Charlie Sheen, who believes that "Sarcasm, like a good tan, could cover any defect." They spar over parties (Rouse's "Blue Christmas" meal is an epic flop), peonies, yard sales and helping the homeless, and yet Rouse renders these rough edges smooth to expose the inescapable truth that in many marriages (there is no other way to describe their relationship, prevented only by law from receiving official sanction), even the most ill-matched couple can find enduring happiness.

Rouse's parents are a frequent target of his humor. His father, an engineer and a staunch conservative Republican, is so maddeningly tightfisted that he would "open his checkbook and stare at it as if it was a crystal ball, waiting for a sign only he could interpret that would grant him the go-ahead to spend the cash." Yet in a chapter mocking his "Ozarks-ese," a dialect Rouse describes as "like country rap, Nelly meets Paula Deen," he uses the story of his father's heart attack and his mother's mingled anger and dread to sketch the blend of love and combat that marks many an enduring marriage.

A patient and devoted hospice nurse, Rouse's mother is the subject of some of his tenderest reminiscences. In his piece on an adult Memorial Day, she fiercely explains why she lavishes care on his grandmother, living her final days in a nursing home. "It's not an obligation, Wade," she tells him. "It's a privilege." The book's concluding piece is an emotionally resonant account of his non-Jewish mother's last wish --- in the midst of chemotherapy for lung cancer --- to visit Jerusalem's Wailing Wall.

As a reviewer, I didn't have the luxury of reading Rouse's book as the calendar rolled from one month to the next, though it feels as if he intended it as that sort of companion. Pull it off the shelf at Halloween to read the cringe-inducing story of the time his mother dressed him as a "Ubangi tribesman," or start the spring with the story of his disastrous stab at Little League baseball, inspired by his mother's penchant for exaggerating family accomplishments.

But Rouse saves some of his sharpest wit for the dreaded "Christmas letter," that nightmare of self-promotion and self-delusion that often serves merely to exaggerate our tiny achievements and gloss over our shortcomings. Chiding one of his correspondents after a disastrous encounter in a supermarket aisle, he uses that experience to highlight one of the central themes of his memoir, the "inability to hide from the one big fact that unites us all: We're human. We all occasionally wet ourselves. No one is really better than anyone else. We're all just trying to make it through the year as best we can. We screw up sometimes. We succeed sometimes. We laugh. We cry. We go on."

We laugh and cry along with Wade Rouse as we recall our own family moments, happy or grim, transcendent or mundane. In a matchless comic voice, tempered by real humanity, he reminds us that our lives, for better or worse, are inescapably rooted in family.

--- Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I Laughed, I Cried Feb. 28 2011
By swim fan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read Jen Lancaster's blog Jennsylvania and was intrigued when she recommended this book. Frankly, I find Jenn hilarious and when the creator of my all time favorite book quote (about the bunny taking a nap on the side of the road after eating a jelly donut) recommends a book because she snorted out loud whilst reading, I am all in.

I opened this book and started reading the moment it arrived. I did in fact laugh out loud and snort on many occasion (hilarious!), and I have to admit I have never sobbed so hard while reading a book. The "my baby Wade" story made me cry so hard I had to stop reading because I couldn't see thru the tears. Get this book! Read it! Pass it on to your best friend and they will L*O*V*E it, just like mine did. I have ordered more of his books via Amazon, and am looking forward to their arrival.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Unexpected April 27 2014
By spareroom - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I chose the book by title, and in the beginning thought I might not like the choice. By the end I had read so much that I could relate to, so much goodness,so much real life, I wanted to hug the author and somehow let him know I understand.


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