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Extended Audio Sample I Shudder: And Other Reactions to Life, Death, and New Jersey Audiobook, by Paul Rudnick Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (373 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Paul Rudnick Narrator: Paul Rudnick Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2009 ISBN: 9780061928727
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I Shudder is a side-splittingly funny collection of essays from Paul Rudnick, one of America’s preeminent humorists. Rudnick, who writes for The New Yorker and has written the screenplays for the films In and Out, Sister Act, and Addams Family Values, shares his hilarious observations on life in New York City and New Jersey, the perils of show business, and dealing with one’s family, however crazy they may be. As David Sedaris says, “There’s no book wiser or half as funny as I Shudder. 

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Quotes & Awards

  • I Shudder is filled with deeply funny musings and adventures that elevate Paul Rudnick to the highest level of American comedy writing. It should be noted that I would be at the highest level of American comedy writing if I had had Paul’s early advantages.”

    Steve Martin

  • “Paul Rudnick is a champion of truth (and love and great wicked humor) whom we ignore at our peril. There’s no book wiser than or half as funny as I Shudder.”

    David Sedaris, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Uproariously self-deprecating essays…Irresistible screeds against the indignities of modern urban life.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A hilarious, often touching hodgepodge of essays about Rudnick’s work and his life with his pleasingly demented family.”

    People (4 stars)

  • “[Rudnick’s] voice…goes naturally with both his self-deprecating humor and his vocal takes on the family and friends who populate his life. Rudnick adds touches of sentimentality to a blunt, profane, and mischievous narrative, ably steering between the flip and humorous and the deeply personal…Uproarious.”

    AudioFile

  • An Audie Award Finalist in 2010

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gwen | 2/17/2014

    " Some laugh-out-loud humor, but I found some stories just a bit too strange. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michele | 2/13/2014

    " I really enjoyed the non-fiction memoir parts of the book, and after the first one, skipped the short story part. I have enjoyed quite a few things that Rudnick has written on stage and screen - most notably The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, and Jeffrey, and enjoyed reading about some of the backstory regarding his work, but was bored with the fiction sections - I may have enjoyed them if I had read them in a separate book, but I wasn't expecting them interspersed with the non-fiction and I think my brain wasn't prepared for it. All in all, sweet, nice, and at points very funny. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dan | 2/12/2014

    " Bits of autobiography and fictional memoir. I didn't care for the latter, but the first and last chapters were humorous and humane real-life memoirs. Nothing here matches the hilarity of Rudnick's periodic one-pagers in the New Yorker. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amanda | 2/5/2014

    " This was hysterical! I highly recommend the audio version because he was great reading it. It did start to drag at the end but a good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 eb | 1/23/2014

    " +3 stars because Rudnick adores New York, tells gossipy stories about celebrities, has an unparalleled eye for details, and hates the TV screens in the back of cabs as much as I do. -2 points because he's repelled by and scornful of women between the ages of 15 and 45. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Keith | 1/21/2014

    " Mostly funny take on life in NYC and other topics. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kara | 1/20/2014

    " Most bizarre book I have ever read. o.O "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mark B. | 1/17/2014

    " Because sometimes even I need a break from serious reading! Having just moved out of New Jersey, I found Rudnick's wit and insight spot on. Don't get me wrong, I think the Garden State gets a bad rap, but sometimes you do have to laugh. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy Allen | 1/12/2014

    " Absolutely hilarious. Laugh-out-loud funny, touching and insightful look at New Yorker theater personalities surrounding the author, who is a screenwriter and gay Jewish observer from New Jersey. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisa Sharp | 1/11/2014

    " I wanted to like this book much more than I actually did. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rod | 1/7/2014

    " I didn't finish the book. He was too cynical for my taste. There was too much anger in his humor. Good writer. I guess I was in the wrong mood for the book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 12/26/2013

    " Not quite Sedaris, but amusing so far....really funny insider stories. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Terry Perrel | 12/10/2013

    " Twenty pages in and it's funny in a Pocono resort kind of way. Of course, the early section dealt with an early time and some family member now dead. I'll post more when I finish this collection of humorous essays on life a la D. Sedaris. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alexander | 12/9/2013

