What I Hate: From A to Z Hardcover – Oct 11 2011
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“In this neurotic spin on the classic alphabet book, longtime New Yorker staff cartoonist Chast shares a few of her least favorite things, with each letter suggesting a horror that you may never have even considered worrying about before: G for general anesthesia, K for kites, S for spontaneous human combustion, V for vision loss... Chast's funny, fuzzy-lined drawings make even the most mundane object send chills of unease down your spine... hypochondriacs and fans of Chast's twisted sense of humor will especially rejoice.” ―Library Journal
“With realistic, tongue-in-cheek foresight, the author spotlights a selection of the most commonplace, phobia-inducing situations (elevators, air travel, heights, etc.) and defuses them with brilliantly dry, flippant humor. A hilarious, collectively appealing index of words and pictures drawn with wry exuberance and a head-nodding relevancy.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Chast's nervous cross-hatching and wiggly, double-penned lines are perfect for this catalogue of urban anxiety... Readers will find it most amusingly shocking to run across a worry they thought was uniquely theirs -- realizing that someone else has considered all the ways you could die at a carnival is perversely comforting... An entertaining, rewarding flip-through.” ―Publishers Weekly
“An abecadarium of worry, doom, and gloom that is funny, fresh, and relatable.” ―Reader's Digest online
About the Author
Roz Chast was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her cartoons began appearing in the New Yorker in 1978. Since then she has published hundreds of cartoons and written or illustrated more than a dozen books.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Chast has a ball criticizing everything from overbearing and incompetent doctors to the color yellow ("too bright, almost shrill"). Is she really a maestro of misery who imagines a fly in every bowl of soup? Who knows? What is certain is that Roz Chast is a terrific cartoonist whose work has appeared frequently in the New Yorker. The author embraces tastelessness; she includes serious illness, general anesthesia, and vision problems in her daffy diatribes. Even when her wit falls flat, Chast's drawings are cheerfully depressing, both hilarious and gloomy at the same time. "What I Hate from A to Z" is notable for Roz Chast's maniacal illustrations and deliciously warped psyche.
Chast has been a cartoonist for The New Yorker for some three decades now, and she brings all that humor and charm to bear in What I Hate from A to Z, a book that she explains was born out an alphabet game she plays while trying to coax herself into sleep. Each two-page spread in the book covers one topic, the left-hand page offering a brief description of the artist's fear and the right-hand page bringing it to life.
What I Hate from A to Z is charmingly hilarious and unexpectedly thought-provoking. Although you'll wish it hadn't provoked those thoughts. When she reaches the letter Z, the end, you know exactly where her mind is going to go. You're right there with her, for better or for worse. But it's well worth it. Your mind may be troubled from it all, but your belly will be pleasantly sore from all the laughs along the way.
Reviewed by John Hogan
Rating: Three-star (Recommended)
After an introduction explaining Chast's struggles with anxiety, you delve into an alphabet of things Chast hates. Each letter gets a page describing something Chast hates (for B it is Balloons) and on the facing page there is a funny cartoon depicting or expanding on the fear/hate.
This book is cleverly done, entertaining and funny. People who are a bit anxious about things will definitely relate, people who've never been anxious a day in their lives will still laugh at the crazy hates Chast comes up with. The cartoons are clever and the dialogue sparse (just enough there to add some humor and clarify things).
This is a very quick read, more like a children's picture book than anything else. It is aimed more at adults though. There are references to some older things that kids just won't get. There is also a lot that just goes right over a kid's head.
Overall a fun and quick read. The illustrations are great and the book is cleverly put together. I recommend it to people who have anxiety problems, or just people who like to read humor. A fun book and I am glad I gave it a read.