Review: I Punched Myself in the Eye by Pamela Capone

★★★★½ I Punched Myself in the Eye by Pamela Capone

Any readers out there who need a good belly laugh? Pamela Capone’s latest work I Punched Myself in the Eye is just the tonic for any reader looking for a fun book to pick up. This is a sparky collection of sketches drawn from everyday life: by turns hilarious, familiar, heart-warming and heart-rending. It’s a book the reader can dip into at leisure, enjoying the bite-sized chapters in any order. This is observational comedy in a very human style, and the reader (be they male or female) will surely find themselves laughing or crying out loud along with the author as she regales us with her witty prose.

Author Pamela Capone will have most readers calling out, “That has happened to me too!” as she tells stories of ordinary human beings going about their lives awkwardly, irritatingly, or with bags of inspiration. She has a bold, familiar way of chronicling her real-life tales that make you feel as though you have been personally invited to listen to them.

Standout episodes in the book include a chapter about the lady on an airplane who has no sense of personal space (“She was clearly an overlapper.”), the fond and moving description of her much-loved father (“He has the kind of strength that I compare all men by.”) and the story about the overnight train with its sleeper compartment ‘designed for six munchkins from Oz.’ Reading about a rather flatulent member of a church congregation is another memorable episode – but no more spoilers…

Those readers who like the author to treat them to a leisurely stroll through events may find Capone’s quick-fire style slightly exhausting, and perhaps the “one-liners” to be found scattered through the book may not be to everyone’s taste. However, it would be very difficult not to relate to a lot of the situations she finds herself in, and most readers will certainly see something of themselves somewhere in there, albeit with a nod to the self-deprecating in all of us. There’s no point in denying that a fair amount of satisfaction is to be found in a spot of literary commiseration after all.

Capone’s ability to, as she says herself, “admit we don’t have all the answers,” is very endearing, and her willingness to expose her own foibles and shortcomings is something readers will most certainly appreciate. Genuine laugh-out-loud humor is a more and more rare thing to come across in books these days, and the author takes readers back to the era of “I Love Lucy” and the kind of selfless comedy that audiences used to enjoy on a regular basis once upon a time. Effortless writing in the dialogue in every story helps to make this a smooth read, while characterization is rounded, well-observed and vivid.

“I’m all about carpe diem, I have the tattoo!” Capone cries out – and on the strength of this well-crafted book that just about sums her up.

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I Punched Myself in the Eye

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