Welcome to the perverse and hilarious mind of Sara Barron. In “The Harm in Asking,” she boldly addresses the bizarre indignities of everyday life: from invisible pets to mobster roommates, from a hatred of mayonnaise to an unrequited love of k.d. lang, from the ruinous side effect of broccoli to the sheer delight of a male catalogue model. In a voice that is incisive and entirely her own, Barron proves herself the master of the awkward, and she achieves something wonderful and rare: a book that makes you laugh out loud. Simply put: if you read it, you will never be the same.*
*That’s not true. You’ll probably stay the same. But you’ll have laughed a lot. And you’ll have learned a fun fact about Jessica Simpson’s home spray. See? You didn’t even know she had a home spray! The learning has already begun.
Admittedly, I bought The Harm in Asking on the recommendation of one of those articles that pop up on facebook. You know the ones: “30 Books to Read Before You Turn 30/Once you have Finished College/If you have Ever…” see you know the ones. I saw the cover of The Harm in Asking and thought it looked interesting. I didn’t know anything about the premise of the book besides the tiny recommendation blurb; I didn’t know the author and if I am really honest I think that to appreciate The Harm in Asking I really should have known more about her.
It isn’t that The Harm in Asking isn’t good; it really is. It is just that reading a memoir of someone that I don’t know makes the writing seem a bit self-indulgent. Books life this have been written before and I have accepted them graciously because I’ve had some knowledge of the writer – Tina Fey, Sarah Silverman, Amy Poehler etc.
Detracting from my lack of knowledge of the author, some of the stories in the collection are humorous and they did wiggle a little chuckle from me. However, I still was left with the overall feeling of what is the point? I began to feel like The Harm in Asking because an arduous task to read.
Give it a try yourself folks and see if you are of the same opinion.
The Harm in Asking by Sara Barron is available now.