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Everything Is Wrong with Me: A Memoir of an American Childhood Gone, Well, Wrong

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“People who grow up like this tend to become agoraphobics, serial killers, or really funny writers. Mulgrew, I think – hope? – is the last of these three things. His stories of childhood made me laugh out loud.” — Rob McElhenney, star, creator, and producer of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia “The somewhat alarming, always interesting world inside Jason’s brain has now bee “People who grow up like this tend to become agoraphobics, serial killers, or really funny writers. Mulgrew, I think – hope? – is the last of these three things. His stories of childhood made me laugh out loud.” — Rob McElhenney, star, creator, and producer of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia “The somewhat alarming, always interesting world inside Jason’s brain has now been strewn across the pages of a book. Godspeed, reader.” — Steve Hely, author of How I Became a Famous Novelist Jason Mulgrew’s wildly popular blog “Everything Is Wrong With Me: 30, Bipolar and Hungry,” gives rise to a memoir of startling insight, comedy, and irreversible, unconscionable stupidity.


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“People who grow up like this tend to become agoraphobics, serial killers, or really funny writers. Mulgrew, I think – hope? – is the last of these three things. His stories of childhood made me laugh out loud.” — Rob McElhenney, star, creator, and producer of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia “The somewhat alarming, always interesting world inside Jason’s brain has now bee “People who grow up like this tend to become agoraphobics, serial killers, or really funny writers. Mulgrew, I think – hope? – is the last of these three things. His stories of childhood made me laugh out loud.” — Rob McElhenney, star, creator, and producer of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia “The somewhat alarming, always interesting world inside Jason’s brain has now been strewn across the pages of a book. Godspeed, reader.” — Steve Hely, author of How I Became a Famous Novelist Jason Mulgrew’s wildly popular blog “Everything Is Wrong With Me: 30, Bipolar and Hungry,” gives rise to a memoir of startling insight, comedy, and irreversible, unconscionable stupidity.

30 review for Everything Is Wrong with Me: A Memoir of an American Childhood Gone, Well, Wrong

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    I won this book through Goodreads giveaways. The synopsis sounded like the kind of book I would like so I thought why not? Ok, so here's maybe why not: I really like informal writing; I don't need to read great works of literature by stuffy authors. However, Jason Mulgrew is just too informal. Throughout the entire book he reminds you that he is lazy, not too successful (either in life or with love), and kind of a douche-bag. It's one thing to be self-deprecating, but to go on and on and on (and o I won this book through Goodreads giveaways. The synopsis sounded like the kind of book I would like so I thought why not? Ok, so here's maybe why not: I really like informal writing; I don't need to read great works of literature by stuffy authors. However, Jason Mulgrew is just too informal. Throughout the entire book he reminds you that he is lazy, not too successful (either in life or with love), and kind of a douche-bag. It's one thing to be self-deprecating, but to go on and on and on (and on and on and on) about this is both boring and slightly irritating. It interrupted the flow of the book. If I hadn't won it for free I probably would not have finished the book. It was just too much. I think if the author could remove his "present" self a bit from the book it would be much better. But his constant interjections (mostly through the form of irritating footnotes) really get old after a while. But you might like it: If you like his writing (apparently he has a pretty popular blog--I went to his website and the "About Me" section was more of the irritating "I suck" stuff so I didn't read any further) and enjoy mildly entertaining fluffy writing. Besides the above mentioned irritants it was easy to get through. The other thing I didn't really get is the whole "my childhood was really effed up" spin. Maybe it was, but it doesn't really come out through the book. I don't think his childhood is spectacularly awful, at least as described in the book. We are roughly the same age and many of the stories he tells could have happened to me or my friends. I saw some people compare him to David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs. Um, no way. Again, at least not based on this book. Anyway, most of his stories were pretty good once you looked past his irritating interjections. I'd have to say my favorite thing about the books were the pictures. Now THOSE were funny. Other than that, just so-so.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

    I wanted to like this one since I’ve kept up with Mulgrew’s blog sporadically over the past few years. His most hilarious posts are usually linked to a ridiculous character from his childhood or a crazy stunt by his macho, hard drinking father. A white-collar professional in New York City now, it’s clear that his blue-collar upbringing in Philadelphia shaped his worldview and writing. Unfortunately, Everything is Wrong With Me reads too much like disjointed blog entries and less like the funny, m I wanted to like this one since I’ve kept up with Mulgrew’s blog sporadically over the past few years. His most hilarious posts are usually linked to a ridiculous character from his childhood or a crazy stunt by his macho, hard drinking father. A white-collar professional in New York City now, it’s clear that his blue-collar upbringing in Philadelphia shaped his worldview and writing. Unfortunately, Everything is Wrong With Me reads too much like disjointed blog entries and less like the funny, moving memoir it could have been. Mulgrew spends more time inserting cute footnotes than creating a compelling story. He is also much too conscious of making his family and friends angry about their role in his quasi-dysfunctional childhood, causing him to cast a false, almost lighthearted tone over painful, chaotic episodes. Ultimately, memoirs have to be honest and Mulgrew isn’t willing to “go there”, whether it’s his parent’s divorce, his role as the third wheel in his group of friends, or being the kinda sorta weird kid from the neighborhood sent to private high school on scholarship because of his intelligence. Instead the reader is treated to a mishmash of stories about his father’s drunken hijinks mixed-in with tales like Mulgrew’s first-grade discovery that he has a small penis (one of the few moments when I really laughed out loud) or a Scotch Bonnet pepper eating contest in junior high. I’m not afraid of vulgar if it’s funny and well-written, but this book wasn’t.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mark Ferguson

