Lizz Free or Die by Lizz Winstead

62%

12 Critic Reviews

Intermittently interesting—if only there were more evidence of the “observational humor” through which the author long made a living.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Lizz Winstead, co-creator of The Daily Show and one of today's most hilarious comedians and insightful social critics, pens a brilliant account of how she discovered her comedic voice.

In this collection of autobiographical essays, Winstead vividly recounts how she fought to find her own voice, both as a comedian and as a woman, and how humor became her most powerful weapon in confronting life's challenges.

Growing up in the Midwest, the youngest child of conservative Catholic parents, Winstead learned early in her life that the straightforward questions she posed to various authority figures around her-her parents, her parish priest, even an anti-abortion counselor -prompted many startled looks and uncomfortable silences, but few answers. Her questions rattled people because they exposed the inconsistencies and hypocrisies in the people and institutions she confronted. Yet she didn't let that stop her from pursuing her dreams.

Funny and biting, honest and poignant, this no-holds-barred collection gives an in-depth look into the life of one of today's most influential comic voices. In writing about her childhood longing to be a priest, her role in developing The Daily Show, and of her often problematic habit of diving into everything head first, asking questions later (resulting in multiple rescue-dog adoptions and travel disasters), Lizz Winstead has tapped an outrageous and heartfelt vein of the all-too-human comedy.

 

About Lizz Winstead

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LIZZ WINSTEAD is the co-creator and former head writer of The Daily Show and one of the founders of Air America Radio. She has been cited by Entertainment Weekly as one of the magazine's 100 Most Creative People and frequently appears on MSNBC , CNN , and Comedy Central. She lives in Brooklyn.
 
Published May 10, 2012 by Riverhead Books. 333 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Lizz Free or Die
All: 12 | Positive: 7 | Negative: 5

Kirkus

Below average
on Mar 15 2012

Intermittently interesting—if only there were more evidence of the “observational humor” through which the author long made a living.

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Publishers Weekly

Below average
on Jan 30 2016

The collection is inconsistent, and Winstead acknowledges that the book is an experiment of sorts, but frankness about your intentions and experience doesn't save you from the duds.

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Publishers Weekly

Below average
May 21 2012

Winstead acknowledges that the book is an experiment of sorts, but frankness about your intentions and experience doesn't save you from the duds.

Read Full Review of Lizz Free or Die | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Star Tribune

Below average
Reviewed by NEAL JUSTIN on May 12 2012

But just when Winstead seems about to deliver the goods, she retreats...Winstead proves that she's got a writer's touch. I just wish she would have applied it with claws.

Read Full Review of Lizz Free or Die | See more reviews from Star Tribune

AV Club

Below average
Reviewed by Phil Dyess-Nugent on May 28 2012

Winstead comes across as the prototype for the stereotypical smug, self-congratulatory celebrity liberal whom smug, self-congratulatory celebrity conservatives love to complain about

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The Spit Take

Excellent
Reviewed by Nick Zaino III

The humor is dark but loving, with a wonderful payoff (thanks to her father’s sense of humor). Winstead shows a deft touch in capturing compelling details

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Bust Magazine

Excellent
Jun 15 2012

the writing is breezy and the stories are as poignant as they are funny

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The Progressive Populist

Excellent
Reviewed by Heather Seggel on Aug 15 2012

it’s both sweet and empowering to watch this girl who constantly erred on the side of the inappropriate grow into a woman who makes a living at it. We should all be so lucky, and brave, as to Lizz free or die.

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Between The Covers

Good
Reviewed by Heather on May 11 2012

This book is hilarious. Lizz Winstead is a comedic genius who had me laughing from beginning to end; even the essays about the loss of her parents had me laughing through the teary-eyed sadness of their deaths.

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Entertainment Realm

Good
Reviewed by Amy Steele on Jun 10 2012

The essays are poignant, humorous, enlightening and insightful.

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The District Of Columbaloney

Good
Jul 09 2012

Most memoirs by famous people have that patronizing “I was just a Joe Schmoe but I worked hard and you can too” schtick that is obvious BS. Winstead makes it clear that she had plenty of fumbles and major embarrassment on the way to her success

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The Political Carnival

Good
Reviewed by GottaLaff on May 20 2012

I could hear her voice, her intonations, see her eye rolls and her tears. It’s a cozy, quirky, poignant, funny, personal, frank, heartbreaking, raw, intelligent, outspoken, sometimes even jaw-dropping account of the highs and lows of Lizz’s life

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Reader Rating for Lizz Free or Die
88%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 147 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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