Cool, Calm & Contentious by Merrill Markoe
Essays

70%

6 Critic Reviews

Several of her best pieces come from her experiences as a reporter on assignment, particularly in “Saturday Night with Hieronymus Bosch,” where she covered the Fetish Ball in L.A. (think latex and spanking), and “Roiling on a River,"...
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

“This is so well written. [When a book like this] comes along, it’s, like, ‘Thank you!’ What a great way to spend an afternoon, an evening, reading these essays. . . . Absolutely great.”—Jon Stewart
 
“[Merrill] Markoe is easily as funny as David Sedaris. She’s capable of manic riffs and acerbic skewering. Still, her good nature shines through.”—The Washington Post
 
In this hilarious collection of candid essays, including two pieces new to this edition, New York Times bestselling author Merrill Markoe reveals much about her personal life—as well as the secret formula for comedy: Start out with a difficult mother, develop some classic teenage insecurities, add a few relationships with narcissistic men, toss in an unruly pack of selfish dogs, finish it off with the kind of crystalline perspective that only comes from years of navigating a roiling sea of unpleasant and unappeasable people, and—voilà—you’re funny! Cool, Calm & Contentious is honest, unapologetic, sometimes heartbreaking, but always shot through with Merrill Markoe’s biting, bracing wit.
 
“This has been a great year for funny women. . . . Let’s call Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling exhibits A and B. Both owe a debt to those who came before, including Merrill Markoe.”—The Boston Globe
 
“Markoe’s goal is to find the absurdity in everyday life. That, coupled with her sharp wit, makes her writing sublime.”—BookPage
 
“Laugh-out-loud humor.”—Tampa Bay Times
 
“Not only crazy-funny, but crazy-heartbreaking.”—The New York Times
 

About Merrill Markoe

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Emmy Award-winning writer Merrill Markoe lives in Los Angeles, California, the garden spot of America, with four dogs and a man. She has authored three books of humorous essays and the novels Nose Down, Eyes Up; Walking in Circles Before Lying Down; and It's My F--ing Birthday and co-authored (with Andy Prieboy) the novel The Psycho Ex Game. A lot of additional information about her-including a long bio, goofy videos, etc.-can be found at merrillmarkoe.com. After great amounts of hesitation, she is also on Facebook. But since she thinks about pulling the page down on a daily basis, check fast.
 
Published November 1, 2011 by Villard. 305 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Dec 18 2011
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Cool, Calm & Contentious
All: 6 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 2

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on Sep 26 2011

Several of her best pieces come from her experiences as a reporter on assignment, particularly in “Saturday Night with Hieronymus Bosch,” where she covered the Fetish Ball in L.A. (think latex and spanking), and “Roiling on a River,"...

Read Full Review of Cool, Calm & Contentious: Essays | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Examiner

Excellent
Reviewed by Pamela Kramer on Jan 22 2012

Cool, Calm and Contentious by Merrill Markoe is a funny book filled with witty comments about everyday life, mothers, Christmas, virginity, and -- most hilarious to me, personally -- dogs.

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Tampa Bay Times

Below average
Reviewed by Tom Valeo on Oct 31 2012

Markoe trains her jaundiced eye on an array of topics — dogs, virginity, celebrity criminals — and in every case, like her mother, she manages to scratch the surface and find something disappointing lurking beneath.

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The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Lisa Zeidner on Dec 02 2011

The best essays in “Cool, Calm & Contentious” recount Markoe’s childhood with a mother so hyper-critical she makes Mommie Dearest look like Glinda the Good Witch.

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Portland Book Review

Below average
Reviewed by Julie Finley on Jul 08 2012

This is not however a comedic collection of essays, but a collection of eccentric musings that are at times laugh out loud funny although sometimes miss the mark.

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Yahoo! Voices

Good
Reviewed by Heather Santiago on Apr 15 2012

One review I read found her bitter, but I found her to be honest and likable, and was grateful for her insight. I would love to read more written by her.

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Reader Rating for Cool, Calm & Contentious
63%

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