Merry Wanderer of the Night + TIME

The Bedwetter

Sarah Silverman wet the bed until she was a teenager, and from that humiliation she gained some of the emotional insight she needed to become a comedian.The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee

chronicles her younger years as a bedwetter and her adult years as a comedian. She is forthcoming about her faults, but since she often writes from the persona she creates for her stand-up we know we're not necessarily getting all of Silverman. The book is laugh out loud funny at times but Silverman still manages to make you think about race and tolerance.

The book seems to be a little confused about what it wants to be. Is it a memoir? An essay collection? Humor writing? I think it's some hybrid of the three. The book isn't as funny as her stand-up and at times feels more heartfelt. She makes the move to ask serious reflexive questions, but then she drops them and keeps moving to the next chapter. I wish she would have explored some of her questions more but it seemed like she didn't feel comfortable being truly reflexive, which is why this book doesn't really work as a memoir or an essay collection.

While the form was confusing and possibly incomplete, I found that I enjoyed the book simply because it was quick and funny. Silverman is a great storyteller and she has quite a few stories worth telling. I also loved how she played with the idea of a book by writing her own foreword, midword, and afterword. Yes, you read that right, midword. Halfway through the book she interjects, addresses the audience directly to ask what they think so far, and then moves forward with the rest of the book. She also makes the reader hyper-aware that this is a book and not everything in it is necessarily true but adding email conversations highlighting this. Of course then we're forced to ask if the email conversations are true either.

I read the ebook version of this and I was a little frustrated with how small some of the images were. She has scanned images from her childhood diaries but you can't even read them on the ebook version. I'm unsure of how they look in the actual book, but I'm fairly certain they are at the very least legible.

I give The Bedwetter a C.

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The Bedwetter + TIME