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I Didn't Ask to Be Born: (But I'm Glad I Was) Hardcover – November 1, 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for I DIDN'T ASK TO BE BORN:


"This is a book with which everyone can identify on some level; it is humor at its best."―Library Journal, starred review

"George Booth's funny cartoon illustrations make a fine fit with these amusing essays, all written with the amiable and accessible lightweight lilt Cosby's eager readers expect."―Publishers Weekly

"The Cos again waxes funny on the commonplace happenings of life as we may know it."―Kirkus

About the Author

BILL COSBY is an American entertainer, comedian, actor, producer, author, educator, musician, and activist. Born and raised in Philadelphia, he earned a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Massachusetts.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Center Street; 1 edition (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892969202
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892969203
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,021,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I recall how Cosby's TV series, THE COSBY SHOW, reassured American viewers through the politically charged 80s. Twenty something years later, our world is that much more on edge. Bill Cosby offers us a way to step away from daily turmoil through humor. I DIDN'T ASK TO BE BORN (But I'm Glad I Was) delivers Cosby's trademark quips that the entire family can enjoy. It is family, especially children, which tickles Bill's funny bone. I DIDN'T ASK TO BE BORN reflects on how to find the humor in everyday situations.

The title comes from a chapter in the book (and his life) when his 8 year old daughter defiantly claimed, "I didn't ask to be born." Cosby's response, delivered at the end of the chapter, is classic and one that I will use in the future. I suspect his subtitle has been his mantra throughout the highs and lows with his family and career. Can you think of a time that Bill Cosby wasn't laughing, encouraging, and loving those around him?

I DIDN'T ASK TO BE BORN (But I'm Glad I Was) is a perfect holiday gift, especially for the hard-to-shop-for person who seemingly has everything. That person can always use a laugh!

I received an ARC from the publisher for this review.
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Format: Hardcover
Like most of Cosby's books, this one mostly rambles through his thoughts and observations, telling stories from his life. The book contains numerous illustrations as well, by a New Yorker cartoonist which are very funny. Each chapter has a QR code which you can scan to get additional content and cartoons online.

My dad has always been a Bill Cosby fan and he got this book - I ended up with nothing to do and I read through it. I was pretty skeptical about how funny it would be given he's almost 70 now. I was pleasantly surprised and found myself laughing throughout the book.

I do remember listening to Bill Cosby's records when I was a kid (my dad had them), and I grew up watching the Cosby show like everyone in my generation. He hasn't lost his touch and has proven it with this book. He has an interesting way of looking at the world that just can't help get you chuckling. He draws so much of his humor from his life - you must wonder what it must have been like to have him as a father!

I think I enjoyed his humor especially now that I myself am a parent. His age definitely hasn't dulled his wit, its only given him more topics to joke about! His section on the bible's missing pages remind me of that old record of his ("Noah, build me an ark! What's an ark?" if you remember). I feel like saying any more would just be trying to tell you some of his jokes and I can't possibly do it as well as he does.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read other Cosby books. They were funny. This one was ish. It's like he needed to make a payment on his Bentley, so he dashed this out. I won't comment on his pending trial for serial rape and drugging. That has nothing to do with the book...it sucked plenty on its own. Don't bother with this one, I had to work to get through it. Lacks focus and continuity. Blah.
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By D V on November 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you've seen Bill Cosby himself on dvd, you are sure to love his book. He's got alot of 'honest' humor in it and I cannot get enough. I bought this as an early christmas present to myself.... shhh, don't tell my wife. She'll take it away! Anyway, I have been interested in Bill Cosby and his work since I was young and watching "Picture Pages" on TV and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of his book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've been a Cosby fan for a long time. I still have some of his old records containing his early comedy routines. I've seen him in Las Vegas, and I loved him in "I Spy" and especially the "Cosby Show." This book left me a little "flat," like it wasn't his best effort. I know that in recent years, Bill has taken to preaching to young, at risk kids about how they should conduct themselves and clarifying what "manhood" really means in terms of responsibility, etc. I have applauded that. This book kept me asking, "When are you going to shift into "high gear" and get moving." It was "all right" but not quite "vintage" Cosby.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was looking forward to this book written by Cosby in his usual hilarious but real-life comic expertise. This book just wasn't funny. I'm not sure how a life story as told by Cosby isn't funny, but it fell flat.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just LOVE Bill Cosby! He's smart, a man of great character and comedy talent - he's made me laugh for decades! So it's hard to say, but this book did not meet my expectations. It was easy to put the book down - which for me is never a good sign.

Bill rambled and wandered. Often he'd have a good subject, you'd start to smile thinking you're heading up to the chuckle and the mark was missed, so I found this book disappointing. There was some good in this, time spent reading was not a total loss - but it still needs honing and editing.

I still adore Bill and look forward to whatever he does next - I just can't recommend this book.

Do yourself a favor, go to the bookstore and read a chapter or so before you buy it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Funny stories of real life events that will make you laugh. Everyone will find a story in this book that you can relate too. I read it first then passed it on to my mother who loved it as well.

A must have for Bill Cosby fans.
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