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It's All Relative: Two Families, Three Dogs, 34 Holidays, and 50 Boxes of Wine (A Memoir)

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How come the only thing my family tree ever grows is nuts?” Wade Rouse attempts to answer that question in his blisteringly funny new memoir by looking at the yearly celebrations that unite us all and bring out the very best and worst in our nearest and dearest. Family is truly the only gift that keeps on giving—namely, the gifts of dysfunction and eccentricity— and Wade R How come the only thing my family tree ever grows is nuts?” Wade Rouse attempts to answer that question in his blisteringly funny new memoir by looking at the yearly celebrations that unite us all and bring out the very best and worst in our nearest and dearest. Family is truly the only gift that keeps on giving—namely, the gifts of dysfunction and eccentricity— and Wade Rouse’s family has been especially charitable: His chatty yet loving mother dresses her son as a Ubangi tribesman, in blackface, for Halloween in the rural Ozarks; his unconventional engineer of a father buries his children’s Easter eggs; his marvelously Martha Stewart–esque partner believes Barbie is his baby; his garage-sale obsessed set of in-laws are convinced they can earn more than Warren Buffett by selling their broken lamps and Nehru jackets; his mutt Marge speaks her own language; and his oddball collection of relatives includes a tipsy Santa Claus with an affinity for showing off his jingle balls. In the end, though, the Rouse House gifted Wade with love, laughter, understanding, superb comic timing, and a humbling appreciation for humiliation. Whether Wade dates a mime on his birthday to overcome his phobia of clowns or outruns a chub-chasing boss on Secretary’s Day, he captures our holidays with his trademark self-deprecating humor and acerbic wit. He paints a funny, sad, poignant, and outlandish portrait of an an all-too-typical family that will have you appreciating—or bemoaning—your own and shrieking in laughter.


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How come the only thing my family tree ever grows is nuts?” Wade Rouse attempts to answer that question in his blisteringly funny new memoir by looking at the yearly celebrations that unite us all and bring out the very best and worst in our nearest and dearest. Family is truly the only gift that keeps on giving—namely, the gifts of dysfunction and eccentricity— and Wade R How come the only thing my family tree ever grows is nuts?” Wade Rouse attempts to answer that question in his blisteringly funny new memoir by looking at the yearly celebrations that unite us all and bring out the very best and worst in our nearest and dearest. Family is truly the only gift that keeps on giving—namely, the gifts of dysfunction and eccentricity— and Wade Rouse’s family has been especially charitable: His chatty yet loving mother dresses her son as a Ubangi tribesman, in blackface, for Halloween in the rural Ozarks; his unconventional engineer of a father buries his children’s Easter eggs; his marvelously Martha Stewart–esque partner believes Barbie is his baby; his garage-sale obsessed set of in-laws are convinced they can earn more than Warren Buffett by selling their broken lamps and Nehru jackets; his mutt Marge speaks her own language; and his oddball collection of relatives includes a tipsy Santa Claus with an affinity for showing off his jingle balls. In the end, though, the Rouse House gifted Wade with love, laughter, understanding, superb comic timing, and a humbling appreciation for humiliation. Whether Wade dates a mime on his birthday to overcome his phobia of clowns or outruns a chub-chasing boss on Secretary’s Day, he captures our holidays with his trademark self-deprecating humor and acerbic wit. He paints a funny, sad, poignant, and outlandish portrait of an an all-too-typical family that will have you appreciating—or bemoaning—your own and shrieking in laughter.

