Yep, this review will be very short. Not because this book is bad, or because I have nothing to say; this book is just good and I can’t elaborate too much further, but I will try.

Jesse has such a precise, extremely detailed way of describing domestic situations, that you not only believe you are there, but you cringe as you relive those awkward moments in a past you identify with and thought only you thought you could see.

Personal favourites are the alternative Pompeii diaries and the restaurant reviews by a nine year old. Pure comedy gold.


The book is a series of stories and scenarios told with such detail and precision that you find yourself immersed in one short story and then eagerly devouring the next. It’s the first book in a number of years that I have read and laughed out loud,even annoying my partner and anyone who would listen to me, reading quotes from the book aloud in entirely inapropriate situations.

If you love smart, observational comedy, then this book is all you need.

4 out of 5 – awesome book, docked a point purely because it is VERY Americanised.


The Book Jacket

“This isn’t a James Franco situation where he’s trying to pass off his snapchats as performance art. Eisenberg is truly a talented writer. . . Hilarious and poignant.”—Entertainment Weekly

Bream Gives Me Hiccups: And Other Stories is the whip-smart fiction debut of Academy Award-nominated actor Jesse Eisenberg. Known for his iconic film roles but also for his regular pieces in the New Yorker and his two critically acclaimed plays, Eisenberg is an emerging voice in fiction.

Taking its title from a group of stories that begin the book, Bream Gives Me Hiccups moves from contemporary L.A. to the dormrooms of an American college to ancient Pompeii, throwing the reader into a universe of social misfits, reimagined scenes from history, and ridiculous overreactions. In one piece, a tense email exchange between a young man and his girlfriend is taken over by the man’s sister, who is obsessed with the Bosnian genocide (The situation reminds me of a little historical blip called the Karadordevo agreement); in another, a college freshman forced to live with a roommate is stunned when one of her ramen packets goes missing (she didn’t have “one” of my ramens. She had a chicken ramen); in another piece, Alexander Graham Bell has teething problems with his invention (I’ve been calling Mabel all day, she doesn’t pick up! Yes, of course I dialed the right number – 2!).

United by Eisenberg’s gift for humor and character, and grouped into chapters that each open with an illustration by award-winning cartoonist Jean Jullien, the witty pieces collected in Bream Gives Me Hiccups explore the various insanities of the modern world, and mark the arrival of a fantastically funny, self-ironic, and original voice.