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Margaret Cho was born in 1968 and raised in San Francisco. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her dog, Ralph (pronounced Rafe, as in Fiennes). From the Hardcover edition.
Expanding on her one-woman show (and film) of the same title, comedian Cho mines her improbable life. The misfit daughter of Korean immigrants in San Francisco (who named her Moran, which she likens to naming a kid "Asshill"), she dropped out of high school, gaining success in stand-up even as she succumbed to self-loathing, substance abuse, bad boyfriends and the siren song of Hollywood. As star of the first Asian-American sitcom (All-American Girl), she was forced to diet herself into sickness even as the show strayed from her story and quickly foundered. This book runs into the inevitable challenge of converting performance into print; neither a script nor a fully fleshed-out memoir, it works episodically but ultimately fizzles. Descriptions of the endless lousy men in Cho's life, perhaps disarming onstage, become tedious on the page. Still, she finds humor in pathos. Working on a pilot with a sitcom writer, she held back the truth: "I was unemployed and trying to kick a sick crystal meth habit by smoking huge bags of paraquat-laced marijuana and watching Nick at Night for six hours at a time. Now, that's a sitcom." Cho knows how great comics tend toward self-destruction, finding it hard to come down from stage adulation. Still, her discovery of self-esteem and New Agey conclusions ("I discovered there was a goddess deep inside me") are something that an acerbic comedian like Cho shouldn't embrace without irony. (May) Forecast: Cho's five-city tour and radio satellite tour will bring her to the attention of her young, hip audience. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Cho, the talented and witty comedienne who starred in All American Girl, the first Asian American sitcom, here adds to the growing list of celebrity autobiographies in a self-indulgent effort boasting all of the elements that make such works popular. She discusses her problems as a child, troubled teen years, dangerous drug habits, weight battles, and feelings about her one-woman show, which is now being well received by Asian Americans. Unfortunately, the book, which is adapted from her show, feels more like an exercise a therapist might have suggested than a serious autobiography. It is sexually explicit, which may make it inappropriate for younger readers, and contains an overabundance of obscenities apparently used more for shock value than substance. Cho's comedic wit does not translate well to print, and it seems that she could not decide whether to write for laughs or sentiment, resulting in an uneven blend. While this may have limited appeal to her fans, it is a minimal purchase at best. Not recommended. Rosalind Dayen, Broward Cty. South Regional Lib., Pembroke Pines, FL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
"[A] beautiful book . . . It is innately empowering, honest, and raw."-ROSIE O'DONNELL "REAL AND REVEALING . . . What makes Cho's book resonate is the razor-sharp honesty she deploys and the straight-ahead style she uses to chronicle her messed-up life. Her humor is in no short supply."-Los Angeles Times Book Review "A COMPELLING, QUICK READ THAT WILL SATISFY CHO'S FANS AND INSTANTLY MAKE NEW ONES."-The New Orleans Times-Picayune [A] beautiful book . . . It is innately empowering, honest, and raw. ROSIE O DONNELL REAL AND REVEALING . . . What makes Cho s book resonate is the razor-sharp honesty she deploys and the straight-ahead style she uses to chronicle her messed-up life. Her humor is in no short supply. Los Angeles Times Book Review A COMPELLING, QUICK READ THAT WILL SATISFY CHO S FANS AND INSTANTLY MAKE NEW ONES. The New Orleans Times-Picayune"