Author: Tina Fey
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
In her acceptance speech for Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, Tina Fey announced that she was proud to make her home in “the ‘not-real America’.” It is perhaps that healthy sense of incongruity that makes the head writer, executive producer, and star of NBC’s Emmy Award-winning 30 Rock such a cogent observer of the contemporary scene. Bossypants, her entertaining new memoir, shows that strangeness has been her constant companion. Fey’s stories about her childhood in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania are only appetizers for LOL forays into her college disasters, honeymoon catastrophes, and Saturday Night Live shenanigans. Most funny read of the month; the best possible weekend update.
To be honest, I expected a lot more from this book. More laughs, more anecdotes, more information. I knew it wasn’t a typical memoir-type book and it was more of a collection of essays by Tina Fey, but I had heard some amazing reviews about this book. I expected to laugh my way through it and want to give Tina a great big hug when I finished.
Tina Fey is a great writer and held my attention through most of the book. She has a quirky, self-deprecating sense of humor that shines throughout this book. Since I haven’t followed her career, don’t particularly care for 30 Rock, and the only Saturday Night Live episode I’ve ever watched was the one with Peyton Manning… it might seem a bit off that I chose to read this book. But I love Tina Fey. I love her character on 30 Rock and think she has done amazing things for women comediennes.
The book was good. It was full of essays ranging from her childhood to her beginnings of comedy to how she started 30 Rock. She details how she came to parody Sarah Palin and gives this totally awesome picture into motherhood, which had to be one of my favorite chapters of the whole book. Her writing style is off-beat but relatable.
The book wasn’t all good, though. There were some chapters that rubbed me the wrong way. Her chapter replying to certain comments made about her on celebrity gossip websites was distasteful. I understand Fey’s humor, but I didn’t find her replies all that funny. Just stupid. I’m not sure what to make of the chapter about her cruise, it seemed a bit rambling and misplaced. Sometimes, her self-deprecating humor became too much, bordering on “woe is me”. I’m sorry, but I fail to find any sympathy in a show like 30 Rock that has won an incredible amount of awards. I’m not going to cry with you that it took viewers longer to attach to the show, although critics have always raved it. Maybe it’s because I’m not a fan of the show myself, but it got too much at times.
In the end, though, I marked this book four stars out of five, because Tina Fey has a gifted way with words. While I didn’t laugh my pants off while reading this book, it was a humorous take on her life and the life of a comedienne. I’m just not as in love with it as other people were.
If you’ve read Bossypants, what did you think? If not, do you think you would read it? What’s your opinion of Tina Fey?