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CHELSEA CHELSEA BANG BANG
Author: Chelsea Handler
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing Hachette Australia
Reviewed by: CK Bray
Allow me to preface this review by saying, I am not easily shocked. However, I freely admit Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang shocked my socks off! The newest tome, of three book author Chelsea Handler, pulls no punches from the cover design to the racy unraveling of eleven “chapters” which read more like scintillating short stories inside the seriously saucy dust jacket.
I had never heard of Chelsea Handler before the opening pages of her book and I spent the entire time that I read, with increasingly raised eyebrows, wondering how on earth it is possible that she has escaped not only my attention, but the attention of Australia. I mean, let’s face it; Aussies are particularly fond of abrasive, blue humour. And by golly this girl has got that going for her, in spades; in addition to, or should I say in spite of, being drop-dead gorgeous with a body like a super-model. It’s like John Belushi has been reincarnated as a Playboy centrefold, X-rated posing being yet another amazing accomplishment of Ms. Handler.
Apparently, she is the hottest thing since molten lava in American stand-up comedy; she has her own cable television program on E! Entertainment channel called “Chelsea, Lately,” co-hosts The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and appears on The View and has won coveted comedy awards and the hearts of hundreds of thousands of fans.
So, what make my jaw drop and forced me to flip back to re-read sections again just to make sure I was not hallucinating? First, let’s glance at the cover, shall we? Yes, that is a photo of Chelsea in a black mini-skirt and corset, standing with her legs spread over…her dog. As her dog “Chunk” looks up her skirt. Call me conservative, which will be a first, but this image makes me…uncomfortable.
Not one to be put-off by what is most likely a Photo-shopped picture anyway; I delved in, prepared to be riotously entertained. The entire first chapter, titled “The Feeling,” was about 8-year old Chelsea “falling head over heels in love with herself.” Yes, this means exactly what it sounds like.
Chelsea proceeds to describe, in great detail, her first experience group-masturbating at an 8-year old sleep over party. Masturbating while wedged into a corner of the lounge in the presence of various members of her family, masturbating on the school playground against a pole or knotted rope in gym class. And most outrageously, masturbating at the Thanksgiving dinner table until her parents finally said "that is an activity better indulged behind closed doors." OK, yes, I was shocked, is it altogether possible Chelsea and her friends were simply VERY early bloomers? The human body is a beautiful thing and it is important that children are not ashamed of it or programmed to think of sex as “dirty.” But this struck me as extremely unusual and pretty scandalous.
I’ve always been one to say it doesn’t matter whom you love or how you love, just as long as you love. But this absolutely excludes everything that is not capable of giving it's consent, which means children and animals. I absolutely am not suggesting that Chelsea has relations with her canine, but in Chapter 10 she accuses her gay, pet-sitter friend of inserting a finger into her dog Chunk’s nether regions. Eww! Who would think such a thing? Let alone confront a dear friend about it, particularly when there is no evidence to support such an accusation?
The other chapters detail Chelsea’s uncanny ability to spin a fabricated story into something resembling what might be truth and duping her boyfriend by insisting that she fed a ravioli to their friends bulldog and he died from an allergic reaction. She also derives great satisfaction from torturing her family. But in a cruel and crass way, swearing like a sailor and challenging anyone who stands in her way.