Ali In Wonderland: And Other Tall Tales Hardcover – Jan 30 2012
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“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.See all Product Description
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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.
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!
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.
Out of 243 pages, there was only one laugh out loud moment: the description of Ali, while vacationing with her four-year-old daughter in Greece, happening on a beach with gay, scantily clad men enjoying each other.
I laugh often and out loud when reading Dave Berry, Konrath, Evanovich, Sedaris, Dorsey, Scottoline and Hiaasen. A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland, Indiana, by Haven Kimmel is my idea of a hilarious autobiography. "Ali in Wonderland" left me cold, wondering why it was supposed to be funny.
Other reviewers describe Ali's humor as "toilet humor.' Clearly, by enjoying Dave Berry, I am not immune to toilet humor, nor juvenile antics. Ali's humor was simply not funny. An example: In describing the WASP background of her mother who is named "Muffie," Ali concludes by stating "[s]he's never peed in the shower." That's funny?
Perhaps other reviewers who enjoyed "Ali in Wonderland" were influenced by Ali's live performances. Since I had never seen Ali perform, my response is only to this written work, which just didn't strike me as humorous.
The format of "Ali in Wonderland" is confusing. Ali's stories begin chronologically, but as she continues there are huge gaps and the chronology goes out the window.
I didn't understand the factual inconsistencies. Ali describes her mother, Muffie, as contradicting the common concept of a person named "Muffie." In doing so, Ali states, "Plus, there is no more money. . . The money has since been invested badly, embezzled by greedy spouses, or drunk away." Yet, Muffie's response to any crisis is, "Go to the Four Seasons," and she does. There is no more money but she goes to the Four Seasons???
Humor is somewhat personal. Different people enjoy various types of humor. Humor comes in many forms. Some are:
1. Laugh-at-life humor
4. Self-deprecating humor
5. Dry/Deadpan humor
7. Highbrow/Witty humor
8. Jokes at others' expense
9. "Bathroom" humor
10. Quirky cultural references
The many "fart" references in "Ali in Wonderland" might classify it as in the "bathroom humor" genre. Whatever its style, the humor escaped me.