Monday, May 21, 2012

Angels, Vampires & Douche Bags by Carla Collins

Published March 1, 2010.

Author website.

In this candid confessional, comedian Carla Collins divides the world into the angels who guide us, inspire us, and save our butts; the sexy and trendy vampires who suck the life out of us; and the douche bags who constantly annoy, disgust and taunt us. With a fast wit, fake breasts and real heart, Collins shares her unconventional journey from a small steel town in Ontario, Canada to Tinseltown L.A. On this wild and revealing romp, she navigates her way through seventy-two imaginary friends, multiple fianc s, eight dogs, two marriages, and one topless grandmother. Her hard-earned life lessons will show you that by taking risks, embracing humiliation and tapping into the power of laughter, anything is possible--and everyone is manageable. Attract more angels into your life, control your vampires, and keep all the douche bags at bay.  (

I laughed my ass off reading ANGELS, VAMPIRES & DOUCHE BAGS.  Seriously, Carla has a wit and timing about her that just can't be beat.  She's a petite little blonde that's packed full of snark but never even comes close to toeing the line of being a snatch.  Her comedy doesn't stem from any kind of nastiness.  There isn't a bitterness to it.  Sure, some of the things in her life weren't all that great but even the seedier moments are spun on their head and given a humorous light.  Carla is exceptionally self-deprecating, something I can wholly appreciate.  Trust, no one's going to find you funny unless you can laugh at yourself first.

While having a nominally unhealthy obsession with hookers, Carla tells like it it is, her life spread eagle on the pages for all to see.  She doesn't try to hide anything and she certainly doesn't sugarcoat any of it either.  Her stories are told with a poignant voice that really only sprinkles in the snark but the lines are so well-timed that they kind of sneak up on you and you find yourself laughing before you can even really process what you read.  Seriously, I need to see this woman live because she's a damn good storyteller.  I can imagine her sitting around a table just chatting and just the WAY she tells the stories sucks you right in.  The tone, the voice, it's funny without actually being funny simply because you know there's going to be a line there that'll crack you right the hell up.

If I quoted all of my favorite lines I'd pretty much be duplicating the entire book but here are some of note enough that I stopped reading to plug into my Goodreads status thingy -

"I hesitated, because to me, tantric sex sounds like a Kevin Costner movie - it goes on forever and nobody comes." 
"I was at the counter and figured I needed a back of Mentos,  a copy of People magazine and a bag of boobies." 
"That Jerry Maguire movie was bullshit.  You need to become complete yourself first; then ideally, find another complete human to compliment you."

Between the most excellent pearls of wisdom and the snap, it could hardly go wrong.

Except it did.  Not at the fault of Carla, though.  From page 75 to 104 it duplicates from page 17 on 32 pages.  I'm not kidding.  And I'm not talking some extra pages shoved into the greater book.  I'm talking about these 32 pages replaced the greater part of the VAMPIRES portion of this book.  I was filled with chagrin.  I mean talk about total buzz kill.  And it cut me off in the middle of an epic story and I still have no idea how it ended!  I'm missing 23% of the book and that makes me cranky.  Cranky to the point where I don't know how to rate this.  I loved everything I read.  Carla has an intriguing life and a kick ass voice that'll make me want to read anything she's ever written.  But an inbred one-eyed, one-handed clown bound the book and robbed me of a chunk of it.  Cranky.

I believe I shall rate it based on writing alone even though missing that part of the book put a huge damper on it for me.  Like I said, not Carla's fault so I can't discount her for it.  But I can grumble.

Ban Factor: High - Did you miss the part about Carla having a nominally unhealthy obsession with hookers?  Or boobies?  Or the tantric sex?  The banners are swooning.  Someone get some accordion fans.
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