Monday, March 10, 2014

Uganda Be Kidding Me (Book Review)

Monday, March 10, 2014 12:06 AM with 8 comments


Uganda Be Kidding Me

Author: Chelsea Handler
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Number of Pages: 272
Release Date: March 4, 2014

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Wherever Chelsea Handler travels, one thing is certain: she always ends up in the land of the ridiculous. Now, in this uproarious collection, she sneaks her sharp wit through airport security and delivers her most absurd and hilarious stories ever.

On safari in Africa, it's anyone's guess as to what's more dangerous: the wildlife or Chelsea. But whether she's fumbling the seduction of a guide by not knowing where tigers live (Asia, duh) or wearing a bathrobe into the bush because her clothes stopped fitting seven margaritas ago, she's always game for the next misadventure.

The situation gets down and dirty as she defiles a kayak in the Bahamas, and outright sweaty as she escapes from a German hospital on crutches. When things get truly scary, like finding herself stuck next to a passenger with bad breath, she knows she can rely on her family to make matters even worse. Thank goodness she has the devoted Chunk by her side-except for the time she loses him in Telluride.

Complete with answers to the most frequently asked traveler's questions, hot travel trips, and travel etiquette, none of which should be believed, UGANDA BE KIDDING ME has Chelsea taking on the world, one laugh-out-loud incident at a time.


Chelsea Handler is one of those people I'd like to like more than she is somebody I actually like. I don't watch her show regularly, but I'll sometimes tune in and while I find it and her funny, there is still just something about her I find grating. That pretty much sums up how I feel about this book: While parts of it were pretty funny, other parts were just too much. Memoirs, especially the 4th or 5th memoir of a woman still in her 30s, aren't the easiest books to review, so this is going to be brief.

The first half of this book focuses on Chelsea's trip to Africa with her sister, her roommate, and a couple of other friends. The girls' first stop is for a safari in Londolozai. There they are taken around with a blonde South African man that Chelsea becomes smitten with (in that only man around type of way). The women drink, drink, drink and are pretty much separated from the rest of the guests. The second leg of the trip is to an elephant camp/sanctuary which they hate and leave pretty much immediately. The third part is to another wildlife/safari-ish type of hotel in Vurumba which they invite the 1st leg's guide to join them. This whole section of the book was pretty entertaining. It's a bit insane how much these women drink and Chelsea talks about ingesting valium like they're tic tacs, but it's pretty entertaining. There are several pictures of Chelsea peeing which are funny...and weird and unnecessary, but whatever. 

The rest of the book, however, seemed disjointed to me. Because the whole first half of the book or so was focused on this African trip, to then discuss a London trip and then a trip to Montana (both of which happen first chronologically) seemed like filler. Especially since the title of the book is Uganda be Kidding Me. Frankly, it seemed like she originally sat down to write just about the Africa trip, but when it only came out to be 150 pages or whatever, she said: well, let's see, where else have I traveled that I haven't talked about yet in my other books. The last chapter isn't even about travel at all, but about her trying to get to brunch with friends but her car had been snagged by Whitney Cummings the night before and waiting for hours for Whitney to come back with it. This chapter just doesn't belong with the rest of the book at all, and it's somewhat puzzling to me why it was included.

Again, there are some pretty hilarious moments in the book, and it was a quick and easy read, but I cannot imagine being friends with Chelsea Handler, and if I was, I would never want to travel with her. She's just too brusque for my tastes. While I find that refreshing sometimes, it does get to be too much. What I will say is this: she can definitely write. This is the second book by her I've read and while I didn't necessarily enjoy either, they were both well-written and quickly paced. I will also say that I love how Chelsea is all about her girlfriends. You can tell that even though she acts like an asshole, Chelsea cares more about the girls in her life than any of the guys who flit in and out. I do admire that. If you've enjoyed books by her in the past, I'm sure you will enjoy this one as well, but I think this will probably be the last book of hers that I will pick up.

Favorite Quote(s):

"A mate of mine has a place in Yellowstone Club in Montana."
 "What state is that in?" I asked him.
"Isn't Yellowstone in Wyoming?"
"Yellowstone National Park is, but this is a private ski club in Montana."
"Ahh...yes. I know the place."
"It doesn't sound like you do."

*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*


  1. I haven't heard of the TV show/book/author/everything...but I have to say the title sure is quirky! And the cover?! That's kind of hilarious. It's a pity it doesn't really flow. Ugh. I totally feel for you. It's weird when the book could "finish" but then goes off on another strand of adventures.

    1. It's on the E! Network which basically just tracks Hollywood (Kristen Stewart is looking grumpy again! Britney Spears ate McDonald's today!) and is full of completely useless "reality" shows like the Kardashsians (however you spell their last name). Australia might not get it. You aren't missing anything. I do like the cover, but I like anything that features an elephant. This one really didn't flow at all. It was pretty annoying. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I haven't read any of Chelsea Handler's books, but when ever I see her on a cover, I laugh and think what a handful she must be. It's nice to know that she comes across as caring for her girlfriends in the book. The cover is outrageous and fun all at the same time. :)

    1. The one thing I really do like about her is how she loves her gf. That said, I would never personally want to be friends with her. This is the second book of hers I read, but it really will probably be the last. Although I've heard Chelsea, Bang, Bang is the best one, so I may give that a try...eventually. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. You described my feeling towards Chelsea Handler small doses she is quite funny ~ Sheri

    1. Exactly, in small doses she's fine. I'll watch her show every once in awhile and find her quite funny, but even though I could have easily read this book straight through, I took my time with it because I just couldn't take too much of her. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. She can be funny…when she's not being a hateful person. Lol. While it all sounds like a rip-roaring read, I find the title offensive, to be honest. :/

    1. Huh. I can see how it would be considered offensive. I completely agree with your deduction of her, too. I think she is most funny when she's just talking to her guests. The way she rips on her panel/employees isn't funny to me at all.


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