    I really enjoyed this. Mulgrew's sense of humor reminded me of a lot of essayists I like - the great use of parenthetical asides, footnotes, and disturbing honesty and self-deprecation. I'm not that interested in quirky memoirs about adolescence in general, but I read this based on recommendations and the amazingly fantastic cover photo. I hope to read more from Mulgrew in the future, and not only because the book made me feel better about all the embarrassments of my childhood. I really enjoyed this. Mulgrew's sense of humor reminded me of a lot of essayists I like - the great use of parenthetical asides, footnotes, and disturbing honesty and self-deprecation. I'm not that interested in quirky memoirs about adolescence in general, but I read this based on recommendations and the amazingly fantastic cover photo. I hope to read more from Mulgrew in the future, and not only because the book made me feel better about all the embarrassments of my childhood.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ricarla

    Absolutely one of the most hilarious books I've ever read. Absolutely one of the most hilarious books I've ever read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    Arc from publisher Memoir's can be a tricky animal. First, you gotta have a life worth writing about. I didn't know much about the author, Jason Mulgrew, although I did hear his blog is what put him on the map. Apparently he has a lot to share, and has no problems sharing it! And I suppose if you put enough of your life story out there, and you grow a large enough readership, you are destined to put pen to paper and publish a book with the smartest, wittiest, most embarrassing moments for EVERYONE Arc from publisher Memoir's can be a tricky animal. First, you gotta have a life worth writing about. I didn't know much about the author, Jason Mulgrew, although I did hear his blog is what put him on the map. Apparently he has a lot to share, and has no problems sharing it! And I suppose if you put enough of your life story out there, and you grow a large enough readership, you are destined to put pen to paper and publish a book with the smartest, wittiest, most embarrassing moments for EVERYONE to read. Then, you gotta find your voice. For most people, having a story to tell is easy... determining how the heck to tell it can be a stumbling block. In Jason's case, he found his voice over 5 years ago, when he began his online blog. Taking a very raw, sarcastic, depreciating tone throughout his collection -he shares stories not only from his own lifetime, but quite a few from his parents lives before he was born as well. While most reviews I see praise his book and call it "hilarious", I admit to feeling a bit sorry for him. At times, I think Jason pokes a little too much fun at himself - coming across as sort of clownish, happily acknowledging his place as the comic relief / the brunt of most of the jokes within his circle of friends. It certainly didn't make me feel any better knowing he accepted things that way. Finally, you have to get it all to tie in together. Which, for the most part, Jason did. Perhaps I was expecting a more consistent flow - Starting with his parents lives, easing into his earlier years, and ending with his most recent life experiences. I can't fault Jason for jumping around, it was his story to tell, and he told it well. However, there were things I wished he had spent a little more time delving into, or circling back to. Like - the recurring quips about his questionable sexuality; his issues with his weight; and his obsession with having a teeny weeny. These were things that he mentions many times in passing, but never quite brings full circle - leaving me with a somewhat incomplete feeling. Jason scratched many surfaces, but the ones I recall best are the ones he spent time detailing . A few of the stories that stood out most for me: The one about his "uncle" and the pepper - in which his "uncle" and friends trick him into eating one of the hottest peppers in the world; the memory of participating in the New Years Day Mummers Parade, complete with embarrassing photo; and his first grade classmate critiquing the way he holds his "bird" while relieving himself at the elementary school urinal (he's a "pincher", not a "cradler"). While it may appear that I am being overly critical, I do have to give him credit. Writing about family and close friends in this manner has got to be one of THE most difficult things to do. Laying the brutal truth out there for them in black and white, knowing that millions of people are moments away from reading about them. Checking the caller-ID every time the phone rings, expecting an irate or mortified friend or family member screaming "How could you write about that, man?!?!?"... Perhaps I am missing a vital piece of the picture, having never read Mulgrew's blog? I want to thank Harper Perennial for sending me this book for review. It was a very quick, entertaining read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Badly Drawn Girl

