Saturday, July 30, 2011

Bossypants by Tina Fey (audio)

Book Description:
Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin" -- Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.

She has seen both these dreams come true.

At last, Tina Fey's story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately half-hearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon -- from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.

Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we've all suspected: you're no one until someone calls you bossy.

This is a very, very funny book. 

I'm an old school Saturday Night Live fan. I watched the first season with Chevy Chase, John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd.  I watched many a classic episode in the 70's with Steve Martin hosting.  Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin, Laraine Newman - household names!  But, as I got older I never really got into the show after high school.  Yeah sure I've seen it here and there, caught some Eddie Murphy and Dana Carvey episodes, but I wasn't a faithful watcher every Saturday night like I was back in the '70's during the Carter and Ford years.

I'm still not a faithful watcher.  Even after reading this book.  But, that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the incredible talent and humor of Tina Fey.  After reading this book, I really love her!  I want to be friends with her!  I want to sit down with her in my kitchen and have her tell me more stories about her life.
"Tell me more anecdotes about your father, Don Fey!"  
 Tina always refers to her father as "Don Fey," as if in the third person.  Not "my father did this or that", it's "Don Fey did this" or "Don Fey did that."  It's never just "Don."  It's always "DonFey"  as if it's all one word.  Got it?  It's probably because he is such a cool dude, respected by all.  He doesn't take sh*t from anyone.  Alec Baldwin and Lorne Michaels are both kind of in awe of him - really!  He's also a Republican (Tina Fey is not, surprise, surprise.)

I didn't want this book to end.
"C'mon Tina, please?' Can't we hear more funny stories about college?"  or "Tell me some more stories about what a photo shoot is really like!"  Please? Please?"
One of the things I loved about this book was her take on life in general and as a working mother and dealing with all the little things that go on it with it were so true!  I can so relate to her little conundrums and problems in my own little private non-celebrity way.  I'm not famous and I don't have a full time nanny, but I know what it's like to be afraid to criticize your babysitter too!  I've been there! *raising hand* Yup!  It's adorable how she calls her nanny a babysitter instead of a nanny!  And she's the first to point it out and why she does it! She's so cute!

Those every day things and chores especially around the holidays?  Tina says things aloud - things I've been dying to say!   The way you feel about your body - particularly after having a baby or what it's like getting your nails done at a Korean nail salon in NYC - yes, been there done that.  So true!

Tina takes us on a journey from being a little girl in Pennsylvania (somewhere near Philadelphia) to head writer at Saturday Night Live to today as star and writer of 30 Rock (I've never seen it, hence the low ratings - and yet I still love her!)  We hear about what it was like for her growing up - getting her period, being hairy (she's half Greek), going to UVA, dating, her honeymoon cruise to Bermuda, her drudge job working at a YMCA in Chicago, working at Second City TV (I loved that show!), her first interview with Lorne Michaels, what it's like to work with him - and Alec Baldwin.  She's very proud of what she's accomplished as well, particularly in giving women at SNL a chance to shine.  And of course she talks about the whole Sarah Palin thing and how she got roped talked into doing it.

I'm skimming a lot and leaving about 95% of the book out.  It's short and a quick read, but trust me, it's a scream.  I don't mean you'll be screaming with laughter.  But, you will chuckle and nod your head through most of it.  She is on target with everything.

I found that after finishing it, because she had been inside my head so much (from the audiobook), I started to talk like her.  I found myself emulating Tina Fey without even realizing it.  I'd whisper funny little asides or disclaimers to nobody in particular during my busy day.  I became much more aware of things around me, as if thinking "What funny thing would Tina have to say about that?" and then I'd sort of test something out in my head.  Unfortunately, it was never quite the same and this only lasted for a few days until I realized I am not as funny as Tina Fey and never will  be!  Not even close!  I quickly gave up trying (even if it was only inside my head) and went back to normal soon enough.

One caveat about this book - you must be a woman to appreciate it fully.  I'm sorry if I sound sexist and un-PC, but it's the truth.  I just don't think guys are going to want to hear about sanitary napkins and girly girl things.  Whereas women - they'll totally get it and laugh.  I know I sure did.  Tina narrates it herself on the audiobook and it really is like hanging out with her.   She has the kind of humor and style I love.  Relating to her is easy!  Tina Fey is an inspiration on so many levels, particularly to women who want to get into her line of business.  Some of the things she discusses are hilarious!  It still boggles my mind about men and paper cups!  Her humor is sometimes deadpan, often dry and always conversational.  She doesn't sound like she's trying to get a laugh out of you.  It's seamless, subtle and magic. 

A real winner!


P.S. I tend to agree with her parents, the cover is kind of weird.


Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Gotta read it! I'm a big Thirty Rock fan yet I haven't had time to watch it in three seasons - much catching up to do!
I do love her humor.

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

I learned so much about her, I really knew nothing before this book. I didn't realize she started at SNL as a writer and then went onto Weekend Update. I had no idea she started at Second City, but I'm not surprised since so much talent has come out of there. It really is a great little book, I loved it!

Yvette said...

Julie, I normally do not read show biz autobios, but this is one I am definitely going to break my own rule for. Thanks for a great review!

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Yvette thanks I'm glad you liked my review! You'll love this book but try to get it on audio, it really makes it even better! Even if you are not an audiobook lover - try it with this one!

Yvette said...

I'll see if my library has it on audio. They usually have a good selection. :)

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