Friday, October 28, 2011

Bossypants by Tina Fey — 288 pgs

In this jovial and unabashed new memoir from Saturday Night Live alum Tina Fey, the actress and writer shares a host of hilarious stories about her family, her early life and friendships, and her eventual rise to fame in the television industry. Tina tells her history with a wry and self deprecating verve that makes every revelation seem as if she is herself performing the acts of her life to a eager and playful audience. Whether she’s sharing her memories of her zany experiences at theater camp or giving us the lowdown on her farcical beauty regimen, Tina’s wry and unaffected delivery will have even those readers who are comically challenged wiping away tears of laughter. This isn’t your standard memoir that shares the linear progression of a life; rather it’s a collection of witty and punchy anecdotes of a woman who is unrepentantly amusing and down to earth.

This was a book I chose to experience on audio, as I had heard that Fey narrated the audio version herself, and I have to conclude that I made the right choice. One of the things I most loved about the book was that Fey’s delivery was spot on throughout. She never devolved into yelling or using over the top voices, which is something I really appreciated. She told her story with a matter of fact tone that was not only winning but made the story easy to relate to, despite the worlds of difference between my life and hers. I liked her style a lot, and think that if you choose to read this book, the audio is definitely the way to go. Fey is wise and witty and chats with her readers in a very convivial and conversational way, making these stories seem like they’re being shared by a close girlfriend instead of a major television star.

So, was it funny? Oh my gosh, yes! A lot of the time I was listening to this book, I had a big dumb goofy grin on my face, or was giggling. I took this audiobook to the store with me while I went about my grocery shopping business and I got the weirdest looks from people because I was bobbing my head along with glee at Tina’s remembrances and truisms. I found her stories to be wacky and strange, but they never came near that invisible line that crosses into contrivance. There were so many things to enjoy with this book, but one of my favorite chapters had to do with the strange coolness of her father, Don Fey. I also liked the bits about her stint at theater camp and her first job experience working at the front desk of the Y. The section on her honeymoon experiences on a cruise almost made me wet my pants. It was all funny and told with a simplicity and straightforwardness that highlighted just how naturally funny Tina Fey really is. I had worried a bit that the book would get tiresome and be somewhat over-the-top, but it all played out just perfectly.

Though the book didn’t really tell the story of Tina’s life in the way most would expect, it did relate anecdotes her childhood, teenage years and adulthood, and it did so with the unmistakable zest of a woman who isn’t afraid to laugh at herself and the people around her. Fey was never cruel though, and I appreciated that. Many of the people she chooses to highlight in her stories were people who had some kind of substantial impact on her life. There’s even a brief skit that comes directly from Saturday Night Live that showcases Tina playing the ubiquitous role of Sarah Palin and Amy Poehler playing Hillary Clinton. It was utterly hilarious.

If you’re the type of reader who shies away from audiobooks, I would recommend you take a chance on this one. It’s very easy to listen to and laugh along with, and it’s broken up into small parts that are very easy to digest when you only have a few minutes to spare for listening. It’s also funny as all get out and had me in stitches and wanting to share quotes with
everyone I encountered. I loved this book, and would have to heartily recommend it to those readers who love well timed comedy, or for those who are interested, even tangentially, in Fey’s life.

28 comments:

Pam (@iwriteinbooks) said...

I know you were worried about doing this justice but this is a great, spot on review. Fabulous. :O)

Kaye said...

Wonderful review! Normally memoirs and I don't play well together nor am I a fan of audiobooks but your review made me want to go get this one right now!!

bermudaonion said...

I hate that I experienced this one in print. Not that it wasn't good that way, it sounds like it was so much better on audio. I loved her honeymoon story too!

Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

I will check for this on audio at the library. It would be perfect for those quick trips in the car. Thanks for the recommendation. I really hadn't given this book much thought until now. Great review!

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

After I started reading this one in print, I wished I'd gone the audiobook route...especially once I realized that Tina Fey herself was the narrator. I'm still reading this one right now...but just in snippets...this is the one I have in my car for the pick-up line :)

Alison's Book Marks said...

Don Fey!

I listened to this audiobook on my way to BEA in May and as much as I was looking forward to my destination, it made the traffic getting into the city almost welcomed!

Glad you enjoyed it!

Don Fey!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

So glad to hear you loved this. I can't wait to listen to it!

Amy said...

I'm not an audio book person but I can see how this one would work so much better that way. We have along car trip coming up around Thanksgiving. Maybe I need to download this to the iPod. Thanks for the idea!

Mrs Q Book Addict said...

Great review! I don't really like Tina Fey, I don't watch much tv or movies. Glad your enjoyed this one.

nomadreader said...

I'm a huge Tina Fey fan, and I just heard it's finally my turn for this one at the library. I cannot wait!

Sandy Nawrot said...

I don't watch 30 Rock, and I'm not a big SNL fan either. But this woman is a pop icon. She is impossible not to know, and after listening to the audio, to love. She is so grounded, and is such a role model for working moms. I just have to wonder...would she be just as funny if she were talking about my life? I think she could make just about anything funny.

Harvee said...

I'll have to get this audio for my next road trip! Great review!

Kathy said...

I also listened and loved this one. Great review as always!

Suko said...

I'm glad you enjoyed this audiobook. She is a very funny actress. Date Night is hilarious!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I thought this was a fun audio book, however, I would have liked to know a lot more about her than what was told.

Jenny said...

I do sort of shy away from audiobooks, but much more than I shy away from audiobooks, I love Tina Fey. She is fantastic.

Jenny said...

I'm so glad you liked this! I think Tina Fey is hilarious. The part on the cruise had me laughing so much (as did the other parts). I read this in print but I might listen to the audio too.. I think it would make an entertaining car ride!

Trisha said...

I love books that make me laugh out loud, so I may have to cave and get this one.

TheBookGirl said...

I have a friend who read this one and purposely stretched it out because she didn't want it to end. The audio version as you describe sounds like it would be the perfect thing to listen to when I take my exercise walks...I'm sure it will make the time fly by.

Aths said...

I'm listening to this in the car right now, but it will be a while before I get back to it, since I don't have any long trips planned in the near future. But I'm glad to hear that you loved it. I was pretty much laughing too in the car, they are definitely great to listen to than to read on print.

Ryan said...

I have been meaning to read this since I heard Terry Gross' interview with with Tina Fey when the book first came out. Thanks for reminding me!

Aarti said...

Oh, I have a print version of this book, but maybe I should go for the audio! I am generally not a big audiobook fan, though. Oh, decisions, decisions!

Marie said...

I just got word that my reservation on this audio came in- so I HAVE to go pick it up Monday and start! Sounds awesome. everyone has loved this.

Stacy at A Novel Source said...

I am going to have to break down and get this one! Another one if you haven't heard of it yet is Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? I've been dying to get ahold of her book - she introduced it at BEA and I was doubled-over laughing at times! Thanks for the review of Tina Fey's book - will get the audio and put it in my car for those times I need to drown out the teenagers!

Jenners said...

I agree with you 100% that audio is the way to go with this one. I really enjoyed this one as well. I wish Tina Fey was my friend!

Lisa said...

Sounds like going the audio route with this one was definitely a wise choice, especially with Fey narrating. I may have to try the audio version myself.

Darlene said...

I'm embarrassed to even say this but I didn't even know who she was until right now although I've seen the book everywhere lately. Lol. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

Loved, loved, loved this book - yes, I listened to the audio, too.

Excellent review, Heather; Tina Fey is smart, funny, and not at all over-the-top!

Post a Comment

 
Blogger Template by Delicious Design Studio