    I feel sort of bad giving this book 3 stars because it's definitely one of the better snarky memoirs I've read. I mean compared to Tucker Max this guy is Shakespeare. I did enjoy this book, and I liked the self deprecating humor. But I cannot imagine giving this type of book more than 3 stars. It just doesn't, in my opinion, deserve to be compared to the other books I've bestowed that rating. So I guess to clarify, if you like this type thing, you'll probably love this book. It's funny and worth I feel sort of bad giving this book 3 stars because it's definitely one of the better snarky memoirs I've read. I mean compared to Tucker Max this guy is Shakespeare. I did enjoy this book, and I liked the self deprecating humor. But I cannot imagine giving this type of book more than 3 stars. It just doesn't, in my opinion, deserve to be compared to the other books I've bestowed that rating. So I guess to clarify, if you like this type thing, you'll probably love this book. It's funny and worth reading when you want something lighthearted. I would read more by Jason Mulgrew.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    Completely hilarious. In his intro, the author says this is a book for anyone who's ever wondered how they came from their parents, and since I and eveeryone else I know wonders that about me, this was perfect for me. Completely hilarious. In his intro, the author says this is a book for anyone who's ever wondered how they came from their parents, and since I and eveeryone else I know wonders that about me, this was perfect for me.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Am almost done with it...very interesting in an ecclectical kind of way. Goes to show we tend to grow up in very similar ways, no matter what part of the country you're from....what counts more is in what period of time you grew up in...it seems to define they way you grew up more Am almost done with it...very interesting in an ecclectical kind of way. Goes to show we tend to grow up in very similar ways, no matter what part of the country you're from....what counts more is in what period of time you grew up in...it seems to define they way you grew up more

  9. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Schwenkel

    Five stars because I actually know this guy. His humor is a bit like Tucker from "I hope they serve beer in hell". Five stars because I actually know this guy. His humor is a bit like Tucker from "I hope they serve beer in hell".

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    http://www.hipsterbookclub.com/review... Author Jason Mulgrew grew up in a dysfunctional family with a chain-smoking alcoholic father in a tough blue collar neighborhood wrought with class struggles and racial tension. While some people in this environment would end up with a serious case of neurosis, Mulgrew turns his childhood into comic gold in his hilarious memoir, Everything is Wrong with Me: A Memoir of an American Childhood Gone, Well, Wrong. In the book, Mulgrew examines his offbeat upbri http://www.hipsterbookclub.com/review... Author Jason Mulgrew grew up in a dysfunctional family with a chain-smoking alcoholic father in a tough blue collar neighborhood wrought with class struggles and racial tension. While some people in this environment would end up with a serious case of neurosis, Mulgrew turns his childhood into comic gold in his hilarious memoir, Everything is Wrong with Me: A Memoir of an American Childhood Gone, Well, Wrong. In the book, Mulgrew examines his offbeat upbringing with a mix of sarcasm, humor, awe, and his fair share of neuroses. Mulgrew grew up in a working class, Irish Catholic section of Philadelphia during the ‘80s and ‘90s, and he has the pictures to prove it. Sprinkled throughout the book are Mulgrew family photos documenting the life and horrendous fashion choices of a typical South Philly family during the past few decades. The most memorable picture accompanies the hilarious and distinctly Philly story of how his parents met: His drunken father, proudly dressed in full Mummer’s regalia (complete with wig, bloomers, and parasol) during the New Year’s Day parade, bleeds through an unnoticed knife wound in his shoulder. Mulgrew’s caption reads, “Really, can you blame my mom for falling in love with this guy?” Mulgrew’s father becomes a central character for several of the book’s vignettes. Over the years, Mulgrew collected fantastic stories from his parents detailing the crazy things they and their friends have done over the years. The stories are like badges of honor: the more idiotic and outrageous, the more respect granted to those involved. His father still proudly recalls the time he, on a teenage drunken dare, literally broke his neck diving off a pier and had the bones “melded” (his word) back together with three ounces of platinum wiring. He boasts that the Mulgrew children can remove the platinum and sell it to a jeweler upon his death. Mulgrew expresses a sense of reverence for his father and the anecdotes passed down from friends and family. He offers no lessons to be learned from their antics but appreciates their ability to overcome the obstacles of living in an unforgiving city. The stories provide a realistic glimpse into life in a blue collar Philadelphia neighborhood in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Random tidbits reveal the idiosyncrasies of a working class city, like how entire neighborhoods would effectively steal cable television via the mysterious “chip” or how no one blinked when a five-year-old child accompanied his grandfather to the local bar. His baptism party exemplifies a typical social gathering: The interpretation of "big Irish Catholic party" varies, but basically there's a prayer at the beginning and then a lot of drinking until people fall down. Also there's some crying and singing involved and usually one relative will try to punch another. Then comes the falling down. Welcome to every family christening, birthday party, graduation and wedding I've ever been to. In addition to stories from his family, Mulgrew shares experiences from his youth. By reliving his most awkward and amusing childhood memories, he invokes a sense of nostalgia in readers who fumbled through their own awkward childhoods. He recalls a boyhood dream of becoming a baseball MVP foiled by his complete failure at Little League. In a more jaded narrative called “My Bird: Inadequacy and Redemption,” he overcomes feelings of genetic shortcomings with self-deprecating humor. One particularly endearing chapter on his parents’ divorce illuminates a more serious side of the author’s character, suggesting that sarcasm is his way of coping with life’s challenges. Mulgrew concedes that his childhood may appear strange, “But life was never boring because we always had stories,” he says. He explains further: And really, isn’t that what it’s all about in the end—the story? the memory? the ridiculous experience that you lived through, that you rehash to hungry audiences at parties and in bars and in holding cells? Stories that make everyone around you gape in delight, howl in amazement, buy you drinks, and yell for more? That is exactly the kind of tone the book takes. The reader is brought into Mulgrew’s world, sitting on a barstool, nursing a beer, and listening to a random story about a guy named Uncle Petey (who isn’t anyone’s uncle) or the reasons why “Crazy for You” by Madonna was the most influential song of the author’s childhood. Mulgrew’s talent lies particularly in his delivery. He knows how to tell a story, with his comic timing spot on. He has had years to practice the art of storytelling in his popular blog, Everything Is Wrong with Me: 30, Bipolar, and Hungry. His blog posts may not be particularly insightful or weighty, but they are dry, self-deprecating, and witty. That same humor translates to his book, which, with its sometimes crude humor and deadpan delivery, is the literary equivalent of a Judd Apatow film. While Mulgrew’s stories aren’t all directly relatable (how many people can say their dad was arrested for attempted murder on their first Christmas or that they were used as a cover story for their grandfather’s gambling ring?), the themes are universal. Everyone has experienced the awkwardness of adolescence, and every family has a few loose cannons. Everything Is Wrong with Me will have readers laughing along with Mulgrew and realizing that having a dysfunctional family isn’t always a curse.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brandon

