Thursday, July 23, 2015

Bossypants - Book Review

Book:  Bossypants
Author:  Tina Fey

This title is intriguing. At least, it drew me in. I am a fan of SNL and 30 Rock. Tina Fey played a large role in both. So why not?

Further, my previous boss teased me about this book without mercy. I remembered seeing someone whose look reminded me of Tina. (It's the classic librarian look, she says so in the book.) At the time, there was a huge display featuring Bossypants in Barnes & Noble. We got coffee every morning. So, of course, I got teased every morning.

So here's to my former boss. Thanks.

The Book

The prose was not great, so I'd have to give it 2.5 stars on my scale to 5. Right smack dab in the middle. A few grains of salt: I listened to the audiobook and did not read the traditional medium.

Yet, I don't think the format hurt my experience. In fact, I feel like it may have enhanced it. Tina writes in a conversational style. Though I assume editors made modifications to account for the medium. One liners. Jokes. Anecdotes. These all lend themselves to auditory medium.

Further, Tina Fey lent her voice talents to the production of this audiobook edition. Since the author was also the reader, the listener reaps the following benefits:
  1. Timing was impeccable. Granted, this could have been due to editing/work in the studio. Listening to certain chapters of this book sometimes felt like watching an SNL skit.
  2. Hearing the text read as the author would have it read. Again, directors could have changed the text for greater appeal. Please, leave me the pleasure of imagining that this is how she wanted it read.
  3. Listening to it in the author's voice. I might have done this anyways (in my head), but it's actually reinforced. This is an autobiography after all!

The Review

It is always interesting to learn about the people, places and events that shaped the lives of public figures. Tina Fey describes er breakthrough experiences in Bossypants.

Being a man, sections of several chapters described things to which I cannot relate. I feel that I could react to these moments in one of two ways:
  1. I could dismiss them and consider the book disappointing.
  2. I could learn to empathize with and gain respect for women in society.
Either way, I did not have the option to simply laugh or read for pleasure. Gender colored some of the jokes. Perhaps a late 20-year-old, professional man was not the target audience of this book.

Chapters of note were those dealing with Tina Fey's early experiences with Christianity, the cult following 30 Rock garnered, SNL (and Tina's relationship with Sarah Palin) and the description of Mr. Fey.

My favorite chapter was the last one described. Yes, the SNL/30 Rock chapters were fun and amusing. But the chapter on Tina Fey's dad was poignant and rich. Maybe I'm just being sentimental because I am a new father to two young girls. But it was nice to hear of the love shared between a daughter and her father--even with an imperfect relationship.

Bossypants was an easy listen. I suggest you pick it up and give it a try.

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