The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death: Reflections on Revenge, Germophobia, and Laser Hair Removal

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Laurie Notaro has an uncanny ability to attract insanity¨Cand leave readers doubled over with laughter. Need proof? Check out The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death and try not to bust a gut.

Join Notaro as she experiences the popular phenomenon of laser hair removal (because at least one of her chins should be stubble-free); bemoans the scourge of the Open Mouth Coughers on America¡¯s airplanes and in similarly congested areas; welcomes the newest ex-con (yay, a sex offender!) to her neighborhood; and watches, against her own better judgment, every Discovery Health Channel special on parasites and tapeworms that has ever aired¨Cresulting in an overwhelming fear that a worm the size of a python will soon come a-knocking on her back door.

In Notaro¡¯s world, strangers are stranger than fiction. One must always check the hotel bathroom for hobo hairs and consciously remember not to stare at old men with giant man-boobies. And then there are the lessons she has learned the hard way: Though it may seem like a good idea, it¡¯s best not to hire a tweaked-out homeless guy to clean up your yard.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer says that Laurie Notaro is ¡°a scream, the freak-magnet of a girlfriend you can¡¯t wait to meet for a drink to hear her latest story.¡± With The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death, Notaro proves she¡¯s not only funny but resigned to the fact that you can¡¯t look bad ass in a Prius. Don¡¯t even try.

From the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews:

  • Notaro never disappoints!
    She is so clever! You feel like you are listening to a friend tell a funny story, and you can't stop laughing. I laughed out loud more times than I can count. I wish I had another one of her books to pick up immediately....more info
  • Another Hit
    Notaro is one of the only authors who makes me laugh out loud. Her stories are hilarious, and sometimes I think she has been following me around for notes! She is not afraid to let readers see her in a not-so-flattering light, and makes no apologies for her behavior. ...more info
  • Funniest thing I have read in a long time
    My daughter picked this book up for me and suggested that I might like it as it "looked like something you would like". I finished this book in 2 days. This book had me laughing so hard that I had tears rolling and was unable to stop laughing long enough to tell anyone why I was laughing. A most enjoyable read....more info
  • Great book!
    This book was great! It made me laugh! If you have any insecurities you will love this book!...more info
  • Side-splittingly funny!!
    I picked this book up at the library after being intrigued and amused by the title, and what a great decision that was! I had never heard of Laurie Notaro before either, and I, like most of the other reviewers, laughed out loud and often while reading - she really IS that hilarious. I liked that the stories are linear and connected, which often isn't the case in compilations of stories by comedians (Jerry Seinfeld comes to mind). The titular story is one of the best, by the way, and - also like another reviewer mentioned - "Ready or Not" is a sucker-punch in the midst of all the mirth and hilarity - just as well-written, but a real heartbreaker.
    An extremely entertaining (and sometimes politically incorrect!) read. Highly recommended....more info
  • Laughed out loud
    I cannot recall the last time I read a book and laughed out loud - this book does that! Notaro writes like a dream and builds scenes that I can literally see. See, heck, I think I've lived in a few of them. Each chapter is a vignette from life. I loved it and recommend it to anyone who needs laughter in their life....more info
  • Fun, Fun, Fun
    This is another funny entry in the Idiot Girl collection by Laurie Notaro. There are times when I was laughing so hard while reading in the doctor's waiting room that I know some people thought I was a little nuts.

    In this collection Laurie (and her sainted husband) are on vacation when Laurie decides the family across the way are terrorists. Of course as usual she gets a little carried away. There are stories involving a criminal moving into her neighborhood, the travails of moving to a new home in another state, a tale of a backed up sewer line, and a surprisingly sad story involving the loss of a pet. Reading these stories is like hanging out with your slightly nuts girlfriend; you love her but wonder where the heck she gets these nutty ideas, but then she breaks out the margaritas and it's all good.
    ...more info
  • She's Baa-aack!
    Fans of Laurie Notaro's first-person stories will be delighted with this latest collection of "reflections." After a brief foray into the world of fiction with a zany, semi-autobiographical novel, once again the Idiot Girl is back to form, sharing stories and observations of her decidedly normal life with an original and laugh-out-loud way with words.

