Ratings and Reviews
A Spectacular Yarn That Had Me In Stitches!
I am on my third listen of James Braly’s "Life in a Marital Institution" and I’m still not sure whether it makes me want to get married NOW, or NEVER get married.
What I do know is that Braly is a spectacular storyteller in the tradition that stretches from Aesop and the Brothers Grimm, to Spalding Gray and Louis CK. He manages to find outrageous humor in the bleak (and even the terminal) while bringing an unexpected gravitas to the absurd and comic. As monologist he plays a lot of parts here, none of them especially admirable: poet manqué, reluctant boyfriend, hapless cad, family referee, and faltering husband. Ultimately — and to my surprise — by the end I found him rather heroic (though Braly never dons that mantle himself).
I’m not sure if this work is a Master Class in falling down or a How-To Manual in getting back up on your feet. Either way, I know that life can be messy, awkward, funny, and touching and Braly has captured all of these aspects in 75 entertaining minutes.
While on a flight to Dallas I started listening to this and was soon laughing uncontrollably. Pestered by curious seat mates in row 8, I hit speakerphone and the monologue spilled into coach. My fellow occupants decided everyone needed to get medicated, per the instructions delivered at the beginning. Hilarity ensues, including Dixie Champagne sprayed against the bulk head through my neighbors flared nostrils, during a particularly funny comment about curried placenta. iPhone screenshots of my iPhone have been taken and iMessaged to relatives around the planet, enabled by the miracle of gogo inflight wifi.
Thanks for making this the best flight, ever.