30 review for It's All Relative: Two Families, Three Dogs, 34 Holidays, and 50 Boxes of Wine (A Memoir)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Audrey

    3.5 stars This is baring-the-soul honest. The author relates memories of family, some of him as a kid, some as an adult. The book is organized by the calendar, touching mostly on holidays. So you’ll get a Valentine’s Day memory as a kid and another as an adult. Some of the stories are hilarious, some are crazy or insane, and a few poignant. There’s Dad burying Easter eggs in the woods and giving the kids shovels … Mom dressing him up as an African tribesman for Halloween … and Wade trying to be su 3.5 stars This is baring-the-soul honest. The author relates memories of family, some of him as a kid, some as an adult. The book is organized by the calendar, touching mostly on holidays. So you’ll get a Valentine’s Day memory as a kid and another as an adult. Some of the stories are hilarious, some are crazy or insane, and a few poignant. There’s Dad burying Easter eggs in the woods and giving the kids shovels … Mom dressing him up as an African tribesman for Halloween … and Wade trying to be super romantic by giving his partner Hanes briefs for Valentine’s Day. But no matter how different family members are personality-wise or their decisions, they have a deep love for each other. The great thing about family is that you always have a place, and nothing you do will take you out of it. Some occasional strong language | Some graphic sexual descriptions | No violence

  2. 4 out of 5

    Read It Forward

    Wade Rouse is one of my favorite writers. I love recommending him to my friends who are fans of David Sedaris. This will surely be the book that makes him a household name. It's hilarious, poignant, and true. Makes me laugh and makes me appreciate the lovable quirks of my own family. Wade Rouse is one of my favorite writers. I love recommending him to my friends who are fans of David Sedaris. This will surely be the book that makes him a household name. It's hilarious, poignant, and true. Makes me laugh and makes me appreciate the lovable quirks of my own family.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Krista

    Started reading for book club in October 2012. As of October 2013, still haven't finished. Enjoyable, but didn't hold my interest and there are so many other books I want to read. Marking as not finished. Started reading for book club in October 2012. As of October 2013, still haven't finished. Enjoyable, but didn't hold my interest and there are so many other books I want to read. Marking as not finished.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rose A.

    If you love to laugh, you need to read “It’s All Relative Two Families, Three Dogs, 34 Holidays, and 50 Boxes of Wine (A Memoir)” by Wade Rouse. It was released on February 1st by Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc. It is a compilation of hilarious essays that will have you ROTFYAO. In his fourth book, Wade tackles family life and holidays and brings out the best in his dysfunctional and eccentric relatives. We all have them, right? Wade says that “Family is the gift that kee If you love to laugh, you need to read “It’s All Relative Two Families, Three Dogs, 34 Holidays, and 50 Boxes of Wine (A Memoir)” by Wade Rouse. It was released on February 1st by Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc. It is a compilation of hilarious essays that will have you ROTFYAO. In his fourth book, Wade tackles family life and holidays and brings out the best in his dysfunctional and eccentric relatives. We all have them, right? Wade says that “Family is the gift that keeps on giving, no matter how much we wish they would stop.” All of the holidays throughout the year are represented, even Swedish Day and a Pez Collector’s National Convention. My favorite is an essay where Wade and Gary meet up with a neighbor from hell and begin to fight over relationships and appropriate anniversary presents. Then, Wade tries to buy a new Honda Pilot from someone, who smells like Paloma Picasso, because it happens to be a “steel” (11th) anniversary in “So, a Gift Card to Trader Joe’s Isn’t Romantic?” His self-depreciating humor is priceless! Wade Rouse is the critically acclaimed author of three memoirs, America’s Boy, At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream, and Confessions of a Prep School Mommy Handler. He is a journalist and essayist whose articles have appeared in numerous regional and national publications. He contributed to the humorous essay collection about working in the retail industry, The Customer Is Always Wrong: The Retail Chronicles. This book was featured prominently on NPR and in The Wall Street Journal and includes pieces from other noted authors. He also taught a writing class to humorists at the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop 2010. I attended his class and was amazed at his ability to get people to write about fear. I’m not talking Freddy Krueger or Michael Moore movies here, where people get chopped up or the government confiscates your first born child on celluloid; I’m talking the real deal. As a humorist, Wade believes that humor writers need to first write about and get rid of fear and inhibitions, find your “inner voice,” then get funny. He was sneaky about it too. “What are you afraid of?” he asked, smiling. “Okay, now write that down.” The class thinking it was a private exercise that we needed to do for ourselves, spilled our guts for 20 minutes on paper, hoping to burn it before ditching it somewhere near the University of Dayton’s incinerator. So, what happens? Professor Rouse makes us read it out loud to the whole class! I coughed, and my inner voice squeaked “I have to go to the bathroom.” It was very similar to a Kathy Bates scene in “Fried Green Tomatoes.” You remember the one, before she became Towanda. The Washington Post describes Wade as “An original writer and impressive new voice.” I can describe him as fascinating, funny, and talented. He has a great gift. You absolutely need to put this book on your “must read” list. Wade is a graduate of Drury University and has a master’s from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. He lives near the coast of Lake Michigan with his partner, Gary, and their beloved mutts, Marge and Mable. You can contact Wade and learn more about his books via his website, www.waderouse.com. Tell him Rosie sent you.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alec Rigdon

