Review: Angels, Vampires and Douche Bags by Carla Collins

I have to admit that I requested this book based on the title.  Angels, Vampires and Douche Bags is a title with a lot of potential.  Unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations.

The book separates the people in our lives into three categories.  Angels are the people who love you and take care of you.  Vampires are the people who are sexy and seductive but ultimately bad for you, and Douche Bags are the people who make your life more difficult.  Things can also be in these categories.  The whole prospect is kind of muddled and unfocused.  It just didn’t quite work.

Unfortunately, a lot of Carla’s humor didn’t work for me, either.  For example, there’s this:

“I’ve always wanted to adopt, and I have given serious thought to adopting an older child.  But so far, the only thing I’ve adopted is a British accent after a few glasses of Veuve Clicquot.”

Huh?  Maybe if she said a French accent, since Veuve Clicquot is a French champagne, but British?  Maybe I just don’t get it, but I didn’t laugh.

I also didn’t care for some of her assumptions about women.  In her chapter on how dogs can be Angels, she says:

“Of course, dog is man’s best friend, but I would argue that a dog is more accurately a white woman’s soul mate.  Trust me, white women have an unholy dependence on canines.  I think it’s because we have no inner compass: no barometer or gut feelings.  Every other ethnic group seems to have this gift.”

What the?  I don’t own a dog and my intuition works just fine, thank you.  She missed the mark even more with this, from her chapter on the importance of girlfriends:

“I know every man’s fantasy is to watch two women together.  Sadly, this fantasy doesn’t work in reverse.  No woman ever wants to see two men together.”

One, it’s not every man’s fantasy – plenty of my gay friends would dispute that rather vehemently.  A couple of my straight male friends with more…varied tastes would dismiss that as too vanilla to be of interest.  And if she thinks a fair number of women aren’t turned on by the thought of two men together, she obviously hasn’t read a fanfiction site, seen women standing in line for Brokeback Mountain or talked to any of my friends.  Not every woman’s thing, certainly, but sweeping statements like that are downright insulting when they don’t describe your views, and she managed to insult me more than once in a short span of pages.

I wanted to give Carla the benefit of the doubt.  I checked out some videos on YouTube and other sites.  I checked with some of my Canadian friends, and got responses similar to my own.  One described Carla as the “Canadian Sarah Silverman” – relying heavily on the “I’m a cute girl saying really smutty things” vibe.  I get that from some of the videos.

For me, this one was not a winner.  There were a couple of things in the book that made me laugh, like her Kabbalah Drag Queen Name (YumYum Kippur), and I chuckled a bit watching her videos.  Comedy is a subjective thing, and this didn’t work for me.  Want to give it a try for yourself?  Post a comment with your own Jewish Drag Queen Name and your email – I’ll pick one to send along my copy of Angels, Vampires and Douche Bags.

My copy of Angels, Vampires and Douche Bags was a review copy, provided free of charge.

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