“Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)” by Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess)


“Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)”
written and read by Jenny Lawson (the Bloggess)
Published by Penguin Audio
Approx. 8.5 hours

Holy cow, my sides are still aching after listening to this audiobook. I was not prepared for this and spent my first commute to work with this book loaded into my CD player wiping spewed beverage off my windshield from the hilarity that ensued. I may have to go back and re-listen to this book because I found myself laughing out loud so much that I may have missed some parts.

“Let’s Pretend…” is the “Mostly True Memoir” of the life of the Bloggess, Jenny Lawson, who grew up in rural Texas and did not have the “normal” life. Her father is a taxidermist, who would surprise the family so much with living or dead animals that soon nothing became a surprise. When Jenny’s father came into their room one night with a cracker box, Jenny’s first thought was something to the effect of, “hell yeah you can wake me up with a name brand box of crackers because we never have name brand food.” But soon after learning of the secret of the magic talking squirrel in the box the Jenny and her sister were intrigued, only soon to be turned into a kind of horror when the squirrel turns out to be the bloody skin of a squirrel on her father’s hand in the fashion of a hand puppet.

There are numerous stories in this book that at times have you questioning the sanity of the author, her collection of taxidermied animals may seem odd at first but soon becomes accepted as normal, considering the source. Even when Jenny and her family move into a home that may or may not be built on an Indian burial ground, the plagues of scorpions, the dog that rises from the dead, the fighting off vultures with a machete (what are vultures doing with machetes anyway?) and the chupacabra that may or may not be living in the walls of the home, all seem to fit right in with her life and only Jenny Lawson can tell these stories with such humor that in the end you may question your own sanity.

This book is read by the author, who is an award-winning blogger (thebloggess.com) and is the only person that can deliver the stories with such wit, wisdom, poignancy and emotion. Her delivery of the stories are flippant at times, with asides of humor thrown in that will keep you laughing along with her misadventures. Another bonus in the audiobook is that it includes a bonus chapter that was cut out of the published hardcopy version and there are some hilarious outtakes of her conversations with the engineer producing the audiobook that in themselves make for a great chapter. I especially loved the idea of the drinking game brought up in the outtakes where every time she says the word vagina the listener drinks, and yes you’d be getting drunk real fast if you were to play along.

Great fun and, for me, a great surprise in this audiobook. If you want to look at life from a different and humorous perspective. Even the most educated persons will find themselves feeling good that they aren’t the only ones that ask these questions, like “Why wasn’t Jesus classified as a Zombie?”