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In the spirit of Mindy Kaling, Kelly Oxford, and Sarah Silverman, a compulsively readable and outrageously funny memoir of growing up as a fish out of water, finding your voice, and embracing your inner crazy-person, from popular actress, writer, and comedian Bonnie McFarlane.  It took Bonnie McFarlane a lot of time, effort, and tequila to get to where she is today. Before In the spirit of Mindy Kaling, Kelly Oxford, and Sarah Silverman, a compulsively readable and outrageously funny memoir of growing up as a fish out of water, finding your voice, and embracing your inner crazy-person, from popular actress, writer, and comedian Bonnie McFarlane.  It took Bonnie McFarlane a lot of time, effort, and tequila to get to where she is today. Before she starred on Last Comic Standing and directed her own films, she was an inappropriately loud tomboy growing up on her parents’ farm in Cold Lake, Canada, wetting her pants during standardized tests and killing chickens. Desperate to find “her people”—like-minded souls who wouldn’t judge her because she was honest, ruthless, and okay, sometimes really rude—Bonnie turned to comedy. In her explosively funny and no-holds-barred memoir, Bonnie tells it like it is, and lays bare all of her smart (and her not-so-smart) decisions along her way to finding her friends and her comedic voice. From fistfights in elementary school to riding motorcycles to the World Famous Comic Strip, to Late Night with David Letterman, and through to her infamous “c” word bit on Last Comic Standing, You’re Better Than Me is her funny and outrageous trip through the good, bad, and ugly of her life in comedy. McFarlane doesn’t always keep her mouth shut when she should, but at least she makes people laugh. And that’s all that matters, right?


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In the spirit of Mindy Kaling, Kelly Oxford, and Sarah Silverman, a compulsively readable and outrageously funny memoir of growing up as a fish out of water, finding your voice, and embracing your inner crazy-person, from popular actress, writer, and comedian Bonnie McFarlane.  It took Bonnie McFarlane a lot of time, effort, and tequila to get to where she is today. Before In the spirit of Mindy Kaling, Kelly Oxford, and Sarah Silverman, a compulsively readable and outrageously funny memoir of growing up as a fish out of water, finding your voice, and embracing your inner crazy-person, from popular actress, writer, and comedian Bonnie McFarlane.  It took Bonnie McFarlane a lot of time, effort, and tequila to get to where she is today. Before she starred on Last Comic Standing and directed her own films, she was an inappropriately loud tomboy growing up on her parents’ farm in Cold Lake, Canada, wetting her pants during standardized tests and killing chickens. Desperate to find “her people”—like-minded souls who wouldn’t judge her because she was honest, ruthless, and okay, sometimes really rude—Bonnie turned to comedy. In her explosively funny and no-holds-barred memoir, Bonnie tells it like it is, and lays bare all of her smart (and her not-so-smart) decisions along her way to finding her friends and her comedic voice. From fistfights in elementary school to riding motorcycles to the World Famous Comic Strip, to Late Night with David Letterman, and through to her infamous “c” word bit on Last Comic Standing, You’re Better Than Me is her funny and outrageous trip through the good, bad, and ugly of her life in comedy. McFarlane doesn’t always keep her mouth shut when she should, but at least she makes people laugh. And that’s all that matters, right?

30 review for You're Better Than Me: A Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Christopher McDevitt

    The first half of the book is some of the most honest, awful, heartbreaking and hilarious prose that I've ever read in a memoir before. I've met Bonnie, performed with her several times, ate with her, and never knew any of that stuff. It was mindblowing. The latter half of the book kind of breezed through LCS, Vos Marriage, Motherhood, Road stories, and the lack of naming names came off as kind of a let down due to the personal and frank nature of the early stuff. But it was a fantastic book and The first half of the book is some of the most honest, awful, heartbreaking and hilarious prose that I've ever read in a memoir before. I've met Bonnie, performed with her several times, ate with her, and never knew any of that stuff. It was mindblowing. The latter half of the book kind of breezed through LCS, Vos Marriage, Motherhood, Road stories, and the lack of naming names came off as kind of a let down due to the personal and frank nature of the early stuff. But it was a fantastic book and easily cruised to the #1 spot on my list of memoirs by comedians, knocking Born Standing Up to #2. And Bedwetter by Sarah Silverman to #3.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    According to the reviews, this book is hilarious. Not true. Mildly funny is all it gets. I made it half way, it was due at the library, and I did not bother to renew it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    First couple of chapters: laughter, desire to share snippets with family and friends, difficult to put down. Then, sharp downward descent: turned-off, lack of desire to read about sexual exploits and drug use, should I bother to finish this? Although I understand and acknowledge part of comedy is often to shock and offend, I was put off by much of McFarlane's schtick and grew increasingly weary of her constant self-deprication (guess that title should have tipped me off, eh? And yes, I totally a First couple of chapters: laughter, desire to share snippets with family and friends, difficult to put down. Then, sharp downward descent: turned-off, lack of desire to read about sexual exploits and drug use, should I bother to finish this? Although I understand and acknowledge part of comedy is often to shock and offend, I was put off by much of McFarlane's schtick and grew increasingly weary of her constant self-deprication (guess that title should have tipped me off, eh? And yes, I totally added the "eh" because much of the book capitalizes on her Canadian roots.) Humorous at times, to be sure, but ultimately I was glad to finish and eager to move on to my next read. Additionally, she obviously exaggerates much of her history. I know there is "poetic license" but in a memoir I prefer the truth. I want to know which events really occurred and which did not. The beginning is four star material, the rest two at best.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Regan Ching

