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When You Lie About Your Age, the Terrorists Win: Reflections on Looking in the Mirror Hardcover – Mar 10 2009

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Villard (March 10 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345502965
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345502964
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 2 x 21.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,367,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“This book reflects the wise, knowing person Carol has become, and the hysterically funny one she always was. I recommend it highly - its strong enough for a man...but made for a woman. I couldn’t put it down.”—Bill Maher

“These essays have stirred in me a foreign, disgusting and heretofore dormant urge to hug someone, in this case the author. If I become human as a result of reading this, so help me God I will sue her for every dollar she makes from this profound, insightful, and hilarious book.”—Larry David

“I discovered Carol Leifer at an open mike night in the late 70's on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.  It didn't take me two seconds to realize how special her talent is.  (Two seconds, that's how good I am, by the way).   But she really has one of the most uniquely hilarious minds of anyone I've ever met.  We have worked together on countless projects.  If you have never heard how she thinks, this book is the perfect introduction.”—Jerry Seinfeld

“Deeply honest, inspiring, and funny. This is a book about the unpredictability of life and finding yourself that is written by a very, very funny woman. Read this now before it's made into a movie, so you can join me in saying, "I liked the book better!"
Trust me: I'm generally as accurate as Seinfeld. It's really a winner.”—Garry Shandling

“Carol and I go way back. I'm not exactly sure what that means but we've known each other for a long time. Here's what I know about Carol. She's funny, she's smart, she's kind and she's a good writer. You will find out all of those things for yourself when you read this book. I laughed, I cried, (but that's because I leaned back laughing and hit my head on the wall). I think you'll enjoy this book as much as I did-except for the part when I hit my head.”—Ellen DeGeneres

“You'll love this. It's the best book ever.”—Chris Rock

“Carol Leifer is one of the most sane funny folks around—her book is full of love light and laughter. Her take on the world will make u smile and warm your heart. So buy it already.”—Rosie O'Donnell

“Carol Leifer's book is the perfect antidote to aging. If laughter is the best medicine, then her writing is an amazing beauty treatment. It's like a clay mask for the soul.”—Margaret Cho

About the Author

Carol Leifer is an accomplished stand-up comedian and an Emmy-nominated writer and producer for her work on such television shows as Seinfeld, The Larry Sanders Show, Saturday Night Live, and the Academy Awards. She has starred in several of her own comedy specials, which have aired on HBO, Showtime, and Comedy Central. Her “big break” came when David Letterman unexpectedly showed up one night at the Comic Strip in New York City and caught Carol’s show. His visit led to her making twenty-five guest appearances on Late Night with David Letterman. Carol has also been seen on The Tonight Show, Real Time with Bill Maher, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. She starred in and created the WB sitcom Alright Already. She lives in Santa Monica with her partner, their son, and their seven rescue dogs.

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By Tami Brady HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Aug. 20 2009
Format: Hardcover
When You Lie about Your Age, the Terrorists Win is absolutely hilarious. In this book, comedian Carol Leifer, talks openly about her life. Like us all, life has thrown her a few curve balls. For instance she found her life partner by having a lesbian fling, she decided to become a parent in her late forties, and realized that she was an animal person (subsequently rescuing quite a pack of pets).

Life is full of surprises. At the time, some may seem tragic or utterly confusing. Yet, Carol shows that everything has a humorous side. We can cry or we can choose to laugh.

I highly recommend When You Lie about Your Age, the Terrorists Win. This book will make you laugh. Like me, you'll leave this book feeling just a bit better about life and the inevitability of getting older.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x99edd2dc) out of 5 stars 77 reviews
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99d2e984) out of 5 stars Genuinely funny, smart and warm --- I'm in crush April 30 2009
By Jesse Kornbluth - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
There are people who think Nora Ephron is funny. I am not among them, but taste is subjective --- my idea of a thigh slapper may be your idea of a bummer. Doesn't matter. What counts is only that we laugh.

Carol Leifer, I contend, is really funny. Funny in a way that Ms. Ephron isn't, for Ephron is an insider and an elitist, whereas Leifer has the common touch. That is, she comes from Long Island, her father was an optometrist, she grew up drinking frozen orange juice ("a quarter of the price and it's the same thing," her father insisted). She became the comic that her dad always wanted to be. Wrote for "Seinfeld", where she was known as "the real Elaine" (the character played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus). David Letterman adores her. (Odd fact: She bought, at auction, the handwritten notes that Michael Vick used in court when he apologized for his role in dogfighting.)

Carol Leifer, in a word, is funny like someone you know would be funny. Smart funny. Clever funny. But even more, funny in the heart --- funny like a really nice person is funny.

You see this right off, in a memorial piece about her father, who died, at age 86, watching "Sixty Minutes". On his birthday, she tells us in the first paragraph, she used to give him Godiva chocolate-covered nuts. "Big emphasis on the nuts," she explains. "Because, as he was not shy of saying as he unwrapped the cellophane to grab the first piece, `Creams? They're a waste of time.'" And with that, I felt: I know this man.

The nominal subject of her book is aging --- she was 50 when she wrote most of these pieces, and her father's death is no small event. She carries out her obligation to her nominal subject and, for example, does a good job of listing "40 Things I Know at 50". Like: "When a waiter asks you to taste the wine and you're clueless, sip it and then say, "Yeah, that should get me hammered.'" And: "Never buy Sweet `N Low, Equal or Splenda at the supermarket. That's what restaurants are for."

