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For Frying Out Loud by Fay Jacobs
Book: For Frying Out Loud – Rehoboth Beach Diaries
Author: Fay Jacobs
Publisher: A&M Books

Oh, jeez, where do I begin?

It seems like every year there’s some movie, album, or book that captures the world’s imagination, and suddenly it’s everywhere. Everyone rushes out to watch, listen, read, or recommend it to anyone that even remotely looks like they might care – and more than a few that clearly don’t.

There’s Oscar buzz. There’s Grammy buzz. Ooh, yeah, there’s that coveted spot in Oprah’s Book Club.

I find, more often than not, that when this mass adulation occurs, I should run the other direction as fast as my size 6 1/2s can take me. Why? Three Words: Glengarry. Glen. Ross. Yeah, that’s the “astonishing”, “spectacular” 1992 Oscar nominee that starred Pacino, Lemmon, Baldwin, Arkin, Harris and Altman.

It’s also the cinematic marvel that conscripted more than 100 minutes of my life into the darkest trenches of Hell, and convinced me that I’d rather play patty cake with a methed up badger than sit through one single minute of it again. Ever.

So, imagine the emotional roller coaster ride I went through when Fay Jacobs sent me a truly lovely email saying she’d read the blog, and wondered if I’d consider doing a review of a few items from A&M Books. It went a bit like this:

Fay Jacobs sent me an email (whoot, fist pump)
Oh, God! She wants me to review her book (Munch’s Scream face)
Everyone says it’s great (happy dance, booty shake)
Everyone says it’s great (Glengarry Glen Ross scream face)

It went on like that for another stomach sloshing two and a half minutes, but ultimately I knew I had to read her book and give Ms. Jacobs a fair and honest opinion.

I also knew it probably wouldn’t hurt if I started planning a post book review blogging life . . . maybe something safe, like chicken sexing.

For Frying Out Loud – Rehoboth Beach Diaries by Fay Jacobs is a jaunty little collection of essays and soliloquies that covers her day-to-day life in Delaware’s Rehoboth Beach and the world beyond. No topic or bodily function is sacred, as she takes on politics, intolerance, LGBT history, technology, transportation, rendered meat products, demon dog sitting, simple home repair, NSAIDs, and chilled adult beverages. Each entry, regardless of its subject matter, is approached with refreshing honesty, a healthy dose of self-deprecation, and enough mirth to make your face hurt from smiling by the time it’s done.

I am impressed with Ms. Jacobs’ mastery of colloquial writing. That is to say, her ability to tell each story in a simple, engaging way that makes the reader feel like she’s sitting across the table sharing stories as the margaritas flow faster and faster. The essays are tight, focused, and refreshingly didactic without being judgmental or haughty; and the subject matter is often familiar, because many of us have had the same general experiences, observations, and conversations – we’ve just never managed to do it with the wit, flair, and je ne sais quoi that Ms. Jacobs and her merry band of Rehomos achieve time and again.

So, admittedly, going into this, I was more than a little nervous that For Frying Out Loud was going to be one of those books that didn’t live up to all the hype and hoopla. However, I can assure you, that thinking is completely off base. The book is fun and fabulous, it’s classy and heartwarming, and it manages to remind us that we’re all in this together.

Now, if I can only convince Fay and Bonnie to hire me as their dog walking, Cosmo shaking, GPS translating, Cabana girl . . .

So, everything you’ve heard is true – Fay Jacobs and For Frying Out Loud are a two-for-one American treasure. In my opinion, the madcap Ms. Jacobs deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as the Mike Roykos and Dave Berrys of the world. For Frying Out Loud gets a lip-smacking 5.4 out of 6 on the Rainbow Scale – it’s delightfully bent and bawdy, and chock full of whimsy, but a girl can still learn a lot from it.

Posted by Salem West at 11:11 AM Email This
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Labels: A and M Books, Fay Jacobs, For Frying Out Loud