    A light and entertaining read. Bonnie's personality really comes through in the narrative, and does a rather great job narrating many of her most intimate experiences, thought and emotions in the humblest of ways. A light and entertaining read. Bonnie's personality really comes through in the narrative, and does a rather great job narrating many of her most intimate experiences, thought and emotions in the humblest of ways.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cailey

    I still don't know who Bonnie McFarlane is, but her book was okay. Not exceptional in any way (like making me laugh a lot), but not terrible. I grabbed the audio of this book when in a quick hunt for a book for the car. Not bad, not great, somewhere in the middle there. I still don't know who Bonnie McFarlane is, but her book was okay. Not exceptional in any way (like making me laugh a lot), but not terrible. I grabbed the audio of this book when in a quick hunt for a book for the car. Not bad, not great, somewhere in the middle there.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ronna

    3.5, really. Loved the first chapters. Very funny, and so rare for someone from Saskatchewan or Alberta to read a book they can really relate to.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    I liked that! It was funny! Thanks for the good time!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Scott Kirkwood

    Bonnie's life is very interesting and I can see she's worked really hard to be the comedian that she is (although she jokes that Malcolm Gladwell is an asshole for saying you need 10,000 hours to be proficient - comedians only get 3 minutes on the stage at the beginning, I'll be in my seventies before getting to 10,000 hours). But you can see in the previous chapters that she really was spending 80 hours a week thinking and writing about comedy as well as testing new material on the circuit). My Bonnie's life is very interesting and I can see she's worked really hard to be the comedian that she is (although she jokes that Malcolm Gladwell is an asshole for saying you need 10,000 hours to be proficient - comedians only get 3 minutes on the stage at the beginning, I'll be in my seventies before getting to 10,000 hours). But you can see in the previous chapters that she really was spending 80 hours a week thinking and writing about comedy as well as testing new material on the circuit). My only complaint was that the delivery on the audio book could have been better, felt like she was reading.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Df

    Some of the reviews here illustrate the difficulties of being female in any male-dominated industry: you're an outsider to begin with and your harshest critics are other women. I'm guessing some of you would have been more comfortable if she had gone straight from the farm to the loving arms of her husband and the joys of motherhood? But interesting people think differently, go off on their own, take risks, and try uncomfortable things. Not every life generates a stream of happy instagram photos Some of the reviews here illustrate the difficulties of being female in any male-dominated industry: you're an outsider to begin with and your harshest critics are other women. I'm guessing some of you would have been more comfortable if she had gone straight from the farm to the loving arms of her husband and the joys of motherhood? But interesting people think differently, go off on their own, take risks, and try uncomfortable things. Not every life generates a stream of happy instagram photos. This memoir is like a tonic for those of us who have been on a similarly awkward path toward finding our people and place.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Gael

    Good writer Obviously smart as a whip and also obviously fairly unlikable, Bonnie can sure write. This kept me reading in spite of realizing early on that she was someone I would never want to know. She comes across as abrasive for its own sake. However it didn't stop me from reading with fascinated horror as she skewered everyone she knows. And what on earth was announcing that her vagina was small a couple of dozen times about? Confusing. Lots of interesting books have unlikable main characters Good writer Obviously smart as a whip and also obviously fairly unlikable, Bonnie can sure write. This kept me reading in spite of realizing early on that she was someone I would never want to know. She comes across as abrasive for its own sake. However it didn't stop me from reading with fascinated horror as she skewered everyone she knows. And what on earth was announcing that her vagina was small a couple of dozen times about? Confusing. Lots of interesting books have unlikable main characters. This is one of those.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nutmeg

