It's Only Temporary: The Good News and the Bad News of Being Alive

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Press: Argo-Navis (November 30, 2012)
Author Name:Handler, Evan


What if you were supposed to die, but you didn’t? And what if, years later, your precious second chance didn’t turn out anything like you thought it would? That’s the journey Evan Handler experiences, and the one he explores in It’s Only Temporary: The Good News and the Bad News of Being Alive. 
In a collection of funny, offbeat, and poignant autobiographical essays, Handler moves beyond the supposedly “incurable” illness he triumphed over in his mid-twenties--only to tumble through his thirties and forties in search of ever elusive love and happiness.From bold attempts to rekindle his acting career to hapless efforts to run faster around New York’s Central Park reservoir, from bizarre Internet dates to twenty-seven breakups (involving only ten women), Handler careens through his against-all-odds existence.
Always searching for meaning in his unlikely survival, he shares stories of sadistic junior high school gym teachers, bullying wannabe Hollywood moguls, returned engagement rings, and Europeans’ fascination with American bathroom habits.Picking up ten years after his first book, Time on Fire, Handler again uses what the New York Times calls his “laceratingly funny and revealing” storytelling skills to weave twenty-one new tales into a defiantly unconventional memoir.
Consistently witty and insightful, Handler’s stories shift effortlessly from the comedic to the profound, musing with equal intensity on the existence of God and his experiences with TV stardom.
Then, just when it seems he’s failed to make the most of his astonishing second chance, Handler finds his way to miracles even greater than the ones that saved his life.
His memoir describes his journey from darkness to light, from yearning to gratitude, and in so doing succeeds as both a stirring love story and a classic coming-of-age tale.
It’s Only Temporary celebrates the transformation of a boy to man—even if it look Handler more than forty years to get there.


In It's Only Temporary, Evan Handler confronts the ambiguities of life  backward, forward, and in between. 
With hilarious honesty he reflects on the realization that we can start over again.
It's Only Temporary is a heartfelt book for all of us who are getting younger and older at the same time.Amy Tan, author of The Joy Luck Club, The Bonesetter's Daughter, and The Kitchen God's WifeIn a series of wonderful essays, Evan Handler gives himself up to us - warts and all.
To our amusement and bemusement we share in his emotional growth as he struggles to mature.
I not only laughed along with him but felt that I too had grown a little along the way.
Who could ask for more?Lewis Black, comedian, Daily Show correspondent, and author of Nothing's SacredEvan Handler's new book is simply wonderful.
He pulls you inside his life, and you come out his very close friend.
Neil Simon, Pulitzer Prize winning playwright/screenwriter of Lost In Yonkers, The Odd Couple, The Goodbye Girl


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Comment List (Total:15)

  •     Liked his first book better
  • gain an understanding of what Evan went through. I wrote an extensive review of his first book on Amazon in 1998, and received a lovely email from Mr. Handler thanking him for my kind words. The review was later deleted (not sure why) but I wrote another short one back in 2000 to make up for it. And here is why: it's a phenomenal story about what it is like to be young and on the cusp of success before it is snatched away from you. Make no mistake - this man should be dead. The survival rates for his type of leukemia in the 1980's were dismal at best. His navigation through treatment and all it's emotions is striking, and made this nurse think twice about how healthcare is delivered.So what happens when you beat the odds and have to live? You press on. And so he has, and has gained success again in the process - although not nearly what he should have. It should be noted that Evan was on his way to a major acting career when he was young. Matthew Broderick and a host of other young 1980's actors have basically had better careers because he had to drop out of the business for treatment. He should have won his Tony by now...if not his Oscar.So - the new book. Of course, it's not about his time on Sex and the City. That's only a small portion of what he's been doing since his recovery. So those looking for some insight into that character should read something else. It's about trying to gain self-identity as something other that a patient. Living a life you weren't expecting to have. It's anecdotal (most good writing is) and funny. The story of selling his engagement ring back to Sotheby's made me cry, because beating cancer doesn't preclude you from failed relationships.As a new mom, I love that he has embraced fatherhood - he's lucky he could have kids after all his treatment. And it was nice to catch up with his progress after all these years. I loved it.
  •     Once again, Evan Handler shares his heart & soul with us, as he takes us on his personal journey from conquering cancer, to his life today. And, what a journey it is! His honesty, & willingness to share his journey, is extrordinary, but in a very ordinary way. By the end of the book, I truly felt that I had gotten to know him, as I would with any new friend. Anyone who has lived through a life-changing experience of any kind, will be able to relate to the powerful feelings that he expresses with such candor & humor. As a friend of mine says, "everyone has a story" -- but not everyone has the ability to share their story in such a delightful way, & leave you wanting to know more. (And, I always love a happy ending!)
  •     Funny...heart warming. A quick read...might be inspiring for someone going through cancer therapy. It is very hopeful. I loved him on Sex and the City....great read.
  •     I am paraphrasing this review for my husband because he is not always able to write due to his condition.
  •     My daughter sent me Evan's book and it opened my eyes. Everyone can relate to his anger, joy and depression as he fights for life, success and happiness.
  •     Boring....I bought this book as I thought he was really funny and I liked him on sex and the city. However, I didn't finish the was really slow and boring.
  •     Evan Handler's keen observation of life will leave you in stitches and uplift your heart. I would recommend this book to anyone who is ALIVE!
  •     Such a nice journey! Throughout Evan's first book, as much as I sympathized with the protagonist, I wasn't altogether empathetic with my high school friend, since our lives were not in any way similar. But this book brings Evan to such a good place, and I finally feel like we have something in common besides good old Hen Hud high school! I'm happy for him and for having been SO let into his life. May he go on to tell us the story of his grandchildren's lives!
  •     good
  •     A friend suggested I get this and boy was she right! I read it in one day and then gave it to my mother.
  •     A real-life search for survival, self-discovery, and love mangled up in a direct, no-holds- barred, tragedy-turned triumph. Read it and weep.
  •     I first became a fan of Evan Handler after watching the TV series Californication. After seeing his character on there and learning that he helped write many of the episodes, I got curious. I read more about him and also found out about this book.I thought the book would mostly consist of his stories, experiences, personal anecdotes, etc. He really is a great storyteller. His stories can be hilarious, depressing, inspirational, ridiculous, perplexing...sometimes all at the same time. However, most of the book consists of his attempts at humor and introspection about life. He makes a lot of ironic, reflective, self-contradictory statements, sometimes several per paragraph. He also spends a lot of time contemplating his own shortcomings. He ends up repeating a lot of the same things over and over. It gets old after awhile.If he'd spent less time pontificating and philosophizing, this would have been an excellent book. Still, it's a decent read, if you skip through those parts.
  •     Evan Handler is a superb writer. His insight about his own experience offer you a truly inspirational pathway towards dealing with your own journey through life. Told with great humor, honesty and a style that makes the book hard to put down. Highly recommended reading.
  •     Evan's brutal honesty helped me understand other survivors that I know including my daughter. I cried and laughed and was angry and even talked back to him as I read his story.

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