There are sections in Gary Janetti’s that are so funny, one needs to put the book down and just laugh out loud ... This slight book of essays does nearly as good a job as any memoir would, although one does thirst for the breakthrough moment. Janetti is a well-known TV writer and the book is filled with many self-deprecating essays but never the one when he finally figures out that he can make a living out of writing funny. It’s too bad because the rest of his adventures are amusing indeed ... Many of the essays are about the younger Janetti coming to terms with being gay. While hilarious, they are often poignant, such as his letter to his younger self when his advice could pretty much apply to anyone, anywhere ... Do You Mind If I Cancel is packed with funny lines, wistful memories, and the kinds of coming of age experiences we all have. A great read no matter what mood you’re in.
Janetti is very funny, with a straight forward and self-deprecating style. But his writing is also lean and elegant, and he is not merely showcasing a series of one-off pieces designed to entertain with tales of his salad days before success. He has not created cute little jaunts down memory lane that show the reader he was once a commoner before he claimed the inevitable success he now wields. Instead, Janetti is clear-eyed and unsentimental in examining the loneliness and sense of otherness that dogged him as a young person, and the confusing process of finding the way forward when no clear path was apparent. Janetti is an observant writer who knows how to find the honesty of humor in dark places, and he has the bravery to tell about it. His success is well deserved.
There are some allusions to the author’s husband and his successful career but little indication of how Janetti got from the 'here' of his formative years to the 'there' of his belated writing career ... perhaps he’s saving a lot of his material for a future book. An essayist finds his voice within a hit-or-miss collection.