    Before reading this, I didn't really know who Bonnie was other than that she is a comedienne. I feel like if I was a fan of hers or was a comedy nerd, I would have liked this more than I did. I enjoyed her personal stories and anecdotes immensely, but she wrote a lot about being a comedian, and those parts lost me. This isn't a bad book by any means, just not my cup of tea. Before reading this, I didn't really know who Bonnie was other than that she is a comedienne. I feel like if I was a fan of hers or was a comedy nerd, I would have liked this more than I did. I enjoyed her personal stories and anecdotes immensely, but she wrote a lot about being a comedian, and those parts lost me. This isn't a bad book by any means, just not my cup of tea.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Marie

    I love listening to Bonnie on her and her husband Rich Vos' podcast "My Wife Hates Me" and on SiriusXM. Funny read. It's a very humorous biography based on Bonnie's unconventional upbringing and how she got into the comedy scene. I would definitely recommend giving this one a read, you won't regret it. I love listening to Bonnie on her and her husband Rich Vos' podcast "My Wife Hates Me" and on SiriusXM. Funny read. It's a very humorous biography based on Bonnie's unconventional upbringing and how she got into the comedy scene. I would definitely recommend giving this one a read, you won't regret it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    The beginning of the book was enjoyable enough, but when the stories of her childhood ended I found it very hard to finish. So much so that it took me six months to do so. Not as engaging as books I have read by other comedians.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Geller

    As a memoir, maybe a 3. But she is in comedy and the book isn't funny. As a memoir, maybe a 3. But she is in comedy and the book isn't funny.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Welch

    I'm not sure how I missed the work of this comedian but I definitely looked her up after I started reading this awkward and funny memoir. I'm not sure how I missed the work of this comedian but I definitely looked her up after I started reading this awkward and funny memoir.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Annette Prall

    Funny, sometimes vulgar and irreverent. An interesting look at the internal struggles of a comedian.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Erin Sullivan

    Not a typical memoir but I'd definitely like to be hery friend so I'd have to say I liked it. Not a typical memoir but I'd definitely like to be hery friend so I'd have to say I liked it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

    started to read; not my style of comedy

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Keating-Smith

    HI-LARIOUS.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ziggy

    Always worthwhile to enter the mind of a comic. What type of lunatic would volunteer to stand up alone on a stage and hope to make strangers laugh? The format seems to be set up for failure. The audience knows the comic is trying to get them to laugh. Knowing that the comic’s life is in their hands, I would think the audience is more likely to be cruel, i.e., not laugh. But this gamble is what makes stand-up comedy so thrilling. In the rare instance the comic succeeds, the payoff is big. On top Always worthwhile to enter the mind of a comic. What type of lunatic would volunteer to stand up alone on a stage and hope to make strangers laugh? The format seems to be set up for failure. The audience knows the comic is trying to get them to laugh. Knowing that the comic’s life is in their hands, I would think the audience is more likely to be cruel, i.e., not laugh. But this gamble is what makes stand-up comedy so thrilling. In the rare instance the comic succeeds, the payoff is big. On top of money and fame, getting a crowd of strangers to laugh when you want them to must be a high unlike any other. But again, what crazy person would choose to do this? Well, apparently someone who exhibits 6 of the 7 signs of a serial killer as listed on Wikipedia. With this delicious observation, Bonnie opens her highly entertaining memoir. As with all great comics, she is intelligent and has an unconventional and unique perspective on everything. She calls herself a weirdo. And you think she’s just being funny, but it hits home when she tells the reader that once upon a time when she was having lunch with an agent, the agent began choking and she just sat there silently watching as his face turned blue. When he fortunately dislodged the food himself, the agent appropriately said, “you are not a nice person.”