    Notaro never holds back. Her polished writing style has a conversational, off-the-cuff quality to it, allowing readers to feel like we're right there in the room with her, listening to her outrage at a big dog taking a dump on her front lawn, or breaking out her bird flu mask on a plane after the passenger seated next to her open-mouth coughs for the last time. She's like your funniest friend--the one you know will make the party more fun as soon as she opens her mouth and launches into her latest life experience. I know I couldn't wait to open and devour this book, and I wasn't disappointed. Five stars all the way.

    Michele Cozzens is the author of It's Not Your Mother's Bridge Club....more info
  • I can soooo relate to this life
    This book is like taking chapters out of my life and the lives of everyone I know. I laughed out loud while reading this book. I had the hardest time putting it down. I really need to meet this author and thank her for being brave enough, or should I say idiot enough to put real life into writing. Bless you Laurie Notaro for your humor. ...more info
  • It's All Good!
    Let me preface this by saying I'm a HUGE fan of this author, and have loved all her previous Idiot Girl essay books. In fact, they are some of the few books that have earned "keeper" status - I don't swap them. This book did NOT disappoint.

    HILARIOUS!! I was laughing out loud throughout, and I think I actually snort-laughed at one point even. The essay on "It's all good" was so so funny - I'm laughing again just thinking about it. The story of her adventures on a cruise ship - priceless! I could really relate to the whitewater rafting trip. I must be an idiot girl, because the author feels like a good friend to me. :)

    I stayed up all night (despite the fact that I had to be up at 6am for work, even!) reading this, because I could not put it down. Highly recommended! :) Can't wait for her next essay book!...more info
  • She Is The Best
    I love love love Laurie Notaro. While her first is still my favorite, this one does not disappoint!...more info
  • Funny, enjoyable
    I downloaded this book free to my Kindle. The book was hysterical for the most part.. I had purchased one of her books on paper and ignored it. But this book had me laughing every time I picked it up. I was really grateful to be able to read it for free and I would read more of her stuff too. It's not rocket science but then, I wouldn't have ordered this book if I wanted something insanely intellectual....more info
  • Refreshingly Funny
    This was a free download for my Kindle and I am so glad I took advantage of it. This is some funny stuff in here! The essays are humorous glimpses of her life that make you want to keep reading. The essays blend seamlessly so it's more like reading a chapter book then a book of essays. I was shaking with laughter at the essay on the treadmill repair. I am not quite finished with the book yet, but it is that good that I am reviewing it before even being done. Am now going to look for more books by Laurie Notaro....more info
  • Funny, funny, funny!
    I actually got this book for free on my Kindle. I laughed out loud the whole time I read it. My husband kept asking what was SO funny. This is the first book I've read by Laurie Notaro, but certainly not the last. I highly recommend this one....more info
  • Hilarious!
    I laughed out loud reading this. Plus when I come across situations in real life that she wrote about (like the uncovered coughers on airplanes) I just start laughing again.

    I will definitely look for all of her new books....more info
  • Worth the wait
    Love Love Love it! The only bad thing I have to say about this book is that I bought it in hard cover when all of my other Notaro books are paperback, so now it does not look uniform on my bookshelf.
    Absolutely hilarious, well worth the wait. Definitely recomend to anyone. I think that all girls can relate to Notaro's style of writing. She pokes a lot of fun at herself and her life situations. She's the girl next door that watches you through the window secretly judging you and keeping track of your activities incase something suspicious comes up. I love that this is her 5th book and she has still yet to name her husband. He is known only to her readers as "Lauries Husband".
    Stop reading this review and go read anything by Laurie Notaro. You won't be disapointed....more info
  • I guess it's an acquired taste??
    I downloaded this book for free to my kindle. I read the first few chapters and, I'm sorry but I just didn't find it funny. The only thing I can remember is that she and her husband went to a cabin--went out to eat. He doesn't order dessert, she does--she doesn't want to be the fat girl eating dessert alone. Then she criticizes people who come into the restaurant to eat...why? Because they're fat? I just don't get why it's funny. My idea of FUNNY is The Daily Show, Stephen Colbert, etc. I guess maybe you have to identify with the character she's writing about. I don't, so I don't find it funny. Humor is a strange thing, isn't it? I got this book for free and I'm angry that I wasted time reading it when I could have been reading something else. ...more info
  • Funny!
    I laughed and laughed as I read this book. The part about the Sears Extended Warranty was so funny and OMG I could relate to her frustration with Sears and getting a repairperson out to fix things. A MUST HAVE book if you want a good laugh!...more info
    This book was recommended by Amazon -- and since it looked funny, and because I was about due for a new book I purchased it.