    Although I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, I consider this book one to digest on the beach, with many, many drinks. It’s entertainment in book form. Other than story telling, I find it hard to derive a true point from it. Totally recommend for people looking to use up some time and loosen up about their family.

  12. 4 out of 5

    jennyoseach

    There were some funny parts, but overall had few redeeming qualities. The stories he told mostly made me feel sad/concerned, and lucky to have the childhood I did.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Erica Mendez

    Interesting I think the book has subtle humor. Easy read. Ita good to see that everyone csn tuen out ok despite their childhood

  14. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    Jason Mulgrew has a popular blog entitled Everything is Wrong With Me: 30, Bipolar and Hungry. He writes humorously about his life and reading his posts about the NCAA tourney, hanging out in bars, living in NYC, it reminds you of pretty much most guys you know in that age group. Mulgrew is now a published author, which for the slacker that he describes himself as, is quite an accomplishment. Everything is Wrong Me: A Memoir of an American Childhood Gone, Well, Wrong appeals to anyone who grew up Jason Mulgrew has a popular blog entitled Everything is Wrong With Me: 30, Bipolar and Hungry. He writes humorously about his life and reading his posts about the NCAA tourney, hanging out in bars, living in NYC, it reminds you of pretty much most guys you know in that age group. Mulgrew is now a published author, which for the slacker that he describes himself as, is quite an accomplishment. Everything is Wrong Me: A Memoir of an American Childhood Gone, Well, Wrong appeals to anyone who grew up in a (slightly) dysfunctional family, which would be, like, all of us. The photo on the cover is of Mulgrew as a young boy wearing a brown pinstriped suit, looking like he is ready to attend the Republican National Convention. Don't let the cover fool you (although you will laugh out loud at it!) There are many photos of Mulgrew and his family sprinkled throughout the book, it's like looking through a family photo album, with humorous asides from Mulgrew accompanying them. Mulgrew grew up in an Irish working class neighborhood in Philadelphia. His parents play a big role in this memoir, particularly his longshoreman father, who worked hard, drank hard and got into many fights. His father loomed large in his life, even though he didn't live with the family for extended periods. (And surprisingly, it wasn't because he was in jail.) Irish-Catholics will appreciate his description of his baptism party. The interpretation of "big Irish Catholic party" varies, but basically there's a prayer at the beginning and then a lot of drinking until people fall down. Also there's some crying and singing involved and usually one relative will try to punch another. Then comes the falling down. Welcome to every family christening, birthday party, graduation and wedding I've ever been to. Mulgrew tells stories of his childhood, many of the memories supplied by his Mom and Dad. Mulgrew uses footnotes as funny asides at the bottom of the pages to further explain the insanity. One of the funniest stories involves Mulgrew's scheme to sell fireworks not only to make some money, but to move up on the coolness scale. It's a genius idea, making good money until Mulgrew's partner, his pal David, decides to stop at home for a Lunchable and gets caught by his mom. It's the age-old story: a great career derailed by a Lunchable. The book is filled with usual guy stuff- guns, alcohol, trucks, girls, running from the cops. Its universality is its appeal, along with Mulgrew's genial style of conversational writing. It will make a funny audiobook. The best story of the book happens after Mulgrew has finally turned in his manuscript for the book after missing many deadlines. His father says to him, "Did I ever tell you how I was arrested for attempted murder?" The story that follows is fabulous, and it fits that his dad wouldn't tell him until the book was done. While this book isn't for everyone, it would make a good gift for your brother, your funny uncle, or anyone who likes FX TV's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Brandon