    It's All Relative was actually a backup for another of Rouse's books that I was seeking. This one proved to be a pleasant and warm read all the same. His collection of dysfunctional family tall tales makes you feel like part of the gang. There are a few problems I have with his outlook and perception of what it means to be a gay man and even a Midwesterner, but beyond that this was a fun read. It's All Relative was actually a backup for another of Rouse's books that I was seeking. This one proved to be a pleasant and warm read all the same. His collection of dysfunctional family tall tales makes you feel like part of the gang. There are a few problems I have with his outlook and perception of what it means to be a gay man and even a Midwesterner, but beyond that this was a fun read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Apparently, I have been on a "2nd or 3rd memoirs written by whiney gay men who can't get over their traumatic pre-coming out lives" kick. I wish there were a kicky name for this kind of book (like "chick lit" - shudder) so I could be forewarned. Apparently, I have been on a "2nd or 3rd memoirs written by whiney gay men who can't get over their traumatic pre-coming out lives" kick. I wish there were a kicky name for this kind of book (like "chick lit" - shudder) so I could be forewarned.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    Some chapters I was laughing out loud and some chapters I was weeping - sometimes this happened in the same chapter! A very nice retrospective of family.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Judy Kriehn

    Once I realized it was about the process of growing up gay in small-town America, the narrator in my head became Carson Kressley (original fashion guy on Queer Eye). Be prepared for no discernible timeline. Reading this is more like sitting on the sofa, telling random stories.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    This was my favorite of Wade Rouse's Memoirs, but mostly because I had read the other books. If you have at least read American Boy you will enjoy this one immensely. Wade uses the calendar months and holiday's to share stories throughout his life. Each chapter has a story. The stories do not go in chronological order, not even during the month sections sometimes, but that does not hurt change the quality of the book or writing. As I have said before I love Wade's writing. I laughed out loud and This was my favorite of Wade Rouse's Memoirs, but mostly because I had read the other books. If you have at least read American Boy you will enjoy this one immensely. Wade uses the calendar months and holiday's to share stories throughout his life. Each chapter has a story. The stories do not go in chronological order, not even during the month sections sometimes, but that does not hurt change the quality of the book or writing. As I have said before I love Wade's writing. I laughed out loud and cried more than once while reading this book. At times I was also inspired, mind you Wade has not problem telling a story that makes him look shallow at times, but at other times you can see his depth by his writing ability and the story he tells. I highly recommend this book!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Corielle