    The first page was enough to make me a fan.

    Nopw, I lived for a decade in Phoenix, so there was a lot to relate to. For example, when Notaro had been worrying about a sex-offender that had moved to her street. She was worried about getting attacked when she'd go out to get the mail. And then it dawned on her that she didn't want to go outside at all because it was so hot. I will not copy the text, but it's very very funny.

    Another similarity was when she was upset and said she 'needed a Milky Way Midnight bar" Come on ladies! When we're stressed we like to use it as an excuse to run to the chocolate. That candy bar happens to be my favourite, and I've also made my husband go to the store for them for me.

    This is a book that I think most middle aged women can relate to, especially if you're not full of **** and have a sense of humour about yourself.

    I'd bet that you WILL laugh out loud if you read this book....more info
  • Another hit.
    I am an avid Laurie Notaro reader, so it isn't fair for me to not admit that up front. Like the rest of them down there in the '5' star list, I loved it, too.

    It is classic Notaro. Funny, witty and full of self conscious rants that make anyone wake their sleeping husband while trying to stifle a giant outburst of laughter. ...more info
  • there's a (slight ) chance i might be going to hell
    This book is hilarious. She makes me laugh out loud. I hope she keeps writing because I plan to read everything she writes. If you want a light fast read; you will love this. I have another book by the author "The Idiot Girl and the Tantrum of Death" and I can't wait to get into that one as well. I think this author (Laurie Notaro) is right on as a woman with "issues". Every page has a laugh on it but it is so well written; you could almost see it happening before your eyes. This is a winner. Sassyreader There's a (Slight) Chance I Might Be Going to Hell: A Novel of Sewer Pipes, Pageant Queens, and Big Trouble...more info
  • Best Notaro yet!
    I love Laurie Notaro's books and this is my favorite yet. I was laughing out loud reading it in the car. So much so that my husband was getting annoyed, wanting to know what I kept laughing at! ...more info
  • Plain and simple, I loved it
    The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death ranks right up there as one of my all-time Notaro favorites. Great read as Laurie tackles aging, sex offenders and the new hippie enclave she has moved to. I was so happy she had a new book out that I devoured it in two days. It was a great follow up to There's a Slight Chance I Might Be Going to Hell, which I also loved and re-read twice before passing it on to everyone I knew and having my book club read it. It's great that she can switch back and for the between genres--I look forward to seeing more fiction from her as well as her traditional essays. This book had me laughing and guffawing the whole way through, enough to get weird stares from people passing by me on my lunch hour. My favorite essay: Death of a Catch Phrase. I never expected anything like it from this writer, but it's clever and sharp. Great book....more info
  • You Will Love This Book!
    Having read all of her books I am amazed that she is able to continue to keep providing interesting and hilarious books! She is like hearing from your best friend. She has a wonderful quality of connecting with the reader and though I live on the other side of the country we could very well live on the same street. For a long while I thought I was the only one who had heard of anal bleaching. Reading her books makes me want to write a book as funny too! Can't wait to share this one with all of my friends....more info
    If you or any one you know, suffers from depression, Laurie may be one of the best cures around. Well..., she may not be a cure, but you may save some money on co-pays and additional visits!!! Believe me, I AM qualified to make this determination. Do yourself a favor. Rx: Hide away. Take any one of her books with you. Read until you sleep (good luck). Wake up feeling better. God Bless. ...more info
  • Yikes....what did I miss?
    I KNOW I have a sense of humor. How could I possibly miss the humor in this book? I have to say, this was one of the most boring books I have ever read. In fact, I don't think I have ever stopped reading a book because it was so bad I couldn't finish it, but I just had to stop reading this one. It was like having teeth pulled at the dentist...fingernails on a chalkboard....a metal fork scratching across a china plate. It was just bad, bad, bad.

    I found almost nothing funny. I may have chuckled once...I can't remember (YES! It's that forgettable!). I couldn't finish the book and immediately removed it from my Kindle. What a waste of time and money.

    The cabin visit...huh? What was so funny about that? Honestly.. It was so stupid! I was left wondering what the heck I had just read that was suppose to be funny in that chapter? The story about their home invasion....I didn't get the humor there either. I can't remember anything else I read in this book. That's how bad it is (though I couldn't read the whole thing. It was just too boring)!

