I finished Paul Rudnick’s I Shudder and quite quickly I must say. It certainly helps that I had two six-hour flights and one two-hour delay to spend with the book. There’s nothing like being confined to a small seat with minimal legroom to motivate you to read.
Admittedly, I’m not one for short stories and this was more or less a memoir made up of them. Because of this lack of continuity, I wasn’t as engrossed as I usually am in a more direct story. However, with a confining airplane experience to keep me engrossed, I did find myself really enjoying the book.
Paul Rudnick has quite the clever voice and fun outlook on even the more difficult aspects of life. He can make the beginnings of the AIDS crisis both touching and entertaining. And there is plenty of more lighthearted matters for Rudnick to turn his sharp wit on – from his Jewish family and crazy aunts to New York City and showbiz. Rudnick worked on Sister Act, In & Out, and more and freely shares stories from these adventures.
Also interspersed with his funny personal stories are selections from the diary of one Elyot Vionnet. As far as I can tell this is Rudnick’s super finnicky alter ego who creates his own brand of New York City justice, scolding those with bad taste and worse cell phone manners. These outlandish fictional portions created a nice contrast to Rudnick’s only-slightly-less-outlandish real life recollections.
I must have liked this book but Rudnick’s real life reads more like richly imaginative fiction.