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Just a Guy: Notes from a Blue Collar Life Hardcover – May 29, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this rather bland attempt at the humorous sensitive-man memoir that seems to be a prerequisite for a certain type of middle-aged comic (e.g., Cosby, Reiser, Romano), Engvall tries to cram his whole life into one book rather than stick to one theme (marriage, fatherhood, etc.). The end result is 46 micro-chapters that never really deliver the same laughs that have made him a part of the successful Blue Collar comedy quartet. But there is interesting material: Engvall reminisces about starting at the bottom of the entertainment business, first as a stand-in and extra on movie sets and later playing chauffeur to some of the biggest names of comedy. But these tales are given short shrift so Engvall can focus on his childhood love of baseball, his favorite car as a teenager and his partying a lot in college. In the end, Engvall realizes that "all guys are the same," and that's why the sensitive parts of the book—Engvall's parents' divorce or the pain of leaving his family to go on the road—are the ones that truly stand out. (May)
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Review

The sensitive parts of the books...truly stand out. (Publishers Weekly)

If you like Blue Collar TV or are just looking for some good comedy, this is a great book to pick up. (Blogcritics.org)

His folksy humor...has made him a hit in the heartland...Don't bet a little plain ol' charm won't work just as well on the rest of the country. (Philadelphia Inquirer on The Bill Engvall Show) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (May 29, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312362676
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312362676
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,891,149 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. Bedford Crenshaw on June 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book was very interesting, to say the least. Engvall wrote on his life in many subsections, making each to the point without having to add extra words to fill out a chapter. From his childhood antics, to his college antics, to his start as a comedian, to meeting his wife, this was a book that waqs hard to put down.

However, very little actually made me laugh. This is more an autobiography than an attempt at humor. You shouldn't buy this book because you want humor; you buy this book because you want to know more about Engvall.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Aifa TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 3, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Bill Engvall has a great story here that many of us can relate to. That's what probably makes him a successful comedian. But I didn't find the book funny even though he made many attempts to make it funny. This made me think that maybe even a comedian cannot make everything funny. One's own life, when explained, is profound but not necessarily funny nor is it meant to be.
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Format: Hardcover
Bill is just a (funny) guy who turned eventually into just a man, Along the way, his stories of life are well worth reading. Baby boomers won't believe any of it, thinking he made it all up -- but, hey, there are plenty of us around who remember how good life was in our good old days. It wasn't money which made us somebody but family ties and talent. Battles were won by the clever, not merely the powerful. Doxies were for the blue collar workers, but not for guys who have lives and wives. The song 'Cat's Cradle' tells it in a way every father of boys have longingly wished things had been different. CS is one example but with only two sons and the younger Charles grew up to be the best person he knew, He didn't miss as much as he bemoans. My sons are learning just how much they should have responded to family affections and duties.

Just a guy doesn't mean any guy or even a funny guy who is dependable, loving, reliable and, especially, nice. The family remembrance called "Out of the Closet" was not a joke but real life. He tells it like it was with honesty, pride, and frankness. "Just a Guy" will make you chuckle and agree if you're open minded. If it seems too spacy and impossible to be real, share it with an older neighbor. He is funny and not Everyman at all, but a special guy.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like Bill Engvall. Of the four Blue Collar Comedy comedians, he is probably my favorite. (Though I admit that his show on TBS is just not that funny.)

So I had pretty high expectations for this book - something more than the book by Ron White that was simply a rehash of his comedy bits, and more personal than Jeff Foxworthy's Redneck dictionaries, and something more entertaining than a book full of one-liners by Larry the Cable Guy.

I'm happy to say that Engvall met my expectations of a book about the comedian, not a book of comedy. So if you're looking for a book full of jokes, "Just A Guy" isn't for you. That's not to say that many of Engvall's stories aren't humorous - but the book is more memoir than stand-up.

But if you want to know more about Bill Engvall the person, pick up a copy. You'll enjoy the read.
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Format: Hardcover
In Bill Engvall's auto-biographicall book "Just a Guy: Notes From a Blue Collar Life," the comic's particular brand of humor doesn't translate well. The sparkling wit of Bill while he's on stage is dulled by the fact that the reader can't see the preformance. Without Bill's vocal nuances and facial features, many of the jokes seem to fall flat. So, if yo uaer thinking of buying this book for its humor, I would think again. There is, however, a good deal of information on Engvall's life and childhood here. There are even a few touching moments scattered here and there among the debris of this shipwreck of a comedic work. Still, the book has some value if for no other reason than its look at Engvall's heavier side. However, this book should be shelved in "biography," not "humor."
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Format: Hardcover
Bill Engvall says he is just a guy, the guy that might have sat by you in high school, was in your fraternity, played in your softball league. Yup! He is just like many of the guys I grew up with in Texas, good, salt of the earth hardworking, family loving kinda of guy. Don't read this book expecting any great flashes of insight, tales of torment, or sordid tales of life as an unknown comic. Engvall crafts a pleasing tale of growing up in the sixties and seventies and eventually finding his path in life. he finds humor in almost annything. Fortunately, he tells his story in a much more humerous way than the guy who actually sat by me in school (sorry, Calvin Franklin!). Will make you smile and laugh.
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Format: Paperback
An excellent book to read and reflect about the great things in being - "Just a Guy".

Bill Engvall does a great job of framing and bringing into focus life's little wisdoms which add a smiles to our daily lives which we overlook in our haste to live it up!

Bill if you ever read this review thanks for sharing the "mundane" story of your life... quoting the great GC "... it's all about coming home!"

By the way just like a guy I picked up your tome for a buck at a dollar store, couldn't believe my luck! Would love to see another book from you.
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