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Book It Could Be Worse, You Could Be Me by Ariel Leve (2010-06-03)


It Could Be Worse, You Could Be Me by Ariel Leve (2010-06-03)

2.3 (2007)

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4.4 (5111)
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  • PDF | Unknown pages
  • Portobello Books Ltd (1807)
  • Unknown
  • 4
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Review Text

  • By Donna Hill on December 29, 2013

    I decided to opt for five stars because I realized that there are so many parts of this book that I truly love. Ariel Leve is so unpretentious. She isn't trying to impress us, only to convince us that her needs in life are simple. I like it the way she says that although she has traveled all over the world she's really only interested in finding certain things in each country--such as an Internet cafe, a pharmacy, and a hospital. She lets us know that she's a germ phobe, a hypochondriac, and a loner, mainly because of her depression and anxiety which seem to cast a pall over her life. Yet she can make us laugh. She is so human. I am sure that there are many writers who gravitate more towards the safety of their apartments and the security of their computers or non-writers who prefer safety to adventure. I'm 66 and, like Ariel Leve, I'm retired from cooking, driving, and parties. I love take-out and taxis and trains and hiding out at home. I hate being told that I should get out on a beautiful day and "enjoy the sunshine." I just love her original take on life.I was most interested when she sticks to the reality of her life, telling about her likes and dislikes in a straightforward manner and although I was somewhat amused by her fantasies, I found myself growing a bit tired. For example, she imagines what it would like to be adopted (as an adult) or to live in a monastery or to have a robot man at her command. I'm sure that there are many who would prefer her fantasy life to the reality. I was just finding so many things in common with her that I was marveling. She makes me think that there are much younger people than I (she was 40 at time of publication) who sometimes choose the comfort of home over the uncertainty of the marketplace. She may not be popular with mainstream society, but I believe that she will make people with obsessive disorders, social phobias, or just inherent shyness feel more normal. And, like the title says, you could just end up feeling a bit better about your own life (well at least I'm more social, more adventurous, less obsessive than she, for example). I couldn't help liking her and cheering her on. I laughed a lot (and on a plane yet!). It's a great book for a plane. The chapters are relatively short. You can skip around if you want. An ideal relaxing read!

  • By Serge Berthier on March 12, 2011

    Two readers of the gentle sex gives five stars to this book.Is it because I am a male in my twilight years that it did not enjoy it and will give it one star?True, the first few pages are amusing and easy reading but after "Getting thru the day", I got nowhere.Ariel Leve tells us she makes a fool of herself because she is stressed out, by everything.But then when she has exhausted the subject, she starts to pepper the book with New York, New York. She then let us know that she is Jew and it was a problem. Really? In New York? In the Middle East maybe, but certainly not in New York.The book then unravels with all kind of artificial mise-en-scenes unless you love sit-coms. And I don't like sit-coms.Can I believe her when she writes: "I bet if i was the type of person who had a Blackberry or a tan, or, better yet, a blackberry and a tan, I'd be eager for whatever ..."Come on, Ms Leve, I bet you have a Blackberry and a tan!Ariel Leve is not a writer but a columnist. Her short story lines are good for a five minutes break but why would an editor stitch them one after the other in a book? Read her stories in magazine while you wait for your dentist appointment.

  • By Guest on April 12, 2017

    I loved this book- she is so spot on- combo of woody allen, fran leibowitz and sarah silverman- read it

  • By Kindle Customer on March 20, 2013

    It's funny, it's sad, it's pathetic, it's scary, it's real, it's True !! But she has friends !! So with friends not all is ever lost. I loved it & had quite a few laugh out loud moments.

  • By Danielle M. Smith on June 14, 2010

    From the opening line, "People like to say it will all work out. But what if it doesn't?", you are instantly pulled into the self-deprecating world that Ariel lives in. She's constantly second guessing things and never moving on anything because it will definitely lead to some serious problem at some point in her life. And as sad as this sounds it's absolutely hilarious. It Could Be Worse, You Could Be Me is a book of the things we sometimes think, but almost never say out loud. And it was exactly what I needed, a good laugh.This is by far one of the funniest books I've ever read. Ariel's life is a string of constant disappointment and it's basically all her fault, in more ways than one. Before it happens she's already decided it's going to turn out poorly, her birthday is already on the most depressing day of the year and she's entirely dismal about her image, including how she looks and thinks.The book is broken up into one to two page segments like, "Operating Instructions" and "Other People's Children and My Fake Child". Each segment is based on a topic like "Romance". In one of the segments Ariel was talking with her friend Liza about how wonderful it would be to be mysterious, unfortunately Liza decided to tell Ariel when she was planning on becoming a "mysterious woman". Well, needless to say the result was not great:"I checked with Liza to see how life as a mysterious woman was going. Not well. She'd gone on a date, didn't tell anyone, and then when nobody called to see how it went, she was depressed. 'Now I feel like nobody cares about me,' she said. I welcomed her to my world." (It Could Be Worse, You Could Be Me p. 64)It Could Be Worse, You Could Be Me is the perfect book for those of you in need of a good chuckle. It's an easy read that you can take your time with, pick a topic and read all of the segments, it's sure to put a smile on your face. There's even an index to pick and choose from. I'm sure Ariel has good days, it's just that we happen to get an examination of all those funny quirks that make her who she is. Fabulous writing and a wonderful character, you don't want to miss It Could Be Worse, You Could Be Me.

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