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58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2012
One of my favorite lines in the book isn't from the author at all -- it's from his sister. When Kevin told his sister he wanted to be a Director, she told him "then be a Director." Kevin agreed and said he was going to study and take classes, etc. She interrupted him and said "No, just BE a Director." And from that day on he thought as a Director and saw the world as a Director and wrote as a Director. It's a great lesson: don't "wait" to be something or "plan" to be something -- just BE something.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2012
The infuriating thing about Kevin Smith is his determination to hide his intelligence and sensitivity behind a cloud of vulgar profanity and fart jokes. CLERKS and CHASING AMY were the films that prompted me to start writing screenplays and making my own short movies, and for years I held him up as an indie role model, although I lost a bit of faith when Smith squelched his unique voice and began churning out mainstream-ish comedies like COP OUT and ZACK & MIRI. Smith feels my pain -- he's apparently upset with himself, too. But in this new quasi-autobiography, Smith writes with great pinnace about his life, his creative output, his family, and his role models. The result is an absolutely charming book, bordering on inspirational. Smith is often hilarious, but he occasionally delves a bit too far into the gutter for my tastes. (I read far more about his attraction to his wife's a**hole than I ever wanted to know, for instance.) But I couldn't put this book down, and I am pleased to announce that my faith has been restored. Well-played, sir. Well-played.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2014
While much of the book isn't new to fans of Kevin Smith, I really enjoyed reading it. The over-all message is one of self-empowerment. Sure, it has all the profanity and vulgar humor you expect, but amid the F-bombs is a lot of heart. From the sentimental tribute to his late father to the encouragement he offers to anyone with a dream, this book has it all. I laughed, I cried, and I felt like it was a good friend giving me a pat on the back, and saying "Go for it." Smitty may not be Yoda, but he's got a damn good take on life. Trust me on this one, I lost my wife to Cancer last year, and I struggle daily to find motivation. Still I felt kind of pumped when I read this. Writing this review makes me want to read it again. If you aren't easily offended, this is a great read, and fans of Smith may not get a lot of new material, but they will enjoy it all the same.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2014
As a 33 yr old male, I'm firmly in Kevin Smith's target demo. I consider myself a fan, albeit not a very active one. I did enjoy his early Miramax films, but I'm not a frequent consumer of his "brand." That said, after reading and fully enjoying this book, I soon will be a more active SModcast listener.

To say that Mr. Kevin Smith has himself a way with words isn't doing him justice. You can tell this is a man who loves writing, and combing the truly clever with the sorta crude. He's a man who had to take control and pave his own way. He's rightfully genuinely happy with what he's accomplished, and has a lot of fun telling the story. Despite all this talent, Mr. Kevin Smith is still completely grounded and humble, and excited with sharing his experience and wisdom. The book is an always-interesting reflection on his life and career.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2015
Funny and insightful book from Kevin Smith. If you are already a fan of his movies or podcast you will love this book. I really enjoyed his stories of screening his movie Red State with Quentin Tarantino and Michael Parks, how Bruce Willis was not as fun as Kevin thought he would be to work with( Bruce's reputation for being a jerk to work with sure seems to be factual and not a myth) and how Seth Rogen turned him on to being productive while smoking weed. Entertaining,raunchy and inspirational book that is a quick and easy read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2012
Kevin Smith's "Tough ****: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good" is a fun and enjoyable read that any comic geek or movie buff will love to read. Kevin talks about his life, his love of movies, how he became successful, and how he got to where he is today in and inspirational and fun way that tells readers to get a job doing things they love to do. Kevin Smith's down to Earth attitude will quickly rub off on you and make you want to make something after reading this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2013
...if you're not familiar with Kevin Smith. For the rest of us that listen to his podcasts, there's really nothing new here. Smith is notorious for revealing EVERY detail in his life, leaving an autobiography like this almost redundant. That said, his observations are free from pretense and entertaining. He clearly knows his place in the Hollywood star system, and makes no bones about it. His candor is refreshing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2015
Get this book. Even if you're not a fan of Kevin Smith. I would recommend this book if you're interested in making movies. He goes into great deal on the trials and tribulation of making movies. You'll learn a lot. Warning for some it may be considered a bit vulgar.
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on March 31, 2014
Kevin Smith's attempt at giving his life advice through a semi-memoir is really not all that unexpected from this filmmaker more known today for his long-winded Q&A sessions/podcasts filled with tales of his experiences on the set as well as in real life. Luckily for us fans of his gifted storytelling techniques, this book doesn't stray far from expectations.

