Book Review: Bossypants by Tina FeyPosted: February 16, 2013
I love Tina Fey.
I’ve been aware of her work for a while and always found her quite funny, but it’s only in the last couple of months thanks to LoveFilm that I’ve really got into her stuff, I’d seen bits and pieces of 30 Rock before, but with the first 3 series now available to watch whenever I wanted I dove headfirst into them.
It’s hands down one of the funniest television shows I’ve ever seen, as the writers do this great job of crafting likable characters and fantastic lines, and seem comfortable to let the show go off on weird little tangents and have surreal flourishes. It helps that the cast are superb, especially Alec Baldwin and Fey herself.
So, having devoured three series of this, I decided to get this book on my kindle, I started it midweek and finished it today, although given more spare time and no internet I probably could have blazed through most of this in one day, because it’s a delightfully funny and enjoyable quick read.
Fey writes with this really great, warm style which is filled with little gags and quips, and this great streak of self deprecation. She recounts moments in her life with real honesty, and isn’t afraid to show her own follies and mistakes along the way.
She writes cleverly and with insight, touching on issues like the entertainment industry’s views and attitudes towards women but always does it with a lightness of touch that stops it from seeming like a rant. Fey seems proud and grateful for what she’s achieved and well she should, but never comes across as arrogant, seeming to be aware of the help she’s received from others and blessed with a real sense of perspective as to where her job fits in the real world.
Fey’s also quite classy, there are allusions to celebrities she’s met along the way being douches but she never names them, or even drops clues as to their identity, granting them their anonymity while also giving praise to those she’s met along the way who have been cool (Baldwin, Sylvester Stallone and surprisingly Sarah Palin).
She talks of her personal life, family Christmases and dealing with being a mother, and also her status as a “famous person”. The attention she received from doing her Sarah Palin skits on Saturday Night Live, both positive and negative, the joys and pitfalls of magazine shoots and a chapter devoted to responding to online hate mail, which is funny yet at the same time rather depressing to read what some assclowns on the web come up with.
The Palin section is quite interesting, especially as it reveals Fey’s initial reluctance to do it and her own fears that it might be seen as being nasty or mean spirited. There’s an insight into the behind the scenes world of television, and also Fey having to deal with her meeting the woman herself.
But the main thing that comes through is that Fey has managed to stay down to earth and normal despite the attention, maybe because it came slightly later in life, but she seems to be a regular Josephine who’s found success due to her skills.
I went in a fan and came out a bigger one.
Verdict: A wonderfully written, frequently hilarious memoir about her life both in and out of the spotlight. Fey is a charming, entertaining writer who comes across well in this down to earth, clever lady. 8/10
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.