Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Review | "Bossypants" Audiobook by Tina Fey

I listened to another audiobook! I have heard opinions from both people who read the physical edition of "Bossypants" and people who listened to the audiobook (recorded by Tina Fey herself!) and the consensus leans much more towards listening than reading for yourself. That's understandable, unlike a novel, "Bossypants" is a memoir of sorts and if the audio narration will be done by the author, then it becomes more of a conversation. If the author is a great comedian like Tina Fey, you get to hear the tone her words were meant to be read in and it makes the experience that much better.
Now, before I get further into my thoughts, here is the book's Goodreads description:

BossypantsIn 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.

Now, it goes without saying that if you are not a Tina Fey fan, or are not familiar with any of her work, this isn't the book for you. If you are, I definitely recommend reading (or better, listening to) it for yourself. The audio is around 5.5 hours so it's entirely out of the question to finish it in one day, depending on when you listen to audiobooks/how much time you have at your disposal during those times. The great thing about audiobooks is, of course, the fact that you can multitask. Granted, if you multitask, let's say, filing papers while listening, you'll miss the story, but I don't think I have to explain how to listen to an audiobook. 
Right away, I noticed a few words repeated themselves, "grim" for example, is a word that shows up in the book a lot as a way to describe things. It doesn't show up so much that it becomes too annoying, but if you start to notice it (which you undoubtedly will now that I've pointed it out) then it sticks out more. 
The book also slows down some once you get into the SNL and 30 Rock history. It makes sense that there is a lot of focus on those aspects of her career, but it does change the pace of the story. Around that time the book also turns into a sort of parody self-help/mommy memoir sort of book over a biography (though the book in general isn't extremely biographical and is more geared to let us in on Tina Fey's history and her insights and everything that was behind career moves etc.)
This book has quite a bit of sarcastic humor, and listening to it read by the author makes that even more apparent. If you are a fan of that, like I am, then you will find yourself laughing out loud or smirking at multiple parts throughout the audio. 
Ultimately, the book (the audio at least) makes Tina Fey seem so much more relatable. It puts the point across that she was an average girl who was fortunate enough to make it in her craft and has had success since, which is nice. I think a biography can easily go in the opposite direction and make people seem larger than life and this didn't do that. 
Like I said, if you are a fan of Tina Fey, I highly recommend checking this out. I think the physical book would be funny and entertaining, but I suggest the audio edition if you get the chance.

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