    "We're human. We all occasionally wet ourselves. No one is really better than anyone else. We're just all trying to make it through the year as best we can. We screw up sometimes. We succeed sometimes. We laugh. We cry. We go on." I read a lot of memoirs, mostly because my standards for what I will read are very low. The author doesn't need to be famous. I don't need to know anything about them prior to reading. I do prefer them to be funny. I do demand that they be honest, and willing to poke fu "We're human. We all occasionally wet ourselves. No one is really better than anyone else. We're just all trying to make it through the year as best we can. We screw up sometimes. We succeed sometimes. We laugh. We cry. We go on." I read a lot of memoirs, mostly because my standards for what I will read are very low. The author doesn't need to be famous. I don't need to know anything about them prior to reading. I do prefer them to be funny. I do demand that they be honest, and willing to poke fun at themselves, in addition to others. Wade Rouse mostly accomplishes this. He grew up in a tiny Southern town, always knowing he was different from his classmates (he wanted a Barbie, his dad bought him a BB gun). He spent a lot of time using alcohol to cover up his true self, until he met his partner Gary and came to terms with who he really was and could be. The book follows a cute format: he organizes it according to the calendar, and tells a story for various holidays. He covers everything from New Year's Eve to Arbor Day (one of my favorite stories). It bounces around a bit in time -- some take place in his childhood, some during his closeted young adult years and many as an adult living with Gary. This was my one real complaint--it would have been nice had he put dates (at least years) at the beginning of each chapter so I didn't have to scan for clues on his age at the time. Rouse is brutally honest about himself, usually to his own detriment and the delight of the reader. He casts himself as the grumpy stick in the mud and lets those around him shine. The book gets sappy at parts, but not terribly so. Mostly it's a fun little read about a family just as messed up as yours.

  11. 5 out of 5

    JSidelinger

    I haven't read any of Wade Rouse's other memoirs, but "It's All Relative" showed up in my recommendations, so I thought I would investigate by going to the author page where I ended up amused by the promotion video. Wade Rouse's humor is wickedly funny even biting at times, but he is always completely honest about himself and his faults. A memoir can be a platform for self-aggrandizement, but for each spotlight cast on his family's eccentricities or partner Gary's idiosyncrasies there remains a I haven't read any of Wade Rouse's other memoirs, but "It's All Relative" showed up in my recommendations, so I thought I would investigate by going to the author page where I ended up amused by the promotion video. Wade Rouse's humor is wickedly funny even biting at times, but he is always completely honest about himself and his faults. A memoir can be a platform for self-aggrandizement, but for each spotlight cast on his family's eccentricities or partner Gary's idiosyncrasies there remains a deep undercurrent of love and awareness that he has some interior work to do too. "It's All Relative" is a loving tribute to our family beginnings and how they shape us. It is also a compliment for his partner Gary, who is wickedly funny in his own right. Whether you are straight or gay, if you find someone who loves you in spite of all your faults and accepts you for who you are, then you have found something and someone very special to be proud of and a relationship to nurture. Wade Rouse's writing style is clear and brimming with wit and humor. He knows he is blessed and fortunate even as he teases his family or partner. Overall, there are moments in the memoir when you really want to slap the man upside the head, but he is completely honest and accountable for his behavior. There are also many touching instances as he realizes the importance of family and how special they are in their own right. It is a good read, but like any intimate personal disclosure(het or gay)there may be a certain level of discomfort for some people. It isn't extraneous or intended to shock...the man is just being his gregarious and hilarious self. Give it a go - it really is wonderful.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sherrie Howey

    Having loved "The Charm Bracelet" and having recently met Wade Rouse(who is fabulous), I ordered this autobiography and it was a delightful read. There are parts where I laughed out loud and parts where I cried and many situations to which I could totally relate. Just to highlight a few parts of the book: Wade says "we send xeroxed Christmas letters filled with blasphemous lies" and he writes a fictitious Christmas letter which is one of the funniest things I have ever read. He talks about going Having loved "The Charm Bracelet" and having recently met Wade Rouse(who is fabulous), I ordered this autobiography and it was a delightful read. There are parts where I laughed out loud and parts where I cried and many situations to which I could totally relate. Just to highlight a few parts of the book: Wade says "we send xeroxed Christmas letters filled with blasphemous lies" and he writes a fictitious Christmas letter which is one of the funniest things I have ever read. He talks about going on holiday to Florida where there are more walk in clinics and hip replacement specialists than Starbucks. He talks about Ash Wednesday and that his minister made his family look like they had been pulled from a collapsed coal mine while the foreheads of the church deacons had dainty little crosses on their foreheads. The chapter about Gary's family and yard sales was a riot-hard core buyers showed up at 5 am and the all day sale yielded $304 and the family was so excited and acted as if they had just gotten off the phone with Warren Buffett and learned he was dying and they were his sole heirs. There are chapters which mad me cry; visiting his grandmother and how his mom said it was not an obligation but a privilege and the last chapter about his mom's illness is so touching. I strongly urge you to read this book; you will laugh, you will cry and you will come away wanting to read more by Wade Rouse.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte

