by Vincent Daniels
Detroit native Vincent Daniels delivers a hilarious retelling of his absurd childhood as a mixed-race Jehovah's Witness whiz kid in an all-white Catholic-dominated community. Add in some energetic cult conventions, a neighboring halfway house, an unhealthy dinosaur obsession, a couple zealous, quirky parents, and a doozy of an imagination, and you've got one hell of a funny memoir here. This essay-style collection of stories is a great choice for fans of David Sedaris, Jenny Lawson, Allie Brosh, and Justin Halpern.
Daniels' sharp wit, fearless humor, and penchant for shining in even the strangest fiascos keeps his book consistently fun and relatable. In addition to a laugh-out-loud peek into what it's like to be a holiday-avoiding, door-to-door mini preacher, Holly Jolly Nothing sends you on a grandiose trip back to childhood, complete with first crush freak-outs, sleazy after-school jobs, grade school victories and debacles, head-scratchingly odd neighborhood kids, and other coming-of-age awesomeness - all penned with a strong dose of warmth, wonder, and belly laughs.
Don't let the idea of childhood nostalgia fool you though. These stories aren't mild salsa. There's enough spicy adult humor here to set up a lifetime of Judd Apatow movies. And for fans of Daniels' first book, Meaty Balls, don't worry - the author's voice-of-the-people, gleefully-less-than-PC perspective is present on all levels, as is his self-targeting, sincere humor. Daniels' musings are on par with the best Louis C.K., Aziz Ansari, or John Mulaney stand-up comedy. In summary, if you think laughter is the best medicine, don't walk, RUN, to get yourself a copy of Holly Jolly Nothing!
My Thoughts (not a review):
Well, I haven't read this yet, but I plan to buy and read it, and soon. Why? Because Meaty Balls, the first book I read by this author, is my absolutely favorite memoir, ever. I remember reading it in public and laughing out loud anyway. Check out the original review of Meaty Balls here.
This one promises to be just as funny and every bit worth buying for those who want a good laugh based on real, and really funny, events. Not for the easily offended, I'm guessing, based on the other one.
I happened across Vincent on Facebook some time back, and his posts are just as irreverent and grin inducing. Anyhow, when I saw the new book come out, I sent him a message telling him I'd like to feature his new book and asked if he'd like to share anything personal for the post. Here is what he said:
You're literally too good to be true, Trish! So, first, obviously I appreciate this. Second, I can't think of much to add book-description-wise in addition to the Amazon write-up I "meticulously" crafted a few days ago. A link to my personal Facebook page would be cool though. I'd love more internet friends so I can feel meaningful in our cyber-culture.
As far as a personal message goes, how's this: When I finished Holly Jolly Nothing, I realized the best two things about moving out of my parents house years ago have been: 1) Being able to write just-shy-of-PC, non-PG-rated books that poke fun at religion and rules, because what I write would've never flown in the strict religious household I grew up in, but I'm having an awesome time doing it! And 2) Never having to eat canned green beans again. To even out the list, I'll add that the worst thing I've noticed about moving out is that I'm late for everything without Mom and Dad there to wake me up. And while that may make me sound like a kid, to set the record straight, I'm actually more of a kid-man-robot sentinel.
Also, feel free to add my recommendation that your blog readers can show their appreciation for your kind personality and book reviewing ways by knitting you soft mittens and cozy socks and mailing them to you, perhaps with candy. You can tell them this was solely my idea, not yours.
Thanks again, Trish! I look forward to seeing the blog!I like the sound of that cozy socks and mittens thing. Candy couldn't hurt either, lol.
About the Author:
Hi, I'm Vincent Daniels, author of Meaty Balls - a collection of essays, expositions, and insightfully elegant potty humor (which I heard you like). It's got like a million chapters (thirty, actually). I also just released a new book titled Holly Jolly Nothing. It's a memoir recounting absurdities from my religiously-stymied childhood along with other awesome coming-of-age stuff. If you have any semblance of a heart, I think you'll dig it. Even some of you heartless A-holes will get a kick out of it too.Author Links:
If you're asking, "What makes you so special that you get to write hilarious books that I'll love forever?" Here's why: I was raised as a Jehovah's Witness and was out preaching to strangers about Satan's hooves as a nine-year-old. I wasn't allowed to celebrate birthdays or holidays but went to a public school where that stuff made up half the curriculum. Plus all the wonky beliefs and cult conventions are funny, in retrospect. Also, I'm half-Asian, which isn't intrinsically funny in itself, but being the only foreign-looking kid in an all-white hillbilly suburb is funny, also in retrospect. Additionally, I was married into a Puerto Rican family and gained two hundred spicy in-laws who swear enough to make Martin Scorsese blush.
In addition to those balls-out hilarious things about me, I now live in Detroit, which has a large black population and a lot of crime. I'm certainly not insinuating the two are related, I'm simply stating those things because that's what people usually think of when the think of Detroit. Though both are true, I've never been mugged or murdered by anyone black (or any race). Okay, this is coming out all wrong. One of my best friends is actually black! I'm tempted to rewrite this paragraph because it sounds suspicious, but I told myself I'd write this once and not edit it. This is getting wordy, so I'm going to list the other reasons I'm capable of writing a funny book without as much explanation:
5. Starting with "5" because technically there are four "Reasons I'm Funny" written above. I'm going to start a new "Number Five" because this one got ruined by this explanation.
Real 5. After being married to the Puerto Ricans, I got divorced...and divorce is hilarious! (After you've moved on, lost weight, and bought a bigger TV.)
6. I'm an auto-industry stooge who gets paid to design auto parts while actually writing essays in a word processor minimized in the bottom corner of my screen. Don't tell my boss. (That includes you, PC-monitoring IT guy!)
7. I go to dive bars and drink a lot. I look foreign. I'm divorced. I have a black friend. We have sweet hip-hop dance moves. Antics ensue.
8. I'm a part-time musician who plays guitar, writes mushy love songs, and says, "Yeah, I've sold a bunch of MP3s," even though I've only sold ten over the past five years and barely made enough money to buy a combo meal at Taco Bell.
9. I have a gigantic collection of rocks & fossils, comic books, '80s toys, movie memorabilia, weapons (non-functioning replicas), old-school video games, dinosaur books, hockey jerseys, lawn equipment, and button-up shirts that I never wear. The point being, I'm an expert on everything and exceptionally geeky in a sexy and sophisticated way that'll make you feel pretty cool.
So my advice is this: Nab a copy of Holly Jolly Nothing and/or Meaty Balls like the good-for-nothing nabber that you are, and live the remainder of your life, or at least a few measly days, in a cozy, orgasmic reading bliss. Let's cuddle after!
Goodreads Vincent Daniels
Facebook Page Author Vincent Daniels
Intrigued, pick both up on Amazon!