Review: The Idiot Girls’ Action-Adventure Club by Laurie Notaro
Author: Laurie Notaro
Publisher: Villard Books, a division of Random House, Inc.
Publication Date: July 2, 2002
Format/Source: Paperback/Borrowed from Library
“I’ve changed a bit since high school. Back then I said no to using and selling drugs. I washed on a normal basis and still had good credit.”
Introducing Laurie Notaro, the leader of the Idiot Girls’ Action-Adventure Club. Every day she fearlessly rises from bed to defeat the evil machinations of dolts, dimwits, and creepy boyfriends—and that’s before she even puts on a bra.
For the past ten years, Notaro has been entertaining Phoenix newspaper readers with her wildly amusing autobiographical exploits and unique life experiences. She writes about a world of hourly-wage jobs that require absolutely no skills, a mother who hands down judgments more forcefully than anyone seated on the Supreme Court, horrific high school reunions, and hangovers that leave her surprised that she woke up in the first place.
The misadventures of Laurie and her fellow Idiot Girls (“too cool to be in the Smart Group”) unfold in a world that everyone will recognize but no one has ever described so hilariously. She delivers the goods: life as we all know it. (From Goodreads)
A Nice Change…
The Idiot Girls’ Action-Adventure Club was the June selection for my book club, and I have to say it was nice to change things up a bit. My book club does read a lot of different books, but we’ve never really read a memoir before, nor short essays, and Idiot Girls’ is a collection of Laurie Notaro’s humor columns from a Phoenix newspaper, and they’re all things that really happened to her, even if they are a bit exaggerated.
Like Sex and the City and Girls? Try Idiot Girls’…
I really think this book is kind of Sex and the City-lite. Laurie and her group of Idiot Girls aren’t glamorous like Carrie, they don’t have as much sex as Samantha, they don’t work hard like Miranda, and they definitely don’t have as much money as Charlotte. But they do have lots of great adventures, often around beers or vodka shots instead of Cosmos. It’s like the every-girl version of Sex and the City. Or like HBO’s new series, Girls. I think that show’s creator, Lena Dunham, and Laurie Notaro are from the same ilk. So if you like Sex and the City and/or Girls, you should check out Idiot Girls’.
Not Just Humor, But Relatability…
Not only did Notaro’s stories have me actually laughing out loud, but they also made me remember certain events in my own past that were similar. Not extremely similar, mind you, because her stories are pretty crazy. But similar. There was one in particular, called “Men Are Stupid and I Rock (Ode to Dorothy Parker)”, which is all about how this guy stands her up on a date and she spends the whole next day wondering if he’s going to call to apologize. She’s sitting by the phone, just waiting for it to ring, and she goes through every single different emotion while she waits for him to call. I just thought this was really funny and realistic because I think almost every girl who has given their phone number to someone they like has gone through a similar situation, especially if they’ve been stood up.
In another story she talks about how she’s never been the “pretty friend”. I know that lots of girls are able to relate to this, myself included. One of my favorite quotes is from this story: “Pretty friends always have cute names, like Nicole, Colleen, Dionne, or Jamie. So I figure this pretty-friend thing has to start fairly early, like when you’re born and named.”
Here are a few more of my other favorite quotes: