Author: Orli Auslander
Genre: Humor, Nonfiction
Number of Pages (Hardcover): 160
(Expected) Date of Publishing: April 4th of 2017
Publisher: Blue Rider Press
Synopsis (via Goodreads):
Roz Chast meets Allie Brosh in this hilarious, unfiltered, and beautifully illustrated look at the infinite number of reasons the author experiences guilt, shame, regret and self-reproach in her daily life, and that maybe—just maybe—some of us can relate to as well.
In a series of 100 illustrations with accompanying text, Orli Auslander has captured a mood and emotional ambivalence that will be all too familiar for readers: trying to be the best wife, mother, and friend she can be, while simultaneously feeling shitty about virtually everything she does. Confronting her daily experience with dark humor and brilliant and brutal honesty, she shows us how being an overindulgent mother makes her feel as terrible as the times when she can’t stand the sight of her kids; how saying yes to the wrong experiences and no to the right requests is equally bad; how her Jewish heritage complicates her relationships with her overly religious family and irreligious children; and how having a vagina is the ultimate inescapable struggle. With a distinctive, textured ink drawing style which brings to mind a female Robert Crumb and a neurotic Edward Gorey, I Feel Bad is a book that readers will buy for themselves and for a best friend, and where every reader will find the precise moment that Auslander voiced their own deepest anxiety in her poignant and hilarious illustrations.
Rate: 2 of 5
I want to say thank you to the publisher, Blue Rider Press, for giving me the chance to read an advanced reader copy through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I Feel Bad: All Day. Every Day. About Everything. has a brilliant premise. It’s some part book and some part journal. Well, I suppose it was a journal before since the author takes all the ideas for this book from all the things that make her feel bad. We all have things that make us feel bad and the idea of this book is really interesting with it housing things that most people feel, or in other words, something that is relatable.
This book caught my attention, undeniably, because of the cover. The cover sparked my interest in it because a.) it’s titled I Feel Bad, b.) a woman standing in front of a mirror, c.) in her underwear, d.) with frizzy hair and e.) there’s a weighing scale somewhere in there. Oh oh! PLUS, it’s illustrated. So, I thought this was a body image type of book but when I read the synopsis online, it made me feel more excited about it because knowing the things that make people feel secretly bad is something I imagine I would enjoy. It’s sorta like Deep Dark Fears (and really I just love that webcomics). Imagine my glee when I got approved for my request of the book. But alas, my joy is short-lived.
I think the title of the book aptly summarizes my thoughts on it. I wanted to like it. It’s a confession-type of thing. It’s an illustrated one. I love those kinds of things. But after reading this, I just can’t shake the feeling that this is too pessimistic for my taste. I don’t mind a dose of reality and rawness in a book, and, yes, I know this is nonfiction and, sure, this might actually be something of a personal preference of the author since this is her personal accounts of events that make her feel bad, but I just can’t let go of the impression that this was just a little all too bleak. That’s really the reason why I gave this a 2-star rating.
Now, I do acknowledge the fact that this is not a bad book, per se. I mean, in the general sense of books, this is not that bad. But, personally, the ring of the entries in the book just made me feel a little uncomfortable that when I reached the first half I felt like it was already dragging–as if there isn’t a gleam of gratefulness in the tone of writing. And I don’t know how to feel about that since I don’t really want to judge a person’s outlook in life since we all have our situations, etc. I reiterate that this book is a series of things that make the author feel bad. And seriously, who am I to say that LOL that shouldn’t make you feel bad! or Seriously, you think of these things?!. Nope, I don’t think I’ll do that anytime soon.
While the theory of this book was something that I would’ve enjoyed if it was attacked through something that I would call a much milder form. I liked the illustrations and the sense of personal sharing that the air of this book has but I guess, again, it just was too pessimistic for my taste.
Do I recommend it? To people who likes a dose of raw sentiments of life (and also cute illustrations!), yes. But for people whose cup of tea is not really that sort, well yeah, no.
*Cover image and Synopsis via Goodreads.