Jonathan Ames has drawn comparisons across the literary spectrum, from David Sedaris to F. Scott Fitzgerald to Woody Allen to P.G. Wodehouse, and his books, as well as his abilities as a performer, have made him a favorite on the Late Show with David Letterman. Whether he's chasing deranged cockroaches around his apartment, kissing a beautiful actress on the set of an avant-garde film, finding himself stuck perilously on top of a fence in Memphis in the middle of the night, or provoking fights with huge German men, Jonathan Ames has an uncanny knack for getting himself into outlandish situations. In his latest collection, I Love You More Than You Know, Ames proves once again his immense talent for turning his own adventures, neuroses, joys, heartaches, and insights into profound and hilarious tales. Alive with love and tenderness for his son, his parents, his great-aunt and even strangers in bars late at night in I Love You More Than You Know Ames looks beneath the surface of our world to find the beauty in the perverse, the sweetness in loneliness, and the humor in pain.
Novelist and humorist Ames writes: "My whole oeuvre has become one big dysfunctional personal ad," and this uneven collection of essays often feels that way. Ames (Wake Up, Sir!) informs readers several times of his height/weight vital stats. He is straight, but with a pansexual horniness that leads to inopportune erections, sordid encounters with prostitutes and an s&m session with a dominatrix and her transsexual boyfriend that makes him late for a play date with his son. He forthrightly, indeed obsessively, discloses details of his chronic rectal itch, his "explosive episodes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome" and every other gross bodily eruption and excretion that plagues him. And there's a note of self-deprecatory preening as Ames marvels at the young lovelies he still manages to attract and the other celebrity writers he hangs with on his book tours. Sometimes Ames's trademark combination of (literal) bathroom gags, hipster grotesquerie and neurotic free association achieves an inspired synthesis of confessional humor, but with overuse its hilarity and freshness decays into a lazy reliance on shock effects and embarrassment laughs. When Ames manages to wrench his gaze from his navel (and other orifices) and connect with outside reality, his prose sparkles with offhand comic insights. Photos.
Copyright (c) Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
December 15, 2005
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from I Love You More Than You Know by Jonathan Ames
I Love You More Than You Know
"The Onion Asks: What is Funny?"
My ass was itchy for fifteen years. I never knew why but I thought maybe it was coffee. So sometimes I would quit coffee for a day, but then I'd break down and drink it the next day. Thus, there was no way to know if coffee was causing the ass-itch, but I definitely suspected it for fifteen years, and I have to say that the pleasure I took in coffee was greatly diminished.
Then I wrote an article for a newspaper about how my ass had been itchy my whole adulthood and a lot of people wrote to me--mostly fellow-sufferers. One guy wrote that he hadn't left his house for years because he didn't want to scratch himself in public. Who knows how many agoraphobes are actually people with ass problems?
The best letter came from a kindly scientist who told me that I probably had athlete's foot in my ass. He was a physicist and had cured himself of a twenty-three-year ass itch with athlete's foot powder. So I got some foot powder and put it in my ass and it worked! I couldn't believe it! I enjoyed my coffee for the first time in years. I said to my girlfriend, "I have athlete's foot in my ass."
She said, "Which athlete?"
I then imagined an athlete's cleat sticking out of my butt and I really laughed, which I think is a fitting end to this tale, this anecdote, which has been my way of answering that age-old question: What is funny?