    Jason Mulgrew's family is his own definition of crazy. He grew up in Philadelphia, his parents are divorced, and said parents kinda sorta dated after they split. Plus, the family stole cable and one time his father broke his own neck by diving off a pier. This is the story of that stuff that happened. Years ago right after we had become acquainted with one another but before we had reached that level of friendship that lends itself to massive revelation of annoyances past and present, my buddy Br Jason Mulgrew's family is his own definition of crazy. He grew up in Philadelphia, his parents are divorced, and said parents kinda sorta dated after they split. Plus, the family stole cable and one time his father broke his own neck by diving off a pier. This is the story of that stuff that happened. Years ago right after we had become acquainted with one another but before we had reached that level of friendship that lends itself to massive revelation of annoyances past and present, my buddy Brian said to me, "You're alive, so I'll assume your family is crazy." He and I have been friends for a long time now, but this still sticks with me. Crazy is relative and thus all families are crazy. Memoirs about crazy families depend less on outrageous anecdotes and more on the style of the writer for it to really hit home anymore. Either they are too crazy to work in reality (e.g. Running with Scissors and The Glass Castle) or they're mundane and innocuous but seem interesting. Mulgrew's book falls into the latter category. While his style works well enough and he phrased things in such a way that I laughed more than once, the stories felt more like entertaining bar tales than they did book-worthy. The book never feels like a waste of time, but that's a sentiment that should be taken in the backhandedly complimentary way in which one can perceive it. I enjoyed it but I'm not going to remember it much later on. And not every book is going to be a grand revelation, so enjoying it for what it is can be something I appreciate all on its own. Also, as a sidenote, the endnotes on this book were incredibly annoying, but that has more to do with the iPad app's use of the function. It was almost impossible to successfully touch the asterisk on anything but the fourth time when attempting to return to the original point of origin. This was maddening when it came to syncing the book across devices because it always wanted to sync to the latest point, which was on one of the original endnotes. I really had to consciously focus on not letting this little annoyance color my enjoyment of the overall book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Larry H

    When you look back on your childhood as an adult, things are often much funnier than they were when you were growing up. And if you have the type of childhood that Jason Mulgrew had, a) you have the makings of one hell of a memoir, and b) you're probably lucky you survived. In his funny and immensely self-deprecating memoir, Everything is Wrong with Me, humorist Jason Mulgrew recounts his childhood growing up in working class Philadelphia in the 1970s and 1980s. From the auspicious beginning of When you look back on your childhood as an adult, things are often much funnier than they were when you were growing up. And if you have the type of childhood that Jason Mulgrew had, a) you have the makings of one hell of a memoir, and b) you're probably lucky you survived. In his funny and immensely self-deprecating memoir, Everything is Wrong with Me, humorist Jason Mulgrew recounts his childhood growing up in working class Philadelphia in the 1970s and 1980s. From the auspicious beginning of how his parents met (his mother saw his costumed father marching in a Mummers parade while he was bleeding from a stab wound) to his experiences as a non-athletic child playing Little League baseball or being used as a decoy by his numbers-running grandfather, Mulgrew finds humor both in the ordinary situations he lived through as well as the hard-to-believe ones. And from his anecdotes about his adult life, it sounds as if he didn't learn much from his childhood! There were a number of times I laughed out loud during this book, but at the same time, I felt as if Mulgrew tried a little too hard at times. And while his constant self-deprecation was funny at the start, by the end of the book you wondered whether his self esteem was really that low or if he thought it would make his story more appealing to readers. But those foibles notwithstanding, this book certainly stands alongside David Sedaris or Augusten Burroughs in chronicling dysfunctional family life, although this book is a bit cruder (and, much like the pre-teen and teenage boy it follows, a little more sex-obsessed). Good fun.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Everything is Wrong with Me was originally a blog written by Jason Mulgrew. Looking over a few posts of his, it doesn’t look too bad. In general, though, I’m not a big fan of blogs-turned-books, and this was a prime example of why. Some of the stories in the book were mildly entertaining. It kind of reminded me of one of my favorite shows, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” which is probably why: Mulgrew is from an Irish community in the Philadelphia area and gets in a lot of stupid trouble wi Everything is Wrong with Me was originally a blog written by Jason Mulgrew. Looking over a few posts of his, it doesn’t look too bad. In general, though, I’m not a big fan of blogs-turned-books, and this was a prime example of why. Some of the stories in the book were mildly entertaining. It kind of reminded me of one of my favorite shows, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” which is probably why: Mulgrew is from an Irish community in the Philadelphia area and gets in a lot of stupid trouble with his friends. By the time I got to the end of the book, however, I realized that I just wasted a lot of time listening to a guy talk about drinking, violence, and masturbation. There was even a large section dedicated to the paltry size of his dick (which he calls his “bird,” which I think is even weirder than the fact that he has an entire chapter dedicated to its size). Everything is Wrong with Me chronicles Mulgrew’s life leading up to high school, along with a bunch of random stories surrounding his father’s wacky shenanigans, and his second book (really, there’s another), entitled 236 Pounds of Class Vice President, is set to be released next year and surrounds all the crazy stuff he did in high school. I fail to see how he’d have enough funny material to fill a second book, when this was so lackluster, but I guess he got the book deal, so he had to have something to offer. I got this book because it was cheap and in the humor section. I like to laugh. I just didn’t do so as much as I was expecting. I would recommend this for my cousin, who doesn’t really read, but if he did, it would be something as lowbrow as this book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Denny

