by Jim Norton
Norton’s autobiographical essays belong in the “This Will Appeal Almost Exclusively to Emotionally Stunted Young Males” genre, right beside hormone-driven nonsense like Grant Stoddard’s Working Stiff and Tucker Max’s I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell.
What raises Happy Endings a notch above those other books is the fact that Norton (unlike Max) is an experienced writer and (unlike Stoddard) also a professional comedian. He trots out the same type of raunchy anecdotes – extremely reliant on bodily apertures, gases, and fluids – but he knows how to turn a phrase for maximum comic effect. A lot of this stuff is funny, but oh, man, those off-color stories …. Bathroom humor is like the exclamation point: It’s effective when used judiciously, but grows tiresome when overdone. And Norton uses it relentlessly in Happy Endings.
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