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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2009
This autobiographical expose is both strong and funny and the strong parts are funny and the funny parts are very strong indeed. However as told here, there is a tragic comic aspect running along in the subtext of Mr. Morgan's life. Precisely in the way he has continued throughout it to dig holes for himself, only to then find uncommon ways to crawl out of them (high school dropout, drug dealer, ticket scalper at Yankee Stadium, serial impregnator, etc. turned successful comic, movie and TV star.)

As a result, there has been no rhyme or reason to his life or his life story. And since there is no rhyme or reason to them, there also is little left for the reader to hold on to here. His life lessons, though at times seemingly very wise and hard-earned, in the end ring hollow because his actions throughout his life have invariably countermand them: even at forty, he remains a random variable, bouncing like a pinball from one side of life to another, on his way back to the inevitable black hole waiting for us all. We know that just around the corner, there will be more trouble for Tracy Morgan, the black man with a lot of bass in his voice, and the comedian, father, and actor extraordinaire.

In this self-absorbed tabloid like expose, Morgan gives us way more than we bargained for, or needed to hear from him (His brown bomb in the swimming pool for instance. Or that his brother may have contracted meningitis by playing in the toilet bowl?). His unvarnished honesty is used like a Samurai sword, as he commits psychological Harikari by swishing his way through the first forty years of a "rags to riches" success story. And although he unmistakably is one of only a handful of our most talented comedians, this book reveals that his bright shining star is rapidly burning out and that despite this, he still remains full of himself and self-absorbed in an immature way that leaves the reader saying as my Uncle Nath used to say: "He's slick, but he still needs another greasing."

Morgan has been lucky in love, in life and in his chosen profession, which he remains committed to; and that is all to the good. However, he himself admits that he has already burned up eight of his nine lives and with many complications of advanced diabetes, he cannot fail to realize that he is undoubtedly living on borrowed time. At a time when he needs to be taking stock and getting his house in order for the final existential ride, Hollywood has so gotten into his bloodstream that I fear there is no cure for this very bright black man who has a lot to say, and has a lot left to do. Still it is a very good read. Four Stars
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2010
I was a total fan from the moment I saw Tracy Morgan on 'Martin' & my love continued as he was on SNL. Tracy Morgan's comedy doesn't usually transcend on an audience like me seeing as I am a small, early 20's, white, middle class woman. BUT IT ACTUALLY DOES! If you love Tracy, read this. If you have no idea who he is, you won't understand his humor or where he is coming from. I loved it & not only did I laugh...alot...it got really serious & you got to see a softer side to Tracy & you thought "Ok so he isn't really crazy." LOL!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2010
Really enjoyed this very easy to read book about Mr. Morgan and his career, especially the details regarding how each SNL is made. Very inspirational for any artist coming from a tough situation, and his story gives you motivation to make your dreams come true. I hope more people read this and grab opportunity by the balls. Way to preach it Tracy!! Keep on rockin' & good luck with the new movie!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 1, 2012
This memoir grew on me the moment I opened the book, in which the thing here is, I don't ordinarily read prologues or openings. If the book is really good, then I'll go back to read the forward, and epilogue, and even acknowledgements and indexes, if any. But not starting out.

For Tracy's memoir however, I read the opening, and was pleasantly quite surprised. That intro was that fabulous. He's humble, but hungry. Still, I braced myself for a rough read...despite it already being clarified in the intro that I likely wouldn't be among the sect surprised by the contents of his story. Turned out, the intro was on point. I didn't need to brace myself at all.

I like the way he repeats himself... it's one of the ways I can hear his voice, along with those call-outs he shouts out intermittingly... as in "what's up Marci? I love you, girl!" But what I really loved, and appreciated, were the props he gives to the trailblazers who've inspired his career. Redd, Richard, Eddie, Martin, and later so many others (Bernie Mac, Cedric the Entertainer...) to now include the props he gives himself; my all-time favorite comedians.

His honesty is another tangible treat, even at the corollary of having to deal with some of the rawness surfacing from bodies like Chico. Let me put it this way, before this book I didn't know Tracy Morgan. And that's not only because, I haven't watched TV or movies in years. It's because it would take reading this book to really get to know him; that being (of course) if you aren't Tina Fey...

