I guess you could say reading is my addiction.
I absolutely love a good book and enjoy all different types of literature, from suspense and adventure novels to autobiographies and memoirs to romance and young adult. I love exploring new authors and falling in love with a series that either keeps me up from midnight to my next baby feeding (thank you, “Hunger Games,” by Suzanne Collins!) or keeps me thinking about it long after I’ve read the last page (such as “The Shadow of the Wind,” by Carlos Ruiz Zafron). I’ve read enough and expanded my horizons enough to have gained an appreciation for good literature.
Many of the books I read now I discover on my Kindle home page. There’s usually a list of New York Times bestsellers, and lately I’ve been hearing quite a bit about Tina Fey’s new book, “Bossypants.” So, I decided to download a sample and see how I liked it.
I actually did, initially. A lot!
For about the first 10 pages or so, I was laughing out loud at Fey’s classic, quirky – if a little crude and usually self-deprecating – humor. It was interesting, mildly chaotic and fabulously Fey. I was hooked and purchased a copy without hesitation.
How I wish I hadn’t.
Almost immediately after the first few sample pages, my facial reactions to her brassy sense of humor changed from slightly raised eyebrows to jaw-dropping. And because I had bought this book on my Kindle, I didn’t have the luxury of flipping through to see if there were any parts that were “iffy” or unappealing ahead of time. That’s supposed to be the point of downloading a sample. I had also taken the time to do some research online and didn’t remember reading anything about Fey’s potty mouth or how uncomfortably descriptive she was about, well, personal, girly things. If you catch my drift.
So my first reaction was disappointment. I know who Tina Fey is, her incredible talents as producer of the hit TV show “30 Rock,” her genius behind so many “Saturday Night Live” skits (especially her uncanny impression of Sarah Palin), but even as huge of a comedic star as she is, I have one frustrating question: Why does it always have to come down to dirty, vulgar, crude humor?
Besides her discussing things that may be viewed as controversial, Fey’s vocabulary went straight down the gutter and remained there for the rest of the book. I’ve never seen the f-word used so many times in not so very many pages. Bold and brassy and liberal can definitely be used to describe Fey’s writing style. Clean and classy and conservative? Not so much, although that was probably to be expected.
I do think Fey is one talented and creative woman who has shattered the stereotypical female comic role of playing the ditzy or dumb or silly type. She has a way of relating to the average woman in a hilarious and strangely endearing way; however, I did not think there was anything remotely endearing about “Bossypants.”
Also, this book is apparently claiming the title “memoir,” but there are very few personal revelations from Fey. She brushes over important details of her life and childhood, completely ignoring any type of plea for feminine decency and propriety. I really don’t know why A-list women in Hollywood feel they need to push the inappropriate envelope as far as it will go these days, but I, for one, am sick of it. I don’t believe you need to settle for the sleazy in order to get a laugh.
Have you read “Bossypants?” What were your thoughts and feelings about the book? Was it what you expected from Tina Fey? Have you been let down by a book you’ve read recently for one reason or another?