From unknown comedian Christie Nicholls comes a sidesplitting, spirited and whip-smart collection of laugh-out-loud (when you’re not crying) autobiographic essays. In Elephants In My Room, Nicholls mines her past for honest if not humiliating stories of her formative years, her family, jobs and romantic relationships that are at once extraordinary and absurd. Whether she’s walking a dog for Bougie Buddhists in Brentwood, or navigating the terrain of Iceland in a car she doesn’t know how to drive, or sleeping in a hammock all summer long, deep in the Brazilian rainforest with a bilingual German Shepard by her side, Christie finds humor and heart in the most outrageous and routine. Sometimes foul, always funny, and as sharp as a tack, Elephants In My Room reminds you why Christie Nicholls will one day be one of our generation’s favorite leading ladies, maybe. Or, she’ll move to New Zealand and shear sheep. Who knows.
In every story, Nicholls exhibits a gift for description; as she describes screaming a nonstop litany of curses while incompetently driving a stick-shift rental car through Iceland (“I accelerated and the car cried out ‘help me’ ”), readers will both cackle hysterically and want to tighten their seat belts. Her stories of childhood exude a clear love of family while never sacrificing the absurdity of growing up. If readers are looking for a combination of laughing and crying, the “Dearly Departed” section, filled with heartwarming stories of Nicholls’s grandparents, is sure to deliver. Family photos are given hilarious captions to underline that these stories are as true as they are absurd.
There’s no overall arc to the collection, but each anecdote stands well alone. Readers will admire the fluidity with which Nicholls describes her intensely relatable way of stumbling cheerfully through life. Nicholls’s zeal for storytelling about the everyday proves that any event can form the kernel of a good memoir. She sticks the landing by simply bearing and sharing it all.
Takeaway: This laugh-out-loud collection of anecdotes will delight any fan of funny and heartfelt memoirs.
Great for fans of Caitlin Moran’s How to Be a Woman, Justin Halpern’s Sh*t My Dad Says.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A-