Although Mike Birbiglia’s first book “Sleep Walk With Me and Other Painfully True Stories” has recently been turned into a film of the same name with all the easily digestible parts underlined and classed up, the raw comedic memoir cannot be overlooked.
Birbiglia shares stories of pain and humiliation that anyone can relate to. Originally a stand-up comedian and contributor to Chicago Public Radio’s This American Life, Birbiglia is blunt and self-aware. I was apprehensive about reading something I could essentially listen to while surfing Facebook, but I did and have yet to regret it.
As it goes, being painfully awkward and a borderline walking embarrassment is my forte but Birbiglia has taken the pizza-flavored ice cream in this time. Ever since I picked up this gem, I realized I’ve been planting his wonderful punchlines into my daily stream of consciousness.
I’ll be driving and stricken with irrational terror and Birbigs’ lovely voice pops into my head:
“It had that kind of open-ended fear to it — like that feeling you get when you’re driving and you see a cop. And you’re not speeding. You don’t have drugs. But you’re just thinking, I hope he doesn’t notice I’m driving.”
The book not only shares stories of embarrassment and loss of faith in humanity, but also details his eccentric and strained relationship with his parents, his first kiss, love and his pseudo-celebrity. Oh and, of course, his rare sleeping disorder that once caused him to jump out of a second story window of a motel in Walla Walla, Wash.
No matter what you call him due to his terrifically unpronounceable last name, Birbigs, Birbiglebug or Birbibliography is a genius and the book is more than worth the read.