    http://charlotteswebofbooks.blogspot.... Wade Rouse is the cure. A writer from the SW Missouri area himself, he has got to be one of the funniest writers I have ever read. It's All Relative is a collection of stories about Wade's holiday experiences. His tales range from hunting (make that digging for) Easter eggs as a kid to his first Thanksgiving with the "In-Laws" but NOTHING is funnier than his tale of his first Valentine's Day with his partner, Gary. I swear to God I nearly wet myself. I neve http://charlotteswebofbooks.blogspot.... Wade Rouse is the cure. A writer from the SW Missouri area himself, he has got to be one of the funniest writers I have ever read. It's All Relative is a collection of stories about Wade's holiday experiences. His tales range from hunting (make that digging for) Easter eggs as a kid to his first Thanksgiving with the "In-Laws" but NOTHING is funnier than his tale of his first Valentine's Day with his partner, Gary. I swear to God I nearly wet myself. I never really got the humor of Augusten Burroughs or David Sedaris (don't hate me) but Wade Rouse ranks right up there with Jen Lancaster in my book. He finds humor in every situation and can turn it into a literary masterpiece with ease. Some call it witty, some call it sarcastic, but I call it perfect. If you are looking for something to take your mind off of the wrath of Mother Nature, pick up one of Wade Rouse's books and tell me what you think.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Peggy

    At first I wasn't sure what to make of this book. At the beginning the memoir book seemed a 'it's my parents fault in whatever wrong in my life' which is a complete turn off for me. But I continued to read because it started to become funny, in fact hilarious as he told of living with a dysfunctional family (and who doesn't have one of those) and tolerating the quirks of his partner's family writing about a memory of each and every holiday. I was able to relate with what he was going through dea At first I wasn't sure what to make of this book. At the beginning the memoir book seemed a 'it's my parents fault in whatever wrong in my life' which is a complete turn off for me. But I continued to read because it started to become funny, in fact hilarious as he told of living with a dysfunctional family (and who doesn't have one of those) and tolerating the quirks of his partner's family writing about a memory of each and every holiday. I was able to relate with what he was going through dealing with my own family and that of my spouse and the humor of it all. It was hard to put the book down because as he told of one holiday to the next it would get even more hilarious. What was also appealing was the fact that he lives in Michigan, the same as I and the places and people he wrote about I understood (and laughed). The only disappointment was a very sad ending but I understood its purpose for being there.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joni

    Hello, Shelfari? Are you listening? I'd really like to be able to give an additional half a star to so many of the books that I read. It's All Relative was like reading Erma Bombeck meets WIll and Grace. I so quickly check out books from the library that I didn't realize that I would be reading about a same sex relationship until I sat down to begin the book. That being said, I found the overall tone funny, poignant and heart felt. It actually could do a lot for promoting the reality that couple Hello, Shelfari? Are you listening? I'd really like to be able to give an additional half a star to so many of the books that I read. It's All Relative was like reading Erma Bombeck meets WIll and Grace. I so quickly check out books from the library that I didn't realize that I would be reading about a same sex relationship until I sat down to begin the book. That being said, I found the overall tone funny, poignant and heart felt. It actually could do a lot for promoting the reality that couples are couples regardless of their orientation. However, there were 2 or 3 stories that were so flamboyant that I hope the author was speaking tongue in cheek, rather than depicting actual events. Barbie going on vacation with them and requiring her own chair at a restaurant....? Really?

