Oct 262011
Authors: Allison Sylte

I once persuaded a friend of mine that I sunbathe topless, former Collegian Editor-In-Chief Madeline Novey spent a good part of last semester thinking that I am half black and quite a few of my classmates are under the impression that T-Pain and I are basically best friends after a chance meeting on a Minneapolis-bound plane.

Boredom motivates me to tell ridiculous stories, and I would feel like a bad person if it weren’t for Chelsea Handler, whose recent book “Lies that Chelsea Handler Told Me,” chronicles the morally abhorrent (and often ridiculous) lies she constantly tells her friends, family and coworkers.

Many people know Handler from her celebrity-skewing talk show “Chelsea Lately.” She is also an accomplished author, having already published two books about her ridiculous day-to-day life, and even one book dedicated solely to her one-night stands.

“Lies that Chelsea Handler Told Me,” differs from the formula of her previous books in that, rather than being told by Handler, her friends, family and co-workers each have the opportunity to talk about different lies and pranks that Handler has played on them.

As someone who has read each of Handler’s previous books, it’s funny to read anecdotes from the friends and family whom she often skewers. For fans of her talk show, frequent “roundtable” guests Heather McDonald, Brad Wollack and Josh Wolf each contribute chapters, with stories ranging from Handler persuading McDonald she is pregnant to Handler allegedly giving Wolf’s wife a gambling addiction.

While the stories themselves are hilarious (an elaborate prank involving a straight male colleague and a gay E! executive is a highlight), what made Handler’s previous books so great was her writing. Handler writes with a very tongue-in-cheek, sarcastic tone, something that, as hard as the contributors try to, they can’t quite replicate.

Without Handler’s unique personal voice, some of the stories lose their luster, and it makes you wonder if they would have been better told if Handler had written them instead of her friends.

That being said, the comedians who contributed are funny writers in their own right, and Handler’s brother Greg, who writes about bringing 10-year-old Chelsea to cocaine fueled parties, proves that having a sense of humor might just run in the family.

On top of being funny, the stories also give you a glimpse into Chelsea Handler as a friend. Each of the contributors constantly emphasize that she’s tremendously loyal and generous, using the extravagant and drunken vacations she takes her friends and family on as the most frequent examples.

While it’s true that reading “Lies that Chelsea Handler Told Me,” isn’t necessarily going to earn you any points in the intellectual department, it’s a great book to read if you feel like laughing and turning your brain off for a while.

Content Managing Editor Allison Sylte is disappointed to say that she’s not nearly as good of a liar as Chelsea Handler. She can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 4:34 pm

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