I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are – Rachel Bloom

I felt similarly reading this memoir—or collection of essays, rather—to reading Ali Wong’s. Both Ali Wong and Rachel Bloom are comedians in their own respective ways. Both of these women are straight-forward and do not censor themselves when discussing sex and other such topics. I like when authors don’t beat around the bush. But somehow neither Rachel Bloom’s nor Ali Wong’s humor is for me. I don’t find bullying or excrement particularly funny. To me, making jokes regarding those—especially the toilet-related ones—seem rather immature. As much as I respect Rachel Bloom’s assertiveness and openness through writing, I have to say I do not find her very mature or amusing. I’m mainly saying the last point because while she entertained me at times, she did not make me laugh the way Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish and Yvonne Orji are able to.

And since this is a collection of supposedly humorous essays and chapters, not laughing or chuckling actually made me feel like an outsider, which is funny because that’s how Rachel Bloom felt growing up and still feels today. There were some chapters that were more serious that resonated with me, for instance when she discusses her experiences at university, the comedy club and with men. My favourite chapter was the one in which she writes about feeling like there is a relationship curse put on her when she was younger. While, not all chapters worked for me, I have to give it to Rachel Bloom: she doesn’t lack originality.

This is a pretty unconventional non-fiction work, because it’s filled with non-traditional stuff. To give you an idea, Rachel Bloom wrote down her LinkedIn profile, built a sort of amusement park for adults and then described it, and even created a short musical for us. While I did not finish Ali Wong’s memoir, I did finish Rachel Bloom’s work and the reason for that is that it reads fast and it’s so diverse in content that even though I didn’t find it particularly funny or meaningful most of the time, I was still curious to know what the next chapter would hold. I do recommend it if you’re a Rachel Bloom fan. I didn’t know who she was prior to picking this up, and clearly she’s not the right comedian for me, but if you feel differently you might love this!

Thank you Hachette Book Group Canada for the copy in exchange for a review.

2 thoughts on “I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are – Rachel Bloom

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