Top critical review
11 people found this helpful
on 28 April 2011
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.