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Tina Fey: Bossypants Hardcover – Unabridged, April 5, 2011
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Amazon Best Books of the Month, April 2011: Tina Fey’s new book Bossypants is short, messy, and impossibly funny (an apt description of the comedian herself). From her humble roots growing up in Pennsylvania to her days doing amateur improv in Chicago to her early sketches on Saturday Night Live, Fey gives us a fascinating glimpse behind the curtain of modern comedy with equal doses of wit, candor, and self-deprecation. Some of the funniest chapters feature the differences between male and female comedy writers ("men urinate in cups"), her cruise ship honeymoon ("it’s very Poseidon Adventure"), and advice about breastfeeding ("I had an obligation to my child to pretend to try"). But the chaos of Fey’s life is best detailed when she’s dividing her efforts equally between rehearsing her Sarah Palin impression, trying to get Oprah to appear on 30 Rock, and planning her daughter’s Peter Pan-themed birthday. Bossypants gets to the heart of why Tina Fey remains universally adored: she embodies the hectic, too-many-things-to-juggle lifestyle we all have, but instead of complaining about it, she can just laugh it off. --Kevin Nguyen
PRAISE FOR TINA FEY:
"You'd be really pretty if you lost weight."―College Boyfriend, 1990
"Tina Fey is an ugly, pear-shaped, overrated troll."―The Internet
"Mommy, where are my pretzels?"―Tracy Morgan
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR BOSSYPANTS:
"I hope that's not really the cover. That's really going to hurt sales."―Don Fey, Father of Tina Fey
"Absolutely delicious!"―A Guy Who Eats Books
"Totally worth it."―Trees
"Do not print this glowing recommendation of Tina Fey's book until I've been dead a hundred years."―Mark Twain
"Hilarious and insightful. Laugh-out-loud funny -- oh no, a full moon. No! Arrgh! Get away from me! Save yourself!"―A Guy Turning into a Werewolf
Amazon's editors selected this title as a Best Book of the Month. See our current Editors' Picks.
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Top Customer Reviews
It seemed a little uneven starting out, but quickly transitioned into some very interesting pieces about her early jobs, her work with Second City, and then her transition into writing for SNL and her eventual creation of 30 Rock. Interspersed are stories about growing up and dating, her eventual marriage, and her struggles to balance work and family life, as well as some candid advice for other women on how to make it in a male-dominated industry.
Perhaps what I liked most about the book is that even though there is a lot of self-deprecating (and distancing) humor, my sense in the end was that Fey gave us an honest look at who she is: imperfect, stumbling, but always rising again, persevering, and continuing to do what she loves. I would say the book is well worth reading for any fan of Tina Fey, 30 Rock, or SNL, as well as for any woman who struggles to balance the roles of worker, spouse and mom. It was a good read!
Let's start with the good stuff:
- It's extremely funny. And not just "laugh out loud" funny, but "laugh *so* out loud your spouse asks you to go read in another room because you're keeping him awake" funny. If you enjoy Tina Fey's humor, you'll really appreciate this book. It's damn funny.
- It's (unexpectedly) full of really good advice about how to be a good boss. I mean, maybe I should have gleaned that from the title but I expected it to be more of a comedic autobiography than a sincere look at how to effectively manage people. And she's got some really great thoughts in this book about how to be a leader.
- Where books by other comedians are pretty much only for laughs (see: Chelsea Handler), this book also contains some social critique. And, not in a preachy way - in a very funny way. But Fey raises some excellent questions about how women treat each other, being a working mom, dealing with institutionalized sexism, and other hilarious topics!
I found myself wanting to know a bit more about SNL, or 30 Rock, but she keeps those experiences (and her personal life) at a pretty surface level. It appears to be a very conscious choice, and one I respect; you can tell she doesn't want to be a tell-all kind of person, and she's not interested in being the sort of celebrity that rips her whole life open for all to see.
All-in-all, I loved this book and devoured it in one day (not an easy feat with two preschool-aged kids running around).
My only gripe is that it's a little hard to tell what this book is trying to be. It's part comedy, part biography and part managerial guidance/life lessons. Not that that's a bad combination - it was just a little unexpected. And, at times, felt a little jumpy.
1. Her dry, punchy humor is wonderful for writing performances, but I don't think it works well in long format. She's not so much the best story-teller. Rarely did I find myself captivated by anything in the book or wanting to read more, which made me feel like....
2. She's a very reluctant memoir-writer. The tone often made me feel like I was intruding somehow by reading what she wrote. There are points where she outright says she doesn't want to discuss certain events (*perfectly* understandable.) But her stories feel glossed-over and the people she discusses feel liks frameworks of characters.
(I loved the chapter about her father. It felt rich and I totally understood who he was and how he shaped her life. If the rest of the book had been like that, it would've been great.)
Love Tina Fey and I'll continue to watch 30 Rock like a junkie. But it kills me that I'm not recommending this to my friends. (I'm not a total downer: if you want a fun memoir, I'd choose Kathy Griffin's instead... just because I think she's a bit better at crafting a story.)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What strikes me about Tina Fey is she is not unhappy and bitter like a lot of comedians. She's unabashedly in the business of being funny, and she does it intelligently. Read morePublished 14 hours ago by robin ben-chaim
shes too self deprecating, boring on ya know what a nerd she is etc...how her buck teeth or watever hindered her going to the promPublished 1 day ago by tracie
While I like Tina Fey, I'm not a huge fan of hers. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed her book. I read it so quickly. She's funny and humble and intelligent. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Kathleen
Good, but not as funny or insightful as Amy Poehler's "Yes, Please." Not that it has to be, but thought I'd add that. Very enjoyable, fast read.Published 2 days ago by Mama & Wife
Interesting read, much insight worth the read. Stay positivePublished 3 days ago by walter losiniecki
hilarious. self-deprecating. hilariously self-deprecating. good for the kind of laughs that give you a belly ache. treat yo self and get this book!Published 3 days ago by Hilal Isler
I wasn't sure what I was in for when I picked up this book. Happily, it is delightful. She's honest and insightful, and this book really reads like Ms. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Ruthanne Reid