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jued

    Loved the beginning, loved her reflections of Canada and moving to the U.S., and then unfortunately my interest fizzled.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Teena in Toronto

    I've never heard of Bonnie McFarlane. I'd read a review about this book in the Toronto Star last month and it sounded interesting. Plus she is Canadian. Bonnie was born on a farm in Cold Lake, Alberta, the youngest of four children. Farm life wasn't for her so she eventually headed to Vancouver, where she did her first open mic and she was hooked. The manager of the club told her that she should enter "The Search for Canada's Funniest New Comic" ... she did and she won. She ended up in Los Angele I've never heard of Bonnie McFarlane. I'd read a review about this book in the Toronto Star last month and it sounded interesting. Plus she is Canadian. Bonnie was born on a farm in Cold Lake, Alberta, the youngest of four children. Farm life wasn't for her so she eventually headed to Vancouver, where she did her first open mic and she was hooked. The manager of the club told her that she should enter "The Search for Canada's Funniest New Comic" ... she did and she won. She ended up in Los Angeles doing stand-up, acting and writing. Her goals included becoming best friends with Janeane Garofalo and getting on Late Show with David Letterman. This book tells her story ... growing up on the farm and her best friend being her cow (which she later age), her highs and lows as a comedian, actress and writer, her love life and more. Her writing style was interesting, humorous and vulgar at times (some might be offended ... I wasn't). As a head's up, there is a lot of swearing, descriptions of adult activity. drug use, etc. Blog review post: http://www.teenaintoronto.com/2016/04...

  23. 4 out of 5

    Snem

    This review is full of bias, because I'm a big fan of Bonnie's comedy. However, this is a really entertaining book. I'm very interested in comedians' backgrounds and Bonnie has one of the most fascinating ones around. Very honest, very funny. I wish it was longer and I felt like the later chapters were a little glossed over. I even would've enjoyed a little more Vos, although he doesn't deserve it because he probably hasn't even read this yet. I highly recommend this if you're a fan of comedy, o This review is full of bias, because I'm a big fan of Bonnie's comedy. However, this is a really entertaining book. I'm very interested in comedians' backgrounds and Bonnie has one of the most fascinating ones around. Very honest, very funny. I wish it was longer and I felt like the later chapters were a little glossed over. I even would've enjoyed a little more Vos, although he doesn't deserve it because he probably hasn't even read this yet. I highly recommend this if you're a fan of comedy, or females or laughter or having a good time.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Esme

    Definitely good for some laughs. Her jokes would blindside me on the page -- there was one joke about Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka that got me good, I enjoy a well constructed morbid joke. I did think the book sagged a bit after I got slightly more than halfway through, as she continued to rail about bad managers, bad boyfriends, and bad decisions. I wasn't sure where she was taking us. I think it would be a good book for an aspiring stand-up to read, the end of the book seemed to fall into w Definitely good for some laughs. Her jokes would blindside me on the page -- there was one joke about Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka that got me good, I enjoy a well constructed morbid joke. I did think the book sagged a bit after I got slightly more than halfway through, as she continued to rail about bad managers, bad boyfriends, and bad decisions. I wasn't sure where she was taking us. I think it would be a good book for an aspiring stand-up to read, the end of the book seemed to fall into words-of-advice-type mode. Enjoyable but flawed.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Douglas

    Meet a very unique, free thinking, honest individual. Actually she's not grossly honest like so much of today's comedy. You don't have to read toilet jokes. I was really touched by her growing up on a farm stories. Getting up early to milk her cows, making her own ice cream to sell at market. A life that we would define as poverty, but one that really gave her character and perspective. Meet a very unique, free thinking, honest individual. Actually she's not grossly honest like so much of today's comedy. You don't have to read toilet jokes. I was really touched by her growing up on a farm stories. Getting up early to milk her cows, making her own ice cream to sell at market. A life that we would define as poverty, but one that really gave her character and perspective.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Maggie Tumenbatur

    A blunt description, almost like watching her thinking process outloud, about becoming a stand up comedian and finding her own voice. A fantastic way to understand their courage and emotions to face the public and try again and again to make people laugh for real. I always find this such a difficult job. A refreshing read with a very colourful language.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Laura Rizza

    Got a chance to see her live at The Stress Factory, where I bought the book and she so graciously signed it. Very funny in person. Book was entertaining, but really focused on her struggles to be a successful woman in a male dominated industry.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Adrienne Pettinelli

    Comedy fans should definitely listen to this on audio. McFarlane reads it herself, and she's a great storyteller, whether she's talking about her childhood growing up on a farm or interacting with other comedians while establishing her career in NY and LA. Comedy fans should definitely listen to this on audio. McFarlane reads it herself, and she's a great storyteller, whether she's talking about her childhood growing up on a farm or interacting with other comedians while establishing her career in NY and LA.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sampson Vam

    Meh but entertaining It was meh but entertaining. The humor was not over the top and trying too hard like many easy reads in this genre. Fun anecdotes altho the videos i have seen of Bonnie are not that funny.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Still

    Entertaining, very funny memoir by a beautiful and charming and brilliant comedian & radio personality. Recommended!

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