Monday, January 13, 2014

Review: Ham: Slices of a Life

Title: Ham: Slices of a Life: Essays and Stories
Author: Sam Harris
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: January 14th 2014
Source: Netgalley & Gallery Books


Three stars.

Ham: Slices of a Life: Essays and Stories is a collection of short stories and anecdotes from theater performer and Star Search winner Sam Harris. A gay man who grew up in the Christian south with a flair for performing for a crowd, these stories give an insight into his personal life, and life behind the curtain.

When I saw this title on Netgalley, I was immediately interested. Being LGBT and a fan of theater, I thought I'd connect to the story. Plus, the blurb compared the author to the likes of Chelsea Handler and David Sedaris, both of whom I'd read before and found hilarious. Unfortunately, this book was okay, but not the book for me.

First, it should be noted that these essays can and should be read independently. They're not in a sequential order, and it's easier to get into the book once you realize that.

I think there's a few things that add up here to show that I'm just not the right target audience for this book. For one, there's an age gap. While I'm old enough to know a good portion of people who were talked about or referenced, others were kind of lost on me. Another thing is that this book gave a look behind the scenes in the role of a performer. It's true that I'm a fan of theater, but as an observer and not a performer. I feel that performers are more likely to connect with Sam Harris's stories.

And though this book did make me think, grow sad, and sometimes smile, I just didn't find it all that funny. I got swindled by the blurb. This book was amusing, but didn't make me laugh out loud, as the comparative comedic writers mentioned did.

This isn't a badly written book, and it's an interesting look at show business and the lives of those involved in it. I'm sure that a lot of people will really enjoy it. But not every book is made for every person, and I'm an example of that this time. Plus, I think the cover is adorable, and it will grab people's attention on a bookshelf. Regardless, thank you to Netgalley and Gallery Books for my chance to read this.


  1. This looks like one I'd find interesting to read, I'm sure I'd find a place for it on my shelf.