Author/Narrator: Ellen DeGeneres
Publication Year: 2011
Pages: 256 (audio length: 3 hours 7 minutes)
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir-ish, Humour
Source: Purchased audiobook version from Audible.com
From the cover:
I’ve experienced a lot the last few years and I have a lot to share. So I hope that you’ll take a moment to sit back, relax and enjoy the words I’ve put together for you in this book. I think you’ll find I’ve left no stone unturned, no door unopened, no window unbroken, no rug unvacuumed, no ivories untickled. What I’m saying is, let us begin, shall we?
A long time ago, I read DeGeneres’ first book, and I remember it being amusing. And then I never realized that she had written a second (or, indeed, a third!) until I saw this book on the list of Audies nominees.
Seriously…I’m Kidding! is the same kind of rambling – but often hilarious – prose that you might expect from a book-length piece by a comedian. There’s no real narrative arc, just a string of anecdotes and random connections. At times, DeGeneres pulls out some rather interesting insights: for example, her bits on Christmas with the family and yoga (separate ideas) made me chuckle, and the section on cellphones and multi-tasking was so spot on that I couldn’t contain myself.
I particularly loved hearing the audiobook in the author’s voice. Yes, it should pretty much be expected that a comedian/talk-show host – especially one as prolific as DeGeneres – should be a great narrator, but I was still pleasantly surprised with the personality that permeated the entire production.
Speaking of the production – most of it was very clear, with no background sounds or effects to distract from the writing and narration itself. However, there were (I think) two chapters with some kind of background effects; one of them, ostensibly a chapter about gambling, had sound effects in the back that were sudden and jarring and really took me by surprise at first. (I’ll admit it – I jumped.) Aside from that, though, the sound was crisp and clear and didn’t detract from the reading at all.
I definitely enjoyed Seriously…I’m Kidding!, and liked it even more than I probably would have in paper form, given its being read by the author. If you’re a fan of Ellen, or just need a light-hearted, silly read, give it a go!