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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 29 March 2012
Since I saw a headline on my RSS feed - "Fat Director kicked off flight" - and clicked on it, then (after reading the brief article surrounded by many ads) going to the Smodcast website, I've been hearing about Kevin Smith's life ever since. For a solid 2 years and change I've had Smodcast and its many, many attendant podcasts playing whenever I've had a long drive with myself or a walk to work or washing up and needing something non-musical. But having listened to the many entertaining stories Kevin has imparted, along with having seen his Q&A specials "Too Fat for Forty" and "Kevin Smith Burn in Hell", I realised after the first chapter of this book that for a person who shares everything, there's very little left to surprise someone who's been following along and listened to every story.

Smith uses his father as an example for the rest of the book - Don Smith was a man who worked 20 years in a job he hated (the US postal service) to provide for his family and then after a too-short retirement, died of heart failure, screaming. The message to Smith was clear - never do a job you hate, never have regrets so when the time comes, you won't go out in as much pain.

From there we get a whirlwind look at Smith's career, the story of "Clerks", and a brief synopsis of every film made since then. The filming of "Cop Out" and his clashes with Bruce Willis are documented, as well as the filming of "Red State" which takes up several chapters. What became known as the "Too Fat to Fly" incident with South West is detailed, and a loving final chapter to his wife Jennifer Schwalbach closes out the book along with a short note from their daughter Harley Quinn Smith.

But for most Kevin Smith fans looking for something new or different from what Kevin usually blogs/tweets/podcasts about? It's not in this book. "Tough S---" is basically a summary of Kev's career as well as a look into the memorable events of the last couple of years, all of which has been thoroughly talked about through Kevin's many podcasts. I suppose for those who haven't been following the pods this is a good place to get his thoughts on the South West incident, Bruce Willis, and Red State, but for those who have, the book might seem like a lot of re-heated material.

That said, the book's message is put out clearly - if I can do it, so can you. Kevin is the encouragement any artist reading this book might lack and, with it, that artist might go on and create and find confidence in their work and create more. And for that alone, this book is worth it.

Despite the feeling of déjà vu I felt while reading it, Smith writes so fluidly (a theme in and of itself in the book) and with such verve, humour, and intelligence, the book is never dull and having read some other reviews of this book, he is clearly an inspiration to many readers. For anyone looking for a book that markets itself as a self-help book but is really a series of funny essays in the life of a charming and gifted storyteller, this book can do no wrong. A quick read but fun, "Tough S---" is a good time with common sense wisdom amid the jokes.
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on 10 October 2012
First of all, Kevin Smith is not as fat as he keeps telling us he is. He is also neither lazy or a slob as fans of his Smodcast network can attest to, seeing as he is basically podcasting every day of his life with a variety of members of the View Askew and Batman universes.

It is clear from the start of this book that Kevin has no problem revealing his innermost thoughts and no punches are pulled here. I feel to truly get this book one must also listen to the podcasts as this makes an excellent companion and many Kevin Smith fans obviously purchased this book. This book makes you laugh but also gives the reader very helpful advice and I am aware of many folks who have been inspired to try something different and not be afraid to try something different or escape the comfort zone for I am one of those many people.

Listeners of Kevin Smith podcasts will have heard his comment about the Velvet Underground and how only 10,000 people bought their first record, but all of them started a band (to badly paraphrase a quote that has been credited to either Brian Eno or Peter Buck) and I am sure in the coming years we will be watching movies/TV shows from people that took the Smith route and just started writing and directly. He is the first to admit there are more accomplished directors than he, but how many people listen to the words of these more accomplished directors on a weekly basis? How many of those guys would be comfortably letting it all hang out with no subject off limit? Do we know how often Francis Ford Coppola has relations with his wife? With Kevin Smith we hear how many times, what happened and we get Jennifer's take as a bonus.

Kevin has said many times that he is done with the directing business after Hit Somebody. This book shows us that as long as he keeps talking/writing, we'll be hearing more from him in the coming years and that my friends, is a good thing.
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on 5 January 2013
I've always been a fan of Kevin Smith's work and so was eagerly awaiting this book.

I literally read it in 2 days and loved it! Particularly enjoyed the incite into bruce willis!

All i can say is, i wish i'd had this book when i was younger, it really does inspire you (and of course make you laugh hysterically)

I will definitely be forcing my children to read it when the time is right!

A worthy investment!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 May 2013
As SMOD fan loved it. Smith tells it like it is for his audience. Loved it looking forward to more!
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on 20 July 2012
A great book, having been a fan of Kevin for years and his various endeavours. Great insight into his life and the movie industry and an inspiration to anyone aspiring a career in the arts. Only downside is, being a SModCast listener, a couple of the stories in the book I'd heard him speak about before but if you aren't and have an interest in the man, buy it!
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on 27 November 2013
I got this for my fiance he doesn't know since its for Christmas and he loves Kevin Smith. When I got it through I flicked through the pages and began laughing straight away. When he's finished with its a definite read for me :D
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on 12 October 2015
For fans of Kevin Smith, this is a nice retrospective that will remind you just why you liked him so much in the first place. Life advice we should all pay attention to.
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on 2 January 2013
I'm loving this book, Kevin Smith is soooo candid I love his rare in this day and age! Hope he keeps doing what he does and ignores the critics.
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on 15 August 2014
Alright book. Interesting enough if you're a Kev Smith fan. But if you listen to a lot of Smodco podcasts, it'll be very familiar ground.
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on 22 March 2014
Funny, interesting and beautiful in places.An exceptional read that alters the way I think on the challenges of modern life
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