    " More or less a decent collection of essays. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eileen Lennon | 11/17/2013

    " Short funny essays. It's all I can handle these days. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wils Cain | 8/19/2013

    " From the man that brought the screenplays for Sister Act and In and Out, Rudnick delivers stories around those and other movies, his crazy aunts and extended family, and of course, life in NJ. A very funny read, which delivered many laugh out loud moments. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peacegal | 5/5/2013

    " This humorous memior is similiar in tone to Sedaris's work, and actually surpasses many of his less consistent later books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Yak | 2/25/2013

    " Amusing collection of autobiographical stories (interspersed with fictional diary entries by the world's most tasteful man) by a gay New York playwright/screenwriter. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jilly | 1/10/2013

    " semi-funny. not as good as david sedaris "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Annie Johnson | 11/25/2012

    " Was hoping this book would be much better since David Sedaris, who I love, said such good things about it. However, I wasn't as impressed. It was okay, but not great. What I was hoping for was another David Sedaris book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 3/25/2012

    " This book is varied, but enjoyable. Some essays had me laughing out loud, some were kind of forgettable. They are fantastic if you like stories about bizarre, mostly gay, New Yorkers. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mark Magee | 3/16/2012

    " Humorous, funny parts, some parts went slowly though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 MK | 3/7/2012

    " This man is responsible for writing Addams Family Values and coming up with the concept for Sister Act. Enough said. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Meg | 12/16/2011

    " Liked the essays about him, didn't care as much for the Vionnet fiction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lea | 5/16/2011

    " all gossip, really, without much substance. Very nice light read (listen), and I enjoyed the alternate personality stories as well. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Monica | 5/12/2011

    " Some of it is really, really funny. Great writing. Couldn't get into all of it, though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 MK | 4/22/2011

    " This man is responsible for writing Addams Family Values and coming up with the concept for Sister Act. Enough said. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 2/3/2011

    " The first few essays/stories (it's a little of both) weren't very funny, but the second half of the book is RIDICULOUS---I was laughing outloud on the train, a ton. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tracy | 11/22/2010

    " Not all that good, especially the fiction parts. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Betty410 | 10/21/2010

    " Some of the situations and interplay with people were amusing but I could not even begin to be able to identify with show biz folks. I must be too mid-western (or too old) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aja | 9/7/2010

    " Maybe it is the Jersey in me, but this book actually made my laugh out loud. A collection of stories featuring the author and excerpts from the diary of a funny, self-absorbed, well-dressed, murderous man this book will go quickly and warm your Jersey sensbilites. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cindysnoel | 8/10/2010

    " Loved this book. he is my food hero. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beverly | 7/17/2010

    " Some hilarious essays, and a couple of not so funny ones. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jana | 5/28/2010

    " Over the top and eventually just too much -- sort of David Sedaris of the entertainment business interspersed with chapters of a really stupid pretend memoir. I stopped listening halfway through. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rod | 5/6/2010

    " I didn't finish the book. He was too cynical for my taste. There was too much anger in his humor. Good writer. I guess I was in the wrong mood for the book "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Yak | 4/26/2010

    " Amusing collection of autobiographical stories (interspersed with fictional diary entries by the world's most tasteful man) by a gay New York playwright/screenwriter. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mark B. | 3/20/2010

    " Because sometimes even I need a break from serious reading! Having just moved out of New Jersey, I found Rudnick's wit and insight spot on. Don't get me wrong, I think the Garden State gets a bad rap, but sometimes you do have to laugh. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Adamkassim | 3/17/2010

    " I did laugh out loud a couple of times while reading this book, but eventually, it became a chore to read. "

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About the Author
Author Paul Rudnick

Paul Rudnick is a celebrated playwright, screenwriter, and novelist. His plays include I Hate Hamlet, Jeffrey, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, and Valhalla, and his screenplays include In & Out, Sister Act, and Addams Family Values. He also writes regularly for the New Yorker. Born in Piscataway, New Jersey, he now lives in New York City.