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on 21 April 2011
Tina Fey is currently being feted as American Comedy's leading light (recently won The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor on top of her Emmys), and those of us who love 30 Rock and her work on SNL will probably agree with that.
This book will delight people who enjoy Fey's sketches. You will find a wit that ranges from the best putdowns I have ever heard - aimed at those internet detractors she has decided are worth knocking out of the park, to beautiful social comedy in the tales of her high school and college years, and this woman is not afraid of lowbrow - she just makes it funny. Funnier than almost anyone else I can think of.

For me Bossypants is at its strongest when Fey is writing comedy, and only occasionally goes into fans-only territory when we have more of a celebrity memoir. Her opinions on things like working motherhood are of interest to people who want to know more about her, but they are less often funny. But this is a very small part of the book.

I reckoned that 80%+ of this book was *exceptionally* good, I found myself surprised that her comic writing is at least as funny as her sketch and screenwriting. It reminded me a little of reading Steve Martin - you are shocked that they are as good on a page as on stage or screen.

a Feythusiast.
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on 26 February 2012
So glad I tried this as an audiobook - I loved it. I found myself not wanting to stop listening and trying to fit it into as much of my day as possible.

Bossypants isn't some groundbreaking text - it's a fairly typical humorous biography - but what it is, is straight-up enjoyable from start to finish. Fey describes her life, from her childhood and early career, to 30 Rock and the birth of her first daughter and she never forgets to be hilarious while she's doing it. I laughed out loud multiple times and kept rewinding my favourite bits over and over.

Although Bossypants is mostly fun and light, I think what tips it over from 'like' into 'love' for me is how feminist it is. Fey doesn't preach at all, but she's a smart cookie and makes a lot of observations about society's attitude towards women, that are as seriously on point as they are witty.

I'm convinced that if you want to read this, the audiobook version is the way to go. Fey's narration is awesome - you get to hear her comic timing on the jokes and it doesn't even feel like narration; it feels like Fey is personally keeping you company and chatting to you.
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on 24 May 2012
An extremely funny one, that is. If you have to commute, and have a lot of time on the road, take this book with you.

It's written absolutely brilliantly, hilariously funny and easy to read, even for a dutch speaker like me. Tina Fey is an inspiration for a lot of people, aspiring screenwriters, actors, and moms-to-be. I really felt like reading a letter from a good friend, describing what a week he/she had, she will reveal things that seem pretty intimate and make you think about things in your own life.

Don't just buy this book because you love "30 Rock", buy it to have a great laugh, and a look into the private life of what is now a multi-awardwinning joke and storymachine.

What a woman!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 April 2011
I'm a Tina Fey fan. If you're not, there's probably very little chance that you'll like this book, but then you're also probably not reading this review. I enjoyed Bossypants, although it surprised me because 1) it's not really an autobiography, which is what I was expecting, and 2) while it's entertaining throughout, there are very few genuine laugh out loud moments. It reads more like a series of short essays about parts of Tina's life, spliced with essays about her views on subjects like body image, breastfeeding, photoshopping and raising a daughter. Some of these diversions are thoughtful and terrific, others are pretty ho hum and just read like padding.

The early segments about her upbringing are enjoyable, but I was especially interested in Tina's stories about moving into comedy and starting up 30 Rock. She's extremely self-deprecating about her own talent, barely mentions Mean Girls and only has one passing aside to the awards that 30 Rock has won. What she does talk about it the male dominated world that is comedy ("only in comedy, by the way, does an obedient white girl from the suburbs count as diversity") and the challenges of balancing work with her personal life ("my reverie of quitting my job is inevitably interrupted by someone who needs me to get back to work"). She also avoids getting into any territory that's too personal.

Some of my favourite chapters were the ones dealing with her personal relationships. A moving salute to her father - always referred to as "Don Fey". The hilarious cruise vacation that goes horribly wrong that was her honeymoon. Her guilt about having a nanny and her indecision about whether to have another child, knowing that it would mean an end to 30 Rock and unemployment for her 200 colleagues.

In short: an uneven read, but one that Tina Fey fans will undoubtedly enjoy.
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I love Tina Fey. But I loved her more before I read this book. Now I know she's human and capable of disappointing me. This moment was inevitable. But still a little sad.

That said, there were portions of this book that killed me. Her "Origin Story" was hilarious, especially the talk about her scar and people’s reactions to it. Also, she is a genius when it comes to discussing everyday gender fuckery. I loved her whole take on menstruation and how she thought period blood would be blue because of how it's depicted in commercials. I loved her use of the term “car creepery," which refers to guys who sexually harass girls on the sidewalk from the safety of their cars. I love that she yelled “Suck my dick!” to some random car creeper when she was thirteen.

I loved the list of things that can be "wrong" with a woman’s body (fupa, cankles, muffin top, crotch biscuits), her "Remembrances of Being Very Very Skinny," and "Remembrances of Being a Little Bit Fat." I almost wish she had written an entire book about her feministy thoughts. She nails that stuff, like when she insists on calling blonde hair “yellow” when reading stories to her daughter because why should yellow hair get a special term when brown hair doesn't?