    I had to give people a heads up on this book. After I read all the RAVE reviews I couldn't wait to read it! Whoa! What a huge disappointment. [...]

    I guess this author is most definitely an acquired taste and most assuredly, not one I will ever read again....more info
  • Very entertaining
    I was introduced to Laurie Notaro's books back in 2007, when I inadvertently stumbled across a copy of The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club: True Tales from a Magnificent and Clumsy Life. Since then, I've read each of her collections of essays (except the one about Christmas), and I've enjoyed them immensely. That's why I was thrilled to pick up a copy of her latest.

    Notaro's essay collections are laugh-out-loud funny, and Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death is no exception. By far my favorite essay was the one after which this book was named--only the day before, I'd had my very own sort-of Laurie moment behind the wheel of my car (except I didn't react nearly the same way as she did). I also greatly enjoyed Laurie's story about taking a cruise. I was a little bit put off by the potty humor in this book, but I guess that's what she's known for. Other than that, though, this book had me rolling in my seat with laughter.
    ...more info
  • Laurie is back in fine form!
    I was slightly hesitant to buy Laurie's newest collection since I SO despised "There is a slight chance I might be going to hell..." But apart from way too many run-on sentences (my 3rd grade teacher would so tsk tsk those!) I have really enjoyed "The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death..." Her essay about her dog, Bella, was very poignant for an animal lover and had me in tears. And her essay about the repairwoman, a Treadmill, and Laurie answering the call of nature with earplugs in had me in fits of giggles! Welcome back in fine form Laurie!...more info
  • Funny, But Definately Not Her Best
    I was very anxiously wating for this book to come out. On the day it did finally come out, I ran to every possible store so I could read it right away because I was having knee surgery in 3 days. Needless to say, I could find it nowhere so my husband ordered it for me on Amazon. We paid for the next day shipping and I pretty much sat on the porch wating for the UPS man. As soon as he got here, I sat down on the couch and started reading. Most of it was cute, but not funny. I only laughed out loud a couple of times and as anyone who reads her books knows, you are usually crying and calling your friends to read them the funny parts. Not once did I have the desire to do this. I will, of course,buy her next book when it comes out but for this one, the anticipation left me wanting after I finally got it....more info
  • Not as funny as her first ones
    I have the whole collection, but this one didn't make me laugh out loud :( ...more info
  • Not really funny
    Low humor in poor taste. Too many potty jokes, and they weren't even funny. I rarely toss a book unfinished, but this one qualified. I bailed after the first 20 pages. Much better reading choices out there....more info
  • Made me laugh so hard I cried
    I loved this book. It was so funny! I haven't laughed this hard reading a book in years. My stomach hurt, I was crying, out of breath. SO fun! I will definitely be looking for more of her books....more info
  • I love this book!
    I saw this book sitting in a display of new releases at a bookstore and knew I had to have it based on the excellent title alone! I hadn't ever read any of Laurie Notaro's books before (she has several others), but the description on the dust jacket made it sound hilarious and highly appealing, especially for women and people who live in Notaro's former home state of Arizona. I was not disappointed and ended up reading the entire book in a little over a day. The book consists of a series of absolutely hilarious autobiographical essays about the many adventures of the author. Aside from being lough out loud funny (I started reading it in bed and was shaking so hard trying not to laugh to avoid waking my husband up that I almost woke him anyway) it is an incredibly smart book. The author is sassy and most definitely a jerk at times, but the book is amazingly intelligent and well written, so you are inclined to forgive her the occasional excess. There are also several touching moments when she reveals how good of a person she really is underneath the brassy exterior. I couldn't get enough of the book and have since bought and read all of Notaro's other books and I will certainly purchase any future books she releases. I think they are all wonderful, though this one strikes me as being particularly good.

    Not everyone is going to love this book. There are a lot of curse words throughout the text and I'm sure many people, especially women, would be horrified by some of her observations. Notaro is somewhat lewd, has a rather shady past, and she says what's on her mind, even when other people definitely wouldn't find it acceptable. If you can overlook these things, you will adore this book as much as Notaro's legions of fans have. If not, this is most decidedly not the book for you.

    For those of you who are women, perhaps a bit overweight, and loudmouthed - you are going to particularly love this book as you will see elements of yourself in what Notaro has to say. I know I found this book so funny because I can relate to what she says so easily it's sometimes a little scary. Notaro makes some great observations that will strike you as amazingly true, but she makes them hilarious too.

