Book Review: That’s What She Said by Mara Altman

This is the third book of Altman’s I’ve read and like the other two I found it very funny and quite an interesting read. Unlike the others this one is less about Altman using a personal issue as a jumping off point to examine a wider subject, and instead is just a personal story.


Having spent a long time on a novel which is then rejected Altman finds herself at a loss and unable to write anymore. After a friend suggests trying stand up comedy, which she does. What follows is Altman describing her fears about performing and her concerns about her need for approval.

The narrative is peppered with little excerpts of Altman’s set, and to be fair, her jokes are pretty funny. It’s not a surprise, her writing is filled with humour and charm, and she’s an interesting, if slightly neurotic person.

As someone who once wanted to try stand up it’s an interesting read, and I admire Altman for going for it. The ending is quite neat too, with her finding her mojo again, and starting to write again.

I will be reading more Altman in the not so distant future as I really dig her style.

Verdict: A funny, quick and interesting read. Altman is an accomplished writer with a warm and funny style. This is a little simpler than the others but still an entertaining. 7/10.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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