Title: Ali in Wonderland: And Other Tall Tales
Author: Ali Wentworth
Release Date: February 7, 2012
Publisher: Print: Harper / Audio: HarperAudio
Genre: Memoir, Non-Fiction, Essays, Audiobook
Rating: 4 out of 5
Ali Wentworth is an actress and comedian; she is the daughter of political journalists and her mother served as President Reagan’s social secretary. She is married to George Stephanopoulos, former staffer for President Clinton and current host of This Week on ABC and Good Morning America. In this memoir, Wentworth recounts her childhood in Washington, DC, her life as a struggling actress in LA, and her marriage to Stephanopoulos.
Ali in Wonderland: And Other Tall Tales isn’t exactly a memoir. Instead, it’s a collection of stories about Ali’s life, told roughly in chronological format. The reader is granted a peek into Ali’s privileged upbringing through her memoir, but it’s certainly not a tell-all. Instead, Ali shares some of the funnier and more zany stories about her life, and she isn’t afraid to embarrass herself and those around her in her quest for a giggle.
I consumed Ali in Wonderland as an audiobook, and I believe it had a significant impact on how I view the book. Ali Wentworth was the narrator, and she did a wonderful job with it. Hearing her share some of her most personal stories made me feel as if she were sitting in the room with me chatting. It was a very effective medium for this book, and I highly recommend it. I’m not sure I would have had the same experience, had I read it in print. The audiobook is unabridged and runs just over 5 hours.
Ali’s tone is light and funny; it’s clear she wants you to laugh through her memoir. And, luckily, that’s very easy to do because she’s so engaging. Ali did grow up with money, and while she doesn’t flaunt that, she doesn’t try to hide it either. More than one of her stories centers around the fact that her family had money, so if you’re sensitive to this, you may want to steer clear. If you’re happy to laugh along with her, though, one of my favorite stories in the collection was how, after anything bad happened to her, Ali took her mother’s advice and checked into the Four Seasons hotel.
If you take offense easily, I wouldn’t recommend this book just because you may not find it funny. However, if you love books (especially audiobooks!) that will make you laugh and you enjoy personal stories, you should give Ali in Wonderland a chance. I’ll admit that I had no idea who Ali Wentworth was prior to picking up this book, but that didn’t stop me from thoroughly enjoying her memoir. Now that I know who she is, I’ll make it a point to seek her material out from now on.