    I expected the memoir "Everything is Wrong with Me" to read just like my own childhood because the author, Jason Mulgrew, is a year younger than me. But instead of the suburbs in the 1980's, Mulgrew grew up in a rowhome in working class South Philadelphia, in a neighborhood where your "Mummer's Club"--like an American Legion hall for non-veterans--is your drinking club for life, your grandfather runs numbers for the mob, seemingly everyone is involved in petty crime or casual brushes with violen I expected the memoir "Everything is Wrong with Me" to read just like my own childhood because the author, Jason Mulgrew, is a year younger than me. But instead of the suburbs in the 1980's, Mulgrew grew up in a rowhome in working class South Philadelphia, in a neighborhood where your "Mummer's Club"--like an American Legion hall for non-veterans--is your drinking club for life, your grandfather runs numbers for the mob, seemingly everyone is involved in petty crime or casual brushes with violence, and your friends have nicknames like Uncle Petey and Chuckie and Screech. In fact, "Everything is Wrong" feels more like the first 20 minutes of Goodfellas (Mulgrew even channels Ray Liotta at one point), but with the occasional mention of Sega Genesis, Upper Deck baseball cards, and "Saved by the Bell" (see above, re: "Screech"). Mulgrew is definitely a witty writer with a deft, if sometimes awkward, touch. He retraces his life from stories of his parents before they were married up through his middle school years and awkward group hang-outs with girls. You might feel vaguely dissatisfied at the end, because there's not much thread connecting the stories and anecdotes about his life, other than hints to an alcohol-soaked young adulthood, and he doesn't even come to any big conclusions about his life or how it all fits together. But isn't that what life is like anyway?

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kris

    Remember that guy in high school? The one that spent all his time drinking beer and talking about getting drunk, or getting laid, or some combination of the two? All his jokes were about boobs, or poop, or his penis? Now imagine if that guy wrote a book where he re-told all those stories and jokes from when you were in high school. Sure some of it was funny, at the time, and some of it is still a little funny, but most of it was childish in high school, and it's even more so now. This is the kind Remember that guy in high school? The one that spent all his time drinking beer and talking about getting drunk, or getting laid, or some combination of the two? All his jokes were about boobs, or poop, or his penis? Now imagine if that guy wrote a book where he re-told all those stories and jokes from when you were in high school. Sure some of it was funny, at the time, and some of it is still a little funny, but most of it was childish in high school, and it's even more so now. This is the kind of stuff that fills this "memoir" by Jason Mulgrew. All the stupid stuff he did in grade school and high school; self-deprecating comments about the size of his penis and his sex life; remembrances of the stupid stuff his father did when he was in high school - much of it (in both generations) the result of too much alcohol. Sure, some of it's funny, in an oh-my-god-better-him-than-me way, but a lot of it's just sad.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Brief Description: A memoir of the author’s life growing up in South Philadelphia, though it seemed to be just as much about his dad’s exploits. My Thoughts: The main reason I was attracted to this memoir was because of the Philadelphia setting, which is located just 30 minutes from my current home and where I grew up. (Although I’m not a South Philly girl by any stretch of the imagination.) Apart from a bit of an insight into being in the Mummers (a South Philly tradition), this memoir just didn Brief Description: A memoir of the author’s life growing up in South Philadelphia, though it seemed to be just as much about his dad’s exploits. My Thoughts: The main reason I was attracted to this memoir was because of the Philadelphia setting, which is located just 30 minutes from my current home and where I grew up. (Although I’m not a South Philly girl by any stretch of the imagination.) Apart from a bit of an insight into being in the Mummers (a South Philly tradition), this memoir just didn’t do much for me. The author recalls various exploits of him and his father (much involved drinking too much and doing stupid things), and this just didn’t interest me all that much. In addition, I thought the author often tried too hard to be funny and it fell flat. Unless you’re interested in the area or the idea of drunken boyish exploits interest you, I’d take a pass.

