Author: Tina Fey
Release Date: April 5, 2011
Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books (Print) / Hachette Audio (Audio)
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir, Essays
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
In this series of essays, comedian, writer, and actress Tina Fey reflects on her career, motherhood, and being a woman in the man’s world of comedy.
I wanted to read Bossypants the second I heard about it – not because I’m a huge Tina Fey fan, but because her quirky sense of humor is appealing and she seems so smart. (Not that I’m not a fan of hers – I just haven’t followed her career closely and don’t regularly watch her show, 30 Rock.). And I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir – Tina Fey is witty, engaging, and very open and honest with her readers.
The main thing I heard about this book before I started it was that it was laugh-out-loud, stomach-clutching funny. Therefore, upon starting it, I was surprised I wasn’t cracking up every minute or two. I’m pretty sure I’m in the minority with this opinion, but this book wasn’t absolutely hilarious. It was definitely funny and thoroughly entertaining, and I enjoyed every second I spent with it, but I wasn’t busting my gut while reading.
So, if it wasn’t as funny as I expected, why did I enjoy it so much? It’s simple – it’s a very intelligent book. There are definitely some pieces in it meant purely for entertainment (the so-crappy-you-have-to-laugh honeymoon story comes to mind), but mainly, Tina Fey uses the book to discuss the role of women in the male-dominated comedy scene. She talks about prejudice she encountered and how she dealt with frustration when the men around her underestimated her because of her sex. She also expounds on how, during her tenure at Saturday Night Live, a group of unbelievably talented and funny women took over the show. Tina Fey’s admiration for the women she’s worked with leaps off the page; the reader can really tell how highly she thought of her fellow women on the show.
Fey also presents an amusing and extremely insightful look inside a cover shoot for a magazine. I loved how frankly she discussed airbrushing and Photoshop. If I had a teenage daughter, I’d want her to sit down and read this essay.
I listened to Bossypants on audio, and it was a great decision. Tina Fey does the narration, and of course, she does an excellent job. The CDs also come with a PDF which allows you to look at the pictures included in the book, which is important, as Tina refers to them regularly over the course of the audio. The production runs 5 and a half hours and is unabridged.
I can’t say enough great things about this book – it is entertaining, warm, honest, and very witty. Tina Fey is an excellent writer and she has some great messages in Bossypants. Here’s hoping that she hasn’t run out of material and will release another set of essays soon.