In fact, there's quite a lot to love in this book of Smith's. He opens up with his usual honesty about a great many items that have definitely been discussed previously, but not necessarily in this detailed of a candor. His depiction of the events of the Too Fat to Fly fiasco alone make this book a fantastic read.

However, the life advice section of this book is one that really caused me to have some trouble with the whole. I mean...outside of moments like the issues on the airplane and his struggles with Bruce Willis on set, I'm not really sure where he's getting that the s*** is all that tough...I mean, his life is incredibly blessed in that he made one solitary attempt at producing a movie and found great success, and even with the few critical failures that have occurred over the years, continues to be heralded as a great indie filmmaker.

In fact, time and time again, what this book really shows is how he's managed to find success with relatively minimal effort, as opposed to the artists of the world who struggle in obscurity for their entire careers, working day in and day out on their crafts for a lifetime. I believe Smith may have a skewed vision of the world in which he believes that if you put your heart into something it will ensure success, purely because that worked for him. Of course, those artists who do the same but to not achieve "success" may beg to differ.

All the same, the book is a really fun read, well within Smith's expected voice. The life advice segments just seemed a little forced.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon March 29, 2012
Since I saw a headline on my RSS feed - "Fat Director kicked off flight" - and clicked on it, then (after reading the brief article surrounded by many ads) going to the Smodcast website, I've been hearing about Kevin Smith's life ever since. For a solid 2 years and change I've had Smodcast and its many, many attendant podcasts playing whenever I've had a long drive with myself or a walk to work or washing up and needing something non-musical. But having listened to the many entertaining stories Kevin has imparted, along with having seen his Q&A specials "Too Fat for Forty" and "Kevin Smith Burn in Hell", I realised after the first chapter of this book that for a person who shares everything, there's very little left to surprise someone who's been following along and listened to every story.

Smith uses his father as an example for the rest of the book - Don Smith was a man who worked 20 years in a job he hated (the US postal service) to provide for his family and then after a too-short retirement, died of heart failure, screaming. The message to Smith was clear - never do a job you hate, never have regrets so when the time comes, you won't go out in as much pain.

From there we get a whirlwind look at Smith's career, the story of "Clerks", and a brief synopsis of every film made since then. The filming of "Cop Out" and his clashes with Bruce Willis are documented, as well as the filming of "Red State" which takes up several chapters. What became known as the "Too Fat to Fly" incident with South West is detailed, and a loving final chapter to his wife Jennifer Schwalbach closes out the book along with a short note from their daughter Harley Quinn Smith.

But for most Kevin Smith fans looking for something new or different from what Kevin usually blogs/tweets/podcasts about? It's not in this book. "Tough S---" is basically a summary of Kev's career as well as a look into the memorable events of the last couple of years, all of which has been thoroughly talked about through Kevin's many podcasts. I suppose for those who haven't been following the pods this is a good place to get his thoughts on the South West incident, Bruce Willis, and Red State, but for those who have, the book might seem like a lot of re-heated material.

That said, the book's message is put out clearly - if I can do it, so can you. Kevin is the encouragement any artist reading this book might lack and, with it, that artist might go on and create and find confidence in their work and create more. And for that alone, this book is worth it.

Despite the feeling of déjà vu I felt while reading it, Smith writes so fluidly (a theme in and of itself in the book) and with such verve, humour, and intelligence, the book is never dull and having read some other reviews of this book, he is clearly an inspiration to many readers. For anyone looking for a book that markets itself as a self-help book but is really a series of funny essays in the life of a charming and gifted storyteller, this book can do no wrong. A quick read but fun, "Tough S---" is a good time with common sense wisdom amid the jokes.
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