  21. 4 out of 5

    July

    This is one of my first DNFs (did not finish) in a while. This book is marketed as a comic memoir, and it tries really hard to be that. At the end of the day, it's a little too bipolar for me. The tone is too uneven. In one sentence, the author will be talking about something fairly serious, and then he throws in a manic stupid joke. I understand that the book is billed as funny, but dude, you're allowed to be serious sometimes without throwing a half-assed joke in there. I think I would have be This is one of my first DNFs (did not finish) in a while. This book is marketed as a comic memoir, and it tries really hard to be that. At the end of the day, it's a little too bipolar for me. The tone is too uneven. In one sentence, the author will be talking about something fairly serious, and then he throws in a manic stupid joke. I understand that the book is billed as funny, but dude, you're allowed to be serious sometimes without throwing a half-assed joke in there. I think I would have been fine with the intermingling of comedy and more serious topics (such as his parents' divorce) had the author had a more subtle hand. Alas, no such luck. It wasn't terrible, and it did succeed in being funny sometimes, just not enough to keep me reading.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Stacie

    Only a handful of pages into this book and I was erupting with laughter. Of course, it's full of self deprecation, potty humor and generational anecdotes that might not be for everyone. Like his humor or hate it, Mulgrew's an excellent writer and has proved that over the years through his blogging. His first book is no exception; however, I think I related to this book more because I grew up for a time in eastern PA and his stories were eerily familiar. As is mentioned above, not sure if this on Only a handful of pages into this book and I was erupting with laughter. Of course, it's full of self deprecation, potty humor and generational anecdotes that might not be for everyone. Like his humor or hate it, Mulgrew's an excellent writer and has proved that over the years through his blogging. His first book is no exception; however, I think I related to this book more because I grew up for a time in eastern PA and his stories were eerily familiar. As is mentioned above, not sure if this one's for everyone. But if you're not afraid of the excessive use of the word "poop" or detailed descriptions of some "private" moments, this might be the witty, hilarious read you've been waiting for.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jon

    Well, let me start by saying that I supremely resent this guy for having both a well-paying job in New York and a blog that started roughly the same time as mine that he parlayed into a legitimately published book. I don't have a book. I have several spiral-bound books. No one's read them yet. Except me. Jason's book has a lot of jokes, and if you don't already know the punchlines from reading his blog, it will be very dependably funny. And there's some really good stuff in there when he abandons Well, let me start by saying that I supremely resent this guy for having both a well-paying job in New York and a blog that started roughly the same time as mine that he parlayed into a legitimately published book. I don't have a book. I have several spiral-bound books. No one's read them yet. Except me. Jason's book has a lot of jokes, and if you don't already know the punchlines from reading his blog, it will be very dependably funny. And there's some really good stuff in there when he abandons the persona. I think the editors sanitized it too much. Lousy editors. It's just my theory, though.

  24. 5 out of 5

    ╟ ♫ Tima ♪ ╣ ♥

    There were some extremely funny parts of this book that gave me great hope of ending the year on a humorous memoir. It fell flat somewhere around the middle and never really picked up again. I didn't like his excessive footnotes (which is mainly because they are fairly tedious to view on the Kindle) and skipped the last half of them during the book. I also didn't like how much he made light of driving drunk, it just rubs me the wrong way. Overall, he seems like a pretty funny guy who should have There were some extremely funny parts of this book that gave me great hope of ending the year on a humorous memoir. It fell flat somewhere around the middle and never really picked up again. I didn't like his excessive footnotes (which is mainly because they are fairly tedious to view on the Kindle) and skipped the last half of them during the book. I also didn't like how much he made light of driving drunk, it just rubs me the wrong way. Overall, he seems like a pretty funny guy who should have just stuck to Blog Land. I've never seen his blog but I have a feeling his writing fits a little better in a shorter, more freelance environment.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Guimont