  16. 4 out of 5

    John

    This was my favorite of Wade Rouse's Memoirs, but mostly because I had read the other books. If you have at least read American Boy you will enjoy this one immensely. Wade uses the calendar months and holiday's to share stories throughout his life. Each chapter has a story. The stories do not go in chronological order, not even during the month sections sometimes, but that does not hurt change the quality of the book or writing. As I have said before I love Wade's writing. I laughed out loud and This was my favorite of Wade Rouse's Memoirs, but mostly because I had read the other books. If you have at least read American Boy you will enjoy this one immensely. Wade uses the calendar months and holiday's to share stories throughout his life. Each chapter has a story. The stories do not go in chronological order, not even during the month sections sometimes, but that does not hurt change the quality of the book or writing. As I have said before I love Wade's writing. I laughed out loud and cried more than once while reading this book. At times I was also inspired, mind you Wade has not problem telling a story that makes him look shallow at times, but at other times you can see his depth by his writing ability and the story he tells. I highly recommend this book!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jan Kellis

    Wade Rouse takes the reader on a year-long journey through holidays large and small, sharing his experiences in his signature self-deprecating way. The book progresses from New Year's Eve to Christmas, with stops along the way for important traditional holidays, as well as Chinese New Year, the Pez Collectors' National Convention, and Barbie's birthday. Wade lets you in and gives you a glimpse of his life, his family, his foibles, his successes. His writing is deep and true, and you'll find your Wade Rouse takes the reader on a year-long journey through holidays large and small, sharing his experiences in his signature self-deprecating way. The book progresses from New Year's Eve to Christmas, with stops along the way for important traditional holidays, as well as Chinese New Year, the Pez Collectors' National Convention, and Barbie's birthday. Wade lets you in and gives you a glimpse of his life, his family, his foibles, his successes. His writing is deep and true, and you'll find yourself laughing at least once during each essay, even as Wade learns life lessons and accepts his own talents and limitations. Read this book to gain a better understanding of human nature, friendship, relationships, family and self. And laugh at each witty turn of phrase.

  18. 5 out of 5

    John

    Blisteringly funny? No ... not even close. More like "very humorous" at its peak moments, and "who the hell lives like that?" when he falls into stereotypical-gay-guy mode. What redeems the book from a two-star "meh!" read were the more serious memoir aspects, reminding me why I found his first book America's Boy: A Memoir such a success. He's a talented essayist, with a great future, although he runs the risk of being pigeonholed as a "gay" writer if he doesn't make an effort to make it easier Blisteringly funny? No ... not even close. More like "very humorous" at its peak moments, and "who the hell lives like that?" when he falls into stereotypical-gay-guy mode. What redeems the book from a two-star "meh!" read were the more serious memoir aspects, reminding me why I found his first book America's Boy: A Memoir such a success. He's a talented essayist, with a great future, although he runs the risk of being pigeonholed as a "gay" writer if he doesn't make an effort to make it easier for those "outside the scene" to identify with him.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jliongrrrl

    A Jen Lancaster rec, it has to be good... and it was wonderful! A perfect combination of snarkasm and heartwarming family goodness. If you're a fan of Sedaris or Jen Lancaster you will enjoy this book. If your family has strange traditions and you don't really know why, you will enjoy this book. I loved that it was broken up into months of the year rather than separated by time. The mix of child and adult stories made it much more enjoyable. I look forward to picking up Wade Rouse's earlier works A Jen Lancaster rec, it has to be good... and it was wonderful! A perfect combination of snarkasm and heartwarming family goodness. If you're a fan of Sedaris or Jen Lancaster you will enjoy this book. If your family has strange traditions and you don't really know why, you will enjoy this book. I loved that it was broken up into months of the year rather than separated by time. The mix of child and adult stories made it much more enjoyable. I look forward to picking up Wade Rouse's earlier works as he made me giggle and snort in nearly every chapter.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Vy

