Jesse Eisenberg is a full time actor and now a part time author book review

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Photo Credit: photo via Anayah Qayyum

Jesse Eisenberg is a versatile actor on screen and now a one hit wonder in the writing industry

By: Anayah Qayyum

Bream Gives Me Hiccups is an underrated and undiscovered book. There are 306 pages full of wit and laughs. There are 28 chapters and each one is a new plot. Written by Academy-Award nominee, Jesse Eisenberg. Bream Gives Me Hiccups includes a collection of hilarious stories that tackle the modern world from multiple points of view. From a nine-year-old boy to a forty-year-old woman.

Jesse is famously known for his role in Zombieland, The Social Network, and Now You See Me. The versatile actor is naturally talented on-screen and when it comes to writing, he provokes thought. There are references to historical events that some may enjoy. Eisenberg off-screen is a meticulous and shy introvert, he is an anxious homebody.

Eisenberg is clearly perceiving his own compulsions. The book is loaded with therapists and analysts, including a marriage counselor’s participation in a basketball game: “Let’s go Knicks!!! But let’s also recognize the positive attributes of the opposing team!!!” Eisenberg has said that he visits the therapist twice a week. Thus, it is interesting to see his view on the world through different people! Eisenberg has in the past spoken about his medication for obsessive-compulsive disorder. His short stories workaround with characters in therapy. In one story, an uncle is pushed to greater self-understanding by a young nephew who asks one question: “Why?”

Review:

Tom Lamont analyzes Jesse in his newspaper, The Guardian, “Eisenberg is perhaps more obviously a writer, in terms of his manner and appearance than an actor. He speaks rapidly, mutteringly, in great long paragraphs full of observation and introspection and drollery and doubt. Generally frowning at the floor while he does so…. he has..tics (lip flutters, fingertip taps, muttered half-laughs).”

The chapters are grouped by themes, such as dating, self-help, and language. Story titles include My Roommate Stole My Ramen, A Post-Gender Normative Man Tries to Pick Up a Woman at a Bar,  and Marv Albert is My Therapist.

The title story features the hilarious Yelp-like restaurant reviews of a sensitive nine-year-old. Whose alcoholic mother drags him around to restaurants so that her ex-husband will have to manage the bill. The narratives are populated with weaknesses, complicated people, anxious mothers, and therapists. All seem to function in the same self-contained New York universe. “Some of these stories I’ve performed,” Eisenberg tells NPR’s, Arun Rath. “They’re as fun to perform as they are for me to write.” There are exceptionally funny shorts like Alexander Graham Bell’s first five phone calls: “Have you heard anything from Mabel? I’ve been calling her all day, she doesn’t pick up! Yes, of course, I dialed the right number–2!”

Critiques:

There are 44 anecdotes, this story is hard to put down but once you do, you may not remember to pick it up. There is no major plot that keeps you on edge, it is a pass time book. Personally, that is perfect for me as I, as do others, have no patience for 200 plus pages. There is nothing I would change in this book. However, I notice that the people Eisenberg references to are not those many Gen Zs would recognize. Eisenberg was born in 1983, he just barely reached millennials. His dry, droll humor is that of someone with “wise old man” vibes.

This book is funny, but do not look too deeply for it. If you can’t find it, this book might not be for you. Some sentences have bigger words and some chapters are dialogue-heavy. As stated before, one would need context when reading. Eisenberg’s humor is more creative and when one would read it, they may not understand his jokes.

In different ways, the stories explore what it means to navigate the modern world, and are all illuminated by Eisenberg’s ironic wit and fantastically funny and original voice.