Here’s what I didn’t like - too many of her stories were boring or told from a boring angle or felt like they were included for obligatory reasons (at best) or just to take up space (at worst). The Sarah Palin discussion seemed to go on forever and didn't really tell me anything new. Most of the 30 Rock stuff was pretty dull (aside from the MVP jokes). She probably just needed a better editor. With several big chops and some precision cutting, this could have been a masterpiece.
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on 3 December 2014
I love 30 Rock but I thought the humour here didn't often rise above "quite amusing". The book includes the script for the first Sarah Palin impersonation, which on the page didn't even raise a smile, but then when I looked at it online, it was funny. So, it made me realise how much is in the acting - and Tina Fey is a good actor, no doubt. Maybe she works best in the collaborative team-writing system of US sitcoms and improv. Or maybe she just wrote this book in a bit of a hurry. The best thing about it is the chapter in which she agonises over whether to have another child or try to continue her screen career, on the basis that neither is easy for a woman past 40.
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on 12 June 2011
A brilliantly entertaining five hours of listening. I was not a huge Tina Fey fan before buying this audiobook but simply fancied something light-hearted and funny to put on the ipod on holiday and with 'Bossypants' I hit the jackpot. Tina Fey is an engaging reader who is extremely easy to listen to. Her observational comic style of writing really struck a chord with me with countless hilarious anecdotes - serveral stories based on what her daughter has said causing me to laugh out loud because of the essential truth Fey uncovers (a type of humour she herself discusses in the book). Rather than a book written 'just for laughs', this is well-written and has given me a desire to explore other things Fey has been involved with. The only qualm was during the later sections of the book where Fey would often repeat sentences or words which I could not work work out whether they were chapter titles, Fey fumbling her words or a fault with the audiobook. This was however not a major problem whatsoever and this audiobook is highly recommended.
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I usually ignore celebrity's books, mostly because the celebrity in question is someone unsuited to writing and is known for something else entirely. The only exceptions I can think of are Steve Martin and Woody Allen who have both written funny, clever books and Tina Fey follows this tradition by being an accomplished comedy writer and performer. Plus I'm a big fan of 30 Rock and have enjoyed her recent rise to fame through her impersonation of Sarah Palin and film roles like "Date Night" and "Baby Mama". So I had to pick up her book when it came out recently as I thought the essays would be hysterical and clever, and some of them were, but the memoir parts were less interesting.

What I realised when reading "Bossypants" was that I'm not actually that interested in Tina Fey. Sure I wanted to read about her work, but her personal life? It's not that interesting. Besides a horrific incident involving a stranger and a knife when she was a child (an incident she refuses to elaborate upon), she had a normal childhood and her struggles in adolescence and young adulthood mirror her character Liz Lemon's very closely. She basically is Liz Lemon. Except now Tina Fey is a lot more balanced and has a family she adores.

Her honeymoon, her daughter, her parents, her in-laws, random thoughts on motherhood and womanhood - they were ok, but to be honest I was bored. Maybe that has something to do with me being a dude. Maybe not. The book is sharply written but lacks the content to hold my attention, and while Fey can tell a story well, the characters in the stories never seem real, they only contain one well defined character - Fey herself.

The interesting parts in the book were what I expected - behind the scenes at 30 Rock and the Sarah Palin blitz. The interesting thing about the 30 Rock section was that it focused mostly on the writers, most of whom I'd never heard of, but Fey highlights her writing staff and puts forward their best contributions to the show. Some very funny stuff was showcased. Also we get a Photostat copy of Seth Myers' original script from the first Sarah Palin/Hillary Clinton parody.

There were some definite highlights in the book but overall you'd have to be a rabid fan to like everything in the book. For the more casual fan like me, I'd say skip to the 30 Rock/Sarah Palin sections for an interesting read as the rest doesn't hold up to the same interest level.
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on 13 May 2013
I really enjoyed the first part of the book where Tina discussed her childhood and everything leading up to SNL. Not only is she a great writer but the story itself was really entertaining and funny. Towards the end of the book though (and when she was discussing SNL) it sort of became more of a "name-dropper". Surely she didn't intend it that way but for someone that didn't know (or really care about) the names or producers and writers from SNL - it kind of dragged on. The end really left me hoping that she would go back to the witty, funny style of writing that she had in the beginning of the book.
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This is very entertaining, but in parts. It starts as almost a biography but then changes into a number of chapters dealing with a complete variety of subjects and some work better than others.
Of course Tina Fey is known for Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock and mean Girls and also a pretty good Sarah Palin impression. She is witty and this book is pretty self-effacing. A good and deserving role model for women in US television and this will be enjoyed most by people who are aware of her TV work and appreciate her humour. It is a light and quick read and worth it for the parts that are very good.
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