But the centerpiece of the book is something else --- a mid-life crisis with an unexpected twist. The piece is called "Surprise!" and it starts like this:

"If I don't sleep with a woman soon, I think I'll kill myself."
That's what I remember saying to my buddy Ed on the golf course right before this all happened.
I was eager. I was pumped. "I'm ready for my lesbian fling, Mr. DeMille!" Turning 40 does that to you. You feel like Father Time has gotten a second wind and is catching up. Suddenly everything you wanted to try or experiment with has to be done in this short period called "midlife" --- before you reach that next stage in life, the one where you don't care if you go to the supermarket in your pajamas.
"I want to learn how to operate a potter's wheel!"
"I want to enroll in salsa boot camp!"
"Me? I just want to get it on with a lady?"
Forget that I'd already been married and had only dated men my entire life. It didn't matter, because when you feel that Sapphic siren call, there is no backing down. And before I knew it, as if in a dream, this vision appeared right before my very eyes. It was a Saturday night and I was at a Project Angel Food charity dinner with some gay male friends. There she sat, right across from my $200 plate.

They talk. Carol likes Lori. But Lori is in a relationship. Later, she isn't. They have a golf date. And they talk:

"So what's your story, Carol? Why aren't you in a relationship?"
"I don't know. I'm going through some stuff right now."
"Oh, really? Well, we can turn that around in no time flat."
Gulp! "How's that?" I stuttered.
"Well, there are a million guys at my office I could set you up with, no problem!"

Ah, love. Or crush. Or whatever --- the road's not smooth. But it's funny. And, trust me on this, you want to travel that road with Carol Leifer. I'll go further: This one piece is worth the price of admission. Not just because it makes you laugh. Because of the good heart.

Later in the book, describing her sadness at selling the home of her dead parents, Leifer writes: "The other thing I've learned about life --- you get over it. You do. And not because you want to but because you have to. You just have to."

Wisdom like that, in a so-called humor book? Right there, I fell in love with her. I bet you will too.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99d378f4) out of 5 stars Hilarious and Universal March 30 2009
By Anon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book after reading the title, and I couldn't stop laughing.

I'm 24, and even though the book is about getting older, I find Carol Leifer's observations to be timeless and useful to people of all ages. It sums up a common experience many women are going through, but it also offers a heads up for those of us who aren't there yet. Ms. Leifer is doing younger generations a favor by letting us know what to expect. The book is also a guidebook for guys who want to understand women better.

Ms. Leifer addresses several topics in the book including relationships, parenthood, pets, aging, and the loss of a parent. She is both honest and comical in her observations and she reminds us that there is no point in being anyone other than who we are.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99d3912c) out of 5 stars Worthy of the letters LOL! March 19 2009
By Julie Klam - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have always been a huge fan of Carol Leifer's stand-up and tv writing so I am not surprised I LOVED this book. And let me just say, I don't usually like funny books, because sadly, they're often not funny. When You Lie About Your Age.... is brilliant. I only wish I had more stars to tack on.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99d3ff90) out of 5 stars FUNNY, TOUCHING AND INSIGHTFUL May 1 2009
By NYC Music Lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I've been a big fan of Carol Leifer's ever since she first made her name as a standup comic. Having lived in New York City for over 30 years, I saw her many times at the Comic Strip and the Improv in the early days. Of course she made a bigger name for herself on TV, with several appearances on David Letterman as well as her own specials on Cable TV, and a very successful writing gig on the sitcom to end all sitcoms, "Seinfeld". But there is much more to her than punchlines. This wonderful book is part "How To" on aging gracefully, part coming-out story, and part memoir. It's all very engaging and REAL. Leifer truly seems like someone you'd like to hang out with on a Saturday afternoon. Her musings on coming out as a lesbian are surprisingly universal and will probably connect with anyone who's been "searching" for something missing in their life, even if they didn't know what it was they were missing. I found the stories about her late father particularly moving (as well as being truly funny) and enjoyed her very positive outlook on life. Face it, growing older is not easy, but it beats the alternative! If you have an open mind, an open heart and a sense of humor you will appreciate this breezy yet substantial book. Well done, Carol!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99d374c8) out of 5 stars Wise and Funny Essays, Mostly About Aging July 14 2009
By Michelle R - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a funny book. It's also a wise book and a touching book. The nature of the book makes all these elements just as important. The laughs here are based on liking the author and experiencing the aging process of which she speaks -- the good things, like knowing better who you are and the stuff about being able to pull a muscle by reaching too hard for something.

Carol talks about high school reunions and how it's a little easier to like someone in your same age range, because of shared experiences. That's the exact reason why this book is such a good read. We're not quite the same generation, but I'm entering the point where she points out that I'll only ever be referred to as young again if I die. (If I recall correctly, she also mentioned that "maam" is never a flattering term. As a personal aside, and not specific to anything in the book, the first time some smug salesperson refers to me as a young lady in a condescending tone -- and we've all witnessed that, haven't we -- blood will be shed.)

Carol talks a lot about her dad, and losing him. I lost my mother earlier this year. Even if the particulars are different, the feeling of losing a parent is the same and I shed a few tears over those passages -- which might not be the best thing to mention in a review for a humor book.

When I read an interesting book from or about someone famous, I tend to visit YouTube and just see what's out there to help me hear their voice. I picked a clip from early in the author's stand-up career, and even then, many years ago, she was still talking about her father tenderly. It made the stories here all the more poignant to see firsthand that this man was her inspiration and to know how hard that loss must have hit her.

She also talks a lot about her love of animals, and rescuing dogs -- topics close to my heart, even though she came to her appreciation rather late.

All of this is to say this book is enjoyable, because it allowed me to spend time in the company of someone where that's not a chore. It feels like you're having lunch with the author and sharing laughs and stories.

During a real lunch, I would have to grill her more about not knowing she was a lesbian until after forty. How do you not?

I'm very glad I read this book. Recommended for women over forty and animal lovers in particular.