Sleepwalk with Me and Other Painfully True Stories
Author: Mike Birbiglia
Every once in a while you read a book that makes you laugh until you cry. Sometimes one also finds a book that feels like an old friend who’s just called to chat. Mike Birbiglia’s bestselling book Sleepwalk with Me and Other Painfully True Stories is both: he tells stories and in doing so, invites readers to share in his memories. Switching back and forth between stories of his childhood and adolescence and early years in comedy, Birbiglia maintains the conversational tone of an old friend who just has to tell you what happened today.
Birbiglia’s stories cover a wide range of topics. As the youngest of four, Birbiglia recalls that his earliest ambition was simply “to sit in the front seat.” Later, he recounts his horror at the revelation that some of his classmates had been making out. Birbiglia also gives glimpses into his early days as a standup comic.
Though the stories bounce back and forth on the timeline of his life, Birbiglia tells his stories with ease and in a manner that makes sense and flows as naturally as if he were sitting in front of you. Stories most of us would be embarrassed by or avoid telling Birbiglia freely admits, lending the book a charm that could be hard to find. He finds humor in situations most of us would see as terrifying and frightening. With absolute honesty and a willingness to laugh at himself, Birbiglia’s charm is refreshing, relatable, and inviting. Readers will no doubt be hoping for a follow-up.
Among the stories included in this book: “Don’t Tell Anyone,” “Delusional,” “Please Stop the Ride,” and “The Deal.”
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