Bossypants by Tina Fey
Digital Audiobook narrated by Tina Fey
Published by Reagan Arthur Books on April 5, 2011
Genres: Autobiography, Biography, Humor, Memoir, Non-Fiction
Length: 277 pages or 5 hours, 32 minutes
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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 halfhearted 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.
You know when you pick up a memoir because you REALLY like a celebrity and you’ve REALLY enjoyed some piece of their work and you’re REALLY hoping that when they talk about their lives, you can relate because of how much you’ve related to their work? (Holy run-on sentence, Batman).
This was how I felt about Bossypants.
I love, love, LOVE 30 Rock. Liz Lemon’s hot mess spoke to my soul. And I was positively terrified to read her memoir because 50% of all the memoirs I’ve read have disappointed me. Which is fine, but the way. Memoirs do not exist to coddle to my pre-determined image of a person off camera (Yes, Please) or validate my love of a song (Sounds Like Me).
Fortunately for my selfish soul, I loved everything that was Bossypants.
Firstly, you need to be ready for Tina Fey’s sense of humor. She’s very sarcastic and very disparaging. And honestly? That’s right up my alley. Also I’d like this opportunity to definitely NOT apologize for the slew of 30 Rock GIFs that I will be peppering throughout this review. Tina Fey has just the right way of saying very true things in a way that made me laugh and made me feel like a little less of a grumpy, awkward peon in the world of the elite. I love it and Bossypants is one of the most fun memoirs I’ve read, while still containing feminist rants, ship fires, and self-confessed marginalization.
I like celebrity memoirs because they break down people that our cultures hold up like gods, and make them feel human. The stories and essays Tina Fey chooses to share are carefully curated and show her humble roots and her discomfort in her new world. Is she an unreliable narrator? Who knows! But I like to think she is not. Tales of her first (very non-glamorous) job or completely misunderstanding of the college flirtation dynamic were things that I could relate to, and I definitely cozied in for the rest of her tale.
Her voice is funny, but it helps to know when she’s being sarcastic. I don’t know that everyone will get her thread of commentary as Not Completely Serious. This isn’t a criticism on Bossypants or Tina Fey… it’s more an observation of my own experience as someone with a snarky, sarcastic, self-disparaging voice. The memoir as a whole manages to remain funny without ever feeling like a stand-up session. She uses her platform to talk about her mistakes and council against them, and to have some social commentary. I love the balance and respect her skill and weaving humor with important messages. But, then again, Tina Fey is a comedy writer.
It’s a short book, an easy one to read in one session. I think enjoying some part of her work is a prerequisite – Tina discusses 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live, as well as her college experience and a little about her time with Second City in Chicago. She offers a story or two featuring her husband and a sliver of her parenting experience (her daughter’s third birthday, and her experience breastfeeding), but Bossypants draws mostly from Tina’s professional experience and her childhood or internal monologues. So if you’re looking for a peek behind the scenes into a celebrity’s daily life, you probably won’t find what you’re looking for here.
If you’re like me, and you LOVE some of Tina Fey’s work – whether it’s Liz Lemon or Sarah Palin or something else – you will enjoy this memoir. I loved it, but it’s hard for me to say WHY beyond saying that I like her sense of humor and found some of the stories relatable, and it made me laugh.
So. If you like Tina Fey, you’ll like this.
Please tell me someone else out there is a 30 Rock fan. If you are one, hollah in the comments! Where my people at?