    I enjoyed reading this memoir. It's a collection of 34 little stories from various holidays, arranged as they would fall during a calendar year, January through December. Through these essays, you glimpse a little of the lives of the author, his partner, and their families. I enjoyed reading this book, to wit: I smiled and chuckled a lot, occasionally laughed out loud, and cried a couple of times. The reviews here have the inevitable comparisons to Sedaris, and I'll add my own. This was not as fu I enjoyed reading this memoir. It's a collection of 34 little stories from various holidays, arranged as they would fall during a calendar year, January through December. Through these essays, you glimpse a little of the lives of the author, his partner, and their families. I enjoyed reading this book, to wit: I smiled and chuckled a lot, occasionally laughed out loud, and cried a couple of times. The reviews here have the inevitable comparisons to Sedaris, and I'll add my own. This was not as funny as Sedaris, but it was much more touching and heartwarming. Overall, I prefer Rouse.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Neil Mudde

    It must be my strange sense of humour, I found and I only read the first few chapters perused the others, and finished reading the story about his Mom's dying the latter was very moving all the other chapters were somewhat tedious, the woman wanting his gator beads? games on the 4th of july Father Rouse will always be the winner, and you Gary will always be the loser, etc. etc. When looking at the book, I thought this has possibilities, however unfortunately I failed to find much of this funny, c It must be my strange sense of humour, I found and I only read the first few chapters perused the others, and finished reading the story about his Mom's dying the latter was very moving all the other chapters were somewhat tedious, the woman wanting his gator beads? games on the 4th of july Father Rouse will always be the winner, and you Gary will always be the loser, etc. etc. When looking at the book, I thought this has possibilities, however unfortunately I failed to find much of this funny, certainly not hillarious, and I never found myself shrieking with laughter.

  22. 4 out of 5

    MELISSA

    Wade Rouse's latest book had me laughing out loud. This was a refreshing read after some of my latest book club books. The craziness and antics that Wade and his partner Gary go through at various holiday and special events brought tears to my eyes. I enjoyed this entire book but I think it was the chapter "Spring Break" that sealed the deal for me, especially since I have family and have traveled to Sarasota Florida a lot in my life. A GREAT READ!! Wade Rouse's latest book had me laughing out loud. This was a refreshing read after some of my latest book club books. The craziness and antics that Wade and his partner Gary go through at various holiday and special events brought tears to my eyes. I enjoyed this entire book but I think it was the chapter "Spring Break" that sealed the deal for me, especially since I have family and have traveled to Sarasota Florida a lot in my life. A GREAT READ!!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Peebee

    I love Wade Rouse...maybe because I grew up in rural Missouri too, or maybe because he's just freakin' funny! It's great to see him so settled and happy with Gary...you can really see the difference in his life when comparing this to his earlier work, especially America's Boy: A Memoir. And we've all had holidays like the ones described in this book, just not articulated as well.... I love Wade Rouse...maybe because I grew up in rural Missouri too, or maybe because he's just freakin' funny! It's great to see him so settled and happy with Gary...you can really see the difference in his life when comparing this to his earlier work, especially America's Boy: A Memoir. And we've all had holidays like the ones described in this book, just not articulated as well....

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mary-Frances

    I was a bit distressed to find this in the "humor" section, because while I laughed hysterically at a lot of the parts of the book, there were some tear-jerker moments as well. Wade's family bears NO resemblance to mine and yet, I could relate to his and his partner's families page after page of this book. Dis-function and horrid holidays lead to wonderful heartfelt life lessons and a sweet tribute to the good, bad and the ugly of families and family holidays. I was a bit distressed to find this in the "humor" section, because while I laughed hysterically at a lot of the parts of the book, there were some tear-jerker moments as well. Wade's family bears NO resemblance to mine and yet, I could relate to his and his partner's families page after page of this book. Dis-function and horrid holidays lead to wonderful heartfelt life lessons and a sweet tribute to the good, bad and the ugly of families and family holidays.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nette

