essays / memoir / nonfiction

Agorafabulous!: Dispatches from My Bedroom by Sara Benincasa


I had mixed feelings about Agorafabulous!. On one hand, it was fascinating to read about agoraphobia, on the other I felt like she was trying too hard to be funny at times and occasionally was slightly offensive. For example, she’d refer to people’s race, sexuality or ethnicity all the time even when it didn’t matter. It wasn’t in a disparaging way but who cares if your professor was a lesbian or not? It was tiresome.

The bits about her agoraphobia were interesting, she had a lot more going on than agoraphobia. At one point she was suspicious of all of her appliances and eventually was too scared to use the toilet and would pee in cereal bowls and shove them under her bed. Oy. After finally being confronted by a friend she goes back home and slowly gets back on track after working for a bizarre hippie couple, going to school, dating and then breaking up with an awful boyfriend, Teach for America, going to Columbia for grad school and finally becoming a stand-up comedian. It is a long journey and she still gets nervous on trains it seems (no bathrooms) but she seems pretty well recovered which is amazing given how poorly she had been doing.

I think it is worth a read if you want to peek into the life of an agoraphobic (although, I wondered if this was an accurate diagnosis, she seemed so anxious and paranoid about everything, staying inside seemed more like a reaction to that than the root cause), learning about becoming a stand-up comic or just reading about troubled young women. The book did drag a bit and again, she tried to be funny a lot but it came across as tired and stale at times.

One thought on “Agorafabulous!: Dispatches from My Bedroom by Sara Benincasa

  1. Pingback: The Perfect Neighbors: A Novel by Sarah Pekkanen | Rachel Reads Books

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