This made for a very engaging, easy read I highly recommend. Very well done!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2010
Tracy Morgan's "I AM THE NEW BLACK" is a funny, yet heartbreaking story. Morgan's honesty is a little too much to handle at times. His honesty is appreciated in such deprecating things as being a high school drop out, drug dealer, ticket scalper, and serial impregnator. But just as his honesty is appreciated in those aspects of his life, his details in other areas of his life are a bit much to handle and do not seem necessary. Overall it is a good book, if somewhat shocking in its vivid honesty. Three stars.
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Tracy Morgan's I Am The New Black (with Anthony Bozza) is excellent! I have always been a Tracy Morgan fan, but if you are not...this book more than likely will give you a whole newfound respect and appreciation for the man. This book tells his story and it seems with no reigns. I laughed, I tea red up and at the end I was just proud of him and if he were here...give him a holy hug. He shares some very personal information about his childhood which was not all roses. The divorce of his parents, custody battles, his rift with his beloved mother, his father's drug abuse and eventual death from AIDS (shared needles), his rise and fall in school, his marriage to Sabina, his children, his time of the streets in the hood, his gift of comedy, his rise into stardom, his medical condition that almost cost him his life, his divorce, his rehabilitation (mentally, physically and spiritually), his new love, his maturity and his wisdom and understanding...he tells it all in a very endearing way.

He also pays homage and respect to those in the industry that have helped him along the way. It was nice to see that he has not forgotten where he came from and knows that God is real. He says, "He got memo on maturity four years ago." Also, he feels that he is the exception, not the rule because he feels that guaranteed success comes from education and hard work.

I must say that this was one of the best autobiographical books I have read recently. I felt like he was talking to me and me alone in his trademark manner. It was a nice reading journey that unfolded with Tracy coming into manhood after living out loud for too long. Oh and I would be remiss if I did not mention that Wendy Williams' name appeared on page 146 (gotta love it). Congrats to Tracy Morgan on all of his well deserved success and a great book. You will enjoy this book. I am calling it the 3P Book (Pits, Pinnacle, and Proud).
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on December 28, 2010
This book will not make Oprah's book club. I highly recommend reading this book when you just got done reading a difficult book and are about to embark on reading another difficult book. This book was fun and quick to read, and will make you feel good you scratched another one off the list. I have always found Tracy interesting and he book was interesting as well.

I think Tracy really did write a large portion of this book because the language and writing sounds genuine. When you are used to reading books that have been written by professional writers it is a nice change of pace to read one that is written by a comic. The tone and voice in this book sounds genuine. Whether it is about his Dad having AIDS, his time as a drug dealer outside Yankee Stadium, or rise to fame on SNL, the message he was trying to deliver rang true.

I can't believe how long ago it has been since Tracy left SNL. I enjoyed hearing his behind the scenes takes on SNL and Tina Fey. Most shocking was how sick with diabetes he really was and how much trouble he got into with alcohol. Sadly, I forgot or didn't recall the time he had a short lived show called the Tracy Morgan Show. Also it was cool to find out he was the first person to be in every sketch when he hosted SNL. Going way back I didn't remember him on Martin, but did appreciate the chapters that talked about Martin Lawrence. Additional tribute to Richard Pryor was excellent.

If you like Tracy or his characters you will like this book. If you don't like Tracy I think you would appreciate the story of what he did with his first SNL paycheck on page 110 anyway. Although, I kind of wish the book did make Oprah's book club just so I could watch her interview him.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2011
I was quite disappointed by this tome. I had been looking forward to, as I enjoy all books associated with SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, enjoying the political mechanizations that go on behind the scene. When this book came out the main story was Morgan's slams against Chris Kattan and Cheri Oteri, which was one sentence in the book. SNL got mentioned less than a total of ten pages, with the only characters he discussed in any depth were Brian Fellow and Woodrow. I mean, come on, the man spent seven years on the show and nothing? 30 ROCK gets even shorter shrift. The entire book seems to exist so that Morgan can deliver condescending lectures about responsibility and his lift in the ghetto. But besides a few anecdotes about life in the Bronx and Brooklyn in the 1980s there are few details about what a hardscrabble life it must have been. When Morgan unloads a snippet of life (losing his virginity at 12, the drug use in the comedy club circuit) there is an immediate detour to another five page diatribe about a man's responsibilities to his family. For a better, dishier book from an SNL player, see Jay Mohr's GASPING FOR AIRTIME.
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on December 7, 2012
Overall I really like Tracy Jordan, he is one unique guy. He has risen to great heights through his talents and hard work. I had a hard time getting through this book though because he will drop AT LEAST one "F bomb" on every page, and some of the stories of his past that he shares are shocking and disgusting. So I had a hard time with the language he used and how graphic he is, but if you can stomach that sort of language than you'll probably enjoy it more than me.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 2009
Overall it is a good story of his life--worth knowing. However, the language quality isn't the best. He's not the most talented writer. If you are looking for a well-written, mind-stimulating piece of literature, do not buy this book. However, if you are looking for a book for your little brother who hates to read or just want to know about Tracy's life, go for it.
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