Book Reviews

Lacks Self-Control: True Stories I Waited Until My Parents Died to Tell by Roy Sekoff

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.

I know, I know, I’m supposed to be on a NetGalley hiatus, but do you see that title? How can I, Shruti Ramanujam, ever stay away from a book with such a kickass title? Oh, and the blurb says “If David Sedaris, Chelsea Handler, Larry David, and Caitlin Moran had the unlikeliest orgy in history, the resulting love child might one day write a book like this one“. You know who’d like such a book?

Moi!

Goodreads synopsis:

A rollicking collection of true tales from the founding editor of the Huffington Post.

If David Sedaris, Chelsea Handler, Larry David, and Caitlin Moran had the unlikeliest orgy in history, the resulting love child might one day write a book like this one.

“Although he’s generally agreeable, Roy Sekoff lacks self-control.” Or so proclaimed his kindergarten teacher.

Thus pigeonholed, Sekoff spent the next several decades proving her right, gathering many outrageous, sometimes raunchy, occasionally moving, always hilarious stories along the way. From a teenage pilgrimage to a Times Square porn superstore to life-changing experiences with high colonics and psychic readings to his tenure as founding editor of the Huffington Post, Lacks Self-Control is a rollicking testament to his unwavering commitment to overshare.

Told with zinging wit and zero propriety, Sekoff’s collection of true tales—caroming between his Miami childhood, overstimulated adolescence, and celebrity-adjacent adulthood—showcases his caustic yet surprisingly sweet sense of humor. Whether he’s describing a youthful encounter with a killer crocodile, an ill-fated attempt to make off with a tissue containing Oprah’s tears, or that time Chevy Chase grabbed his balls at a funeral, Sekoff is a lively, irreverent raconteur whose sharp observations wring laughs out of a ludicrous yet relatable life.

Review:

If you’ve been following this blog for a while now, you’d have noticed that I really love memoirs of famous people. And they almost always have quirky names. Remember The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness by Paula Poundstone? Or The Art of Living Other People’s Lives: Stories, Confessions, and Memorable Mistakes by Greg Dybec?

Lacks Self-Control, for me, was even better than your usual famous person’s memoir. Most of it was because of how relatable I found it. Roy Sekoff is effortlessly funny, witty, and has his own droll style of writing; you can’t help but love him.

You know how all of us have a funny story we tell at dinner parties? Sekoff has like 10 of them in this book. No, really. How do I become friends with this guy?

Here are some of the lines from this absolute hoot that I liked:

1. For me, Lacks Self-Control means speaking up and speaking out. Not only saying that the emperor has no clothes, but also pointing out that his penis is smaller than average.

2. I wasn’t a bad student; but anyone hoping to be valedictorian needn’t bother looking over their shoulder to see if I was gaining on them. If my school had graded using words instead of letters, my GPA would’ve been “Meh.”

3. I was the picture of health. The “Before” picture.

4. I could count the number of times I’ve seen her be unkind to someone on Oscar Pistorius’s toes.

I could go on and on.

 

In all, this book’s really funny, and I’m no person to tell you how to lead your life, but what are you even doing if you haven’t read it yet?

 

Rating: 5 out of 5

~ Shruti

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