    I have a hard time diving right into a book but I was hooked on this one from the preface. I find his humor and informal writing to be just right. Although I could do without some of the footnotes, I find this is a great perspective of what was going on in his childhood. I've seen quite a few negative reviews of this one, but I just figure that those people don't share his unique sense of humor. I laughed at this one and recommend it to the people that wonder "why am I this way?...is this my par I have a hard time diving right into a book but I was hooked on this one from the preface. I find his humor and informal writing to be just right. Although I could do without some of the footnotes, I find this is a great perspective of what was going on in his childhood. I've seen quite a few negative reviews of this one, but I just figure that those people don't share his unique sense of humor. I laughed at this one and recommend it to the people that wonder "why am I this way?...is this my parent's fault?" I have this on one of my "favorites" list now because it was so funny. I recommend it to anyone that wants a good laugh that grew up in the early 80's.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mike Thomas

    Self denigration has long been a staple of comedic enterprise. But when you have a childhood like Jason Mulgrew's it is hard not to imagine that upon escaping it's clutches, one might want to write about those episodes that proved most formative. The book is most definitely an adult memoir, one that I'd struggle to recommend to many of my friends, primarily due to the frequent coarse language and imagery - which I'll admit is occasionally necessary to complete to scene, but in other cases is mer Self denigration has long been a staple of comedic enterprise. But when you have a childhood like Jason Mulgrew's it is hard not to imagine that upon escaping it's clutches, one might want to write about those episodes that proved most formative. The book is most definitely an adult memoir, one that I'd struggle to recommend to many of my friends, primarily due to the frequent coarse language and imagery - which I'll admit is occasionally necessary to complete to scene, but in other cases is merely used to shock the reader.with just how skewed up this guy is.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    I've been reading this guy's blog for many years, and it's very funny, but his style didn't translate to book form very well. It's a bunch of disjointed stories that would be fun to hear about over a beer, but there's no overarching message or point to the whole thing. It also doesn't help that in the foreword, he says he procrastinated so much that most of the book was written in two weeks. That's pretty lame - if you want me to go to the trouble of reading your book, at least put forth a littl I've been reading this guy's blog for many years, and it's very funny, but his style didn't translate to book form very well. It's a bunch of disjointed stories that would be fun to hear about over a beer, but there's no overarching message or point to the whole thing. It also doesn't help that in the foreword, he says he procrastinated so much that most of the book was written in two weeks. That's pretty lame - if you want me to go to the trouble of reading your book, at least put forth a little bit of effort into writing it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    P. Christopher Colter

    An uneven, but likable memoir from Jason Mulgrew. If you are a fan of his blog, you will enjoy this book. "Everything"'s bouncing from stories about Philadelphia life and culture, to the adventures of his parents, to his own escapades are the cause of the uneven nature of the book in my opinion. I wish he had kept it exclusively about himself, his parents, OR Philly life. The book seemed to be constantly searching for its identity. That said, it was a fun and quick read. Mulgrew is currently wor An uneven, but likable memoir from Jason Mulgrew. If you are a fan of his blog, you will enjoy this book. "Everything"'s bouncing from stories about Philadelphia life and culture, to the adventures of his parents, to his own escapades are the cause of the uneven nature of the book in my opinion. I wish he had kept it exclusively about himself, his parents, OR Philly life. The book seemed to be constantly searching for its identity. That said, it was a fun and quick read. Mulgrew is currently working on a follow-up, and I look forward to reading it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ariel Uppstrom

    At first this book was really cracking me up with the self-deprecating humor and asides, but as the memoir progressed it was clear there was no continuity or purpose than to share some random stories and see if he could make them funny. The first 2-3 chapters were the high point of the memoir and then it just wandered on with no actual end. Unfortunately, that's all I have to say about it because there's all there was to the memoir. I would recommend the preface and first couple of chapters, the At first this book was really cracking me up with the self-deprecating humor and asides, but as the memoir progressed it was clear there was no continuity or purpose than to share some random stories and see if he could make them funny. The first 2-3 chapters were the high point of the memoir and then it just wandered on with no actual end. Unfortunately, that's all I have to say about it because there's all there was to the memoir. I would recommend the preface and first couple of chapters, then stop.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tanya

    I read this book about a month or two ago and I can't remember much about it so that's not a good sign. The writing is very informal which I'm fine with. It's basically a story about this guy and how much of a screw up he is and how messed up his family is. It's funny at times and entertaining. People have complained about this author being really self deprecating. That does get old at some point and there were times when I was like "enough already. We get it. You're a loser". But overall, this I read this book about a month or two ago and I can't remember much about it so that's not a good sign. The writing is very informal which I'm fine with. It's basically a story about this guy and how much of a screw up he is and how messed up his family is. It's funny at times and entertaining. People have complained about this author being really self deprecating. That does get old at some point and there were times when I was like "enough already. We get it. You're a loser". But overall, this was a quick, fun, easy read.

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