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Ghettodog Millionaire (or Bronx Brown Bomber?)
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