    Overall, this book is so wonderful because everything Notaro says is so true and written in a way that is so easy to read and so incredibly funny that you just have to love it. I highly recommend this book!...more info
  • Hillarious!
    I got this book because it was a freebie on the Kindle, and read it on a whim. I am hooked!! I immediately downloaded her other books. This book had me laughing out loud in public. It is absolutely one of the funniest books I have ever read. I even called my mom to read a chapter to her!...more info
  • A laugh a minute!
    Ha, Ha, Ha! I started laughing at the first chapter, and couldn't stop until the end...out loud in a crowd. Some parts were so funny, I was actually in tears.
    Get this book!!...more info
  • Notaro's wit, hilarious situations got me giggling
    As always, Laurie Notaro writes another winner and continues to strike a chord with me in recounting her countless adventures living in the "'hood" in Arizona; trying to sell her house to food-scarfing miscreants; journeying from the desert to the wet, lush wilds of Oregon; and emitting far too many bodily noises while repairmen are in the house.

    I've read all of Notaro's books and find myself laughing so hard that I actually have tears streaming down my face -- particularly at inopportune moments, like when I'm riding public transporation. I've never encountered another writer who can get that kind of reaction from me! She has a sarcastic wit that perfectly matches my own sense of humor, and I adore her. I'm happy she's returned with another memoir of sorts -- disappointingly, I wasn't sold on "There's A (Slight) Chance I Might Be Going To Hell." It laughed the hilarity and natural charm evident when she's just writing about she and her husband. Glad she's back!...more info
  • I'd read anything wriiten by this author!
    What else is there to say about Laurie Notaro other than she is in my top ten favorite authors. This is just another hilarious installment/accounting of the less than ordinary life she leads on a daily basis. CLASSIC!...more info
  • Lowbrow Humor
    This book was recommended for me by Amazon and was a free download for Kindle at the time so I decided to try it knowing nothing about the author. I enjoy humorous essays (think David Sedaris) so why not. However, I am glad this was free because it really was not worth reading. The humor is, for the most part, very high school. Notaro seems obsessed with body noises, body functions, body excretions, body fat, animal feces, and germs. This is such a focus of the book that I tired of it very very fast. As other have mentioned, she really seems to be trying too hard.

    There WERE 2 stories that I thought worthwhile. One was the story of her dogs, sad yet heartwarming. The other was the story of selling their house. In both stories, Notaro drops some of the juvenile attempt at humor and injects some other human emotions and feelings which raise these stories above the rest. Notaro shows to me by this that she can be a good writer when she is not being so superficial. She should take a tip from Sedaris (and others) that you need more than just some gross stuff to be funny. A little goes a long way. Put a more complete human face on it....more info
  • Funny
    I've never read any of Laurie Notaro's stories before, but I was looking for some humor and I gave it a shot. I wasn't quite prepared for the naughty, twisted chick humor, and I found myself giggling out loud quite a lot. My sister is going to have to read this book. ...more info
  • One of the funniest books I have ever read
    I laughed out loud until my sides ached, my eyes watered, and my nose dripped. Absolutely one of the best books I've ever read. It was like she had seen my life unfold and lived to tell the tale. Honest, crude at times, and thoroughly enjoyable. I can't wait to read more of her stories. Idiot girls of the world unite...we have found our leader....more info
  • Really Wonderful!
    I bought this book to read on my kindle when i came down with a nasty cold, and I'm pretty sure it saved me. I laughed maniacally. This book is very useful to cheer you up when you're sick, like i was, or just blue. I read whole chapters aloud to my boyfriend and he loved it too....more info
  • Not very funny
    I just finished this book. This is the first time I have read anything from this author and I guess I feel greatly disappointed. I was really looking forward to a funny read; David Sedaris kind of funny. I made the mistake of buying the paper version and the ebook format. I didn't find it funny at all and I had a hard time finishing the book. I think there are instances where she tries too hard to be funny and the sentences/descriptions get too long. I think the potential is there but feels somehow that the writing, for a lack of better term, is 'uncooked'. Sadly, the last chapter is the only one that felt fluid and not overly predictable. I bought two books from this author and I may brave the other just to see if this was a fluke...I hope so....more info


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