    The stories are quite funny, but too many of them end with Icky Heartwarming Morals. A lot of the reviews here compare him to Sedaris, but Sedaris would never end his essays with, "In the end, even after she shamed me in front of the whole third-grade, I realized that my mom really loved me," or "And even though I completely screwed up the anniversary party, my boyfriend ate those rancid meatballs and gave me a big kiss." Easy on the life lessons, is all I'm saying. The stories are quite funny, but too many of them end with Icky Heartwarming Morals. A lot of the reviews here compare him to Sedaris, but Sedaris would never end his essays with, "In the end, even after she shamed me in front of the whole third-grade, I realized that my mom really loved me," or "And even though I completely screwed up the anniversary party, my boyfriend ate those rancid meatballs and gave me a big kiss." Easy on the life lessons, is all I'm saying.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Melody

    I enjoyed these essays very much. Some more than others, of course. Several of them made me cry, a few of them made me roll my eyes. I like Rouse's writing a lot, and I'm happy to see that there are still a few of his books yet to read. His tone is just right, I think- he's not exactly arch and not exactly sentimental but somehow touches both of these extremes and is blessedly, hilariously human. Recommended. I enjoyed these essays very much. Some more than others, of course. Several of them made me cry, a few of them made me roll my eyes. I like Rouse's writing a lot, and I'm happy to see that there are still a few of his books yet to read. His tone is just right, I think- he's not exactly arch and not exactly sentimental but somehow touches both of these extremes and is blessedly, hilariously human. Recommended.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    This is a very funny, poignant, and REAL memoir from Wade Rouse, who grew up gay in the Ozarks. It's all about the various holidays as celebrated by his eccentric extended family. Wade and his partner, Gary Evans, now live in Saugatuck, Michigan. I attended a reading he had at Herrick District Library in Holland, Michigan recently. The audience was laughing out loud as Wade read excerpts from all five of his books. I highly recommend this one, or any of his other books! This is a very funny, poignant, and REAL memoir from Wade Rouse, who grew up gay in the Ozarks. It's all about the various holidays as celebrated by his eccentric extended family. Wade and his partner, Gary Evans, now live in Saugatuck, Michigan. I attended a reading he had at Herrick District Library in Holland, Michigan recently. The audience was laughing out loud as Wade read excerpts from all five of his books. I highly recommend this one, or any of his other books!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lunds&byerly

    Maybe all the public shaming on french tennis player, Marion Bartoli for how she looks is skewing my objectivity and this review. Although Rouse is a funny, quirky writer with a knack for adding sentimental filters to events, I am stripping away 1 star for his fat jokes. And another 1/2 star for the "and I've seen his eggroll" schtick, which he mistakenly thinks is funny. It's your memoir, do what you want. It's just that there are probably other books worth reading before this one. Maybe all the public shaming on french tennis player, Marion Bartoli for how she looks is skewing my objectivity and this review. Although Rouse is a funny, quirky writer with a knack for adding sentimental filters to events, I am stripping away 1 star for his fat jokes. And another 1/2 star for the "and I've seen his eggroll" schtick, which he mistakenly thinks is funny. It's your memoir, do what you want. It's just that there are probably other books worth reading before this one.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    A funny read that was a bit heavy on the sap at times. It also creeped me out how much this book reminded me of David Sedaris' writing. I could practically hear his voice telling Rouse's stories. So that was a little weird. There were a couple hilarious stories (the one at the Chinese buffet was a fave), but overall it was only ok. A funny read that was a bit heavy on the sap at times. It also creeped me out how much this book reminded me of David Sedaris' writing. I could practically hear his voice telling Rouse's stories. So that was a little weird. There were a couple hilarious stories (the one at the Chinese buffet was a fave), but overall it was only ok.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Wende Frost

    There are so many "my family is nuts" memoirs on the humor shelves and when this book was recommended to me I feared this would be just another author trying to "out-zany" the works that had come before. But this collection has humor, biting wit and heart throughout. I enjoyed walking through the year with Wade & Gary and look forward to reading earlier selections by this author. There are so many "my family is nuts" memoirs on the humor shelves and when this book was recommended to me I feared this would be just another author trying to "out-zany" the works that had come before. But this collection has humor, biting wit and heart throughout. I enjoyed walking through the year with Wade & Gary and look forward to reading earlier selections by this author.

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