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I Didn't Ask to Be Born: (But I'm Glad I Was)
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I Didn't Ask to Be Born: (But I'm Glad I Was)

3.22 of 5 stars 3.22  ·  rating details  ·  657 ratings  ·  142 reviews
In this hilarious collection of observations, Cosby brings us more of his wonderful and wacky insights into the human condition that are sure to become classics. In the tradition of Fat Albert, I DIDN'T ASK TO BE BORN offers a host of new characters, including Peanut Armhouse and Old Mother Harold. Not since Mushmouth, Dumb Donald, Bucky and the Cosby Kids has there been s ...more
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Published November 1st 2011 by Center Street (first published January 1st 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,751)
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Pauline
Most people either love Bill Cosby's sense of humor or don't. I do, and have loved his sense of humor and story telling style since the Fat Albert days of his comedy career. Here is a book that shows how Bill's outlook on life, complete with humor intact, has grown mellower but no less funny.

I don't know how many people actually laugh out loud when they read something that strikes them as funny, but I'm one of them. If someone asks me what's so darned funny, I am incapable of delivering the line
...more
Nancy
This book by comedian, Bill Cosby, contains more of his own history and muse than other books he has authored. Part memoir, part stand-up comedy script, Cosby holds up his end of the bargain to continue entertaining the masses. He recollects random stories from his life, more or less in chronological order, that the reader who has lived through the time period will find nostalgic and entertaining.

Of course, Cosby uses his own brand of exaggeration as some things may not have happened exactly th
...more
Peter Galamaga
Like most people, I enjoy the comedy of Bill Cosby. However, I was disappointed by this book. I've waited a few weeks since finishing it because I wanted to find the best way to explain what I didn't like about it.
The answer came to me just yesterday while listening to an interview where two comedians were discussing the greatness of Bill Cosby. They discussed his use of timing, intonation, inflection, and facial expressions.
And that is what is missing from this book. The stories are mildly humo
...more
Krystal
This novel is hysterical, to sum it up in one word. It will be hard to write a review without giving anything integral to the hilarity of the novel away. The reader gets to see a younger Bill Cosby, who is funny even at a young age. He instills his natural personality into this fairly short nonfiction book.



Bill Cosby literally anticipates what the other person would say to him, say, in a talk show and manages to provide funny one liners. The first chapter of the book opens with a conversation b
...more
OOSA
Who Me? Miss this? Why? Optimistic Extraordinary!

Bill Cosby’s “I Didn’t Ask to Be Born (But I’m Glad I Was)” is life as everyone experiences it but few take time to note it. How we perceive our circumstances has value as a learning tool if we are able to find humor in some of the things that are ‘hard pills to take’ when originally experienced.

This book is something that makes you laugh out loud because only you can know what you are laughing about. Cosby gives us circumstances that make us reme
...more
Gretchen
I Didn't Ask to Be Born (But I'm Glad I Was) is a recent memoir by Bill Cosby. In it, Cosby recounts some of his childhood along with some of his fun times with his grandkids. He also does a few bits that feel out of place and random.

The book felt pretty disjointed. Cosby doesn't give you a very thorough overview of his life, which made me wonder if he'd written another autobiography before this one. Which made me wonder why he wrote this one. It isn't very clear. He doesn't have an overall them
...more
RYCJ
The Good. What a truly heartwarming and entertaining book. The writing voice sounds identical to Cos’s stage voice… complete with the repetitiveness and ‘healthy’ doses of original humor.

The Mmeh Okay. Although Dr. Cosby was well before my time, he wasn’t so far ahead of me that I don’t recall the stigmas of being associated with ‘crazy’ and the importance of raising disciplined human beings. Back-in-the-day corporal punishment was the law of the land… instilling fear to command obedience, in a
...more
Rancy Breece
When I got this book in a white elephant gift exchange a few weeks back, others at the party laughed and groaned. No one was tempted to steal it. Although I understood their reaction and the reason for the few muted derisive comments, felt it odd that someone with as much talent and accomplishments as Cosby could be so easily tried and found wanting in the court of public opinion. That a book could be judged and found wanting based on the author's character. So rather than add it to my collectio ...more
Robert
I think that Bill Cosby one of the great American storytellers. His writing is combines the social commentary of Mark Twain, the aphorisms of Benjamin Franklin, and the wit of Yogi Berra. He is the ideal male role model, and was able to embody that fatherly position on The Cosby Show. If you have never heard his monologue about Noah, or Fat Albert, or his brother Russell, or childhood games, or anything else, you have missed a wonderful story. My wife and I had the pleasure of hearing him on a s ...more
Kelly
I've always been a huge Bill Cosby fan since listening to his early stand-up routines on my parents old vinyl albums. His latest book "I Didn't Ask to Be Born..." is a quick read containing his trademark witty anecdotes and observations about wordplay, childhood memories, family, religion, marriage, and other hallmarks of life that are familiar to all of us.
Wendy
I love Bill Cosby's humor, but I was disappointed by this book. The good stuff was great, but some of the bits were just awful and interminable. I found that the longest chapters were the worst, and seemed to be least Cosby-ish. I got the feeling that those chapters were engineered as a product rather than coming naturally from him.
Lori Goldstein
This book was pretty good. In fact, I felt as if I was listening to a variety of stories that Mr. Cosby tells in his routines. And feeling as if he was talking to me vs. reading a narrative is a faster read for me.
David Brown
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amanda
There were some parts of this book that made me laugh out loud (his description of the plight of penguins in the chapter on the Bible's missing pages stands out) but like some other readers I didn't really get the point of the illustrations, since very few of them seemed to have much to do with the story in which they were placed. This was a very fast read because some of the stories were very short and they flowed nicely except for the times when he veered off course. I read this in a little ov ...more
Stephanie McCown
I found the book to be as humorous and down to earth as you would expect from Bill Cosby, and I enjoyed it. However, as I typically read books that are more on the serious side, it was difficult for me to read through some of his "spaghetti" passages. I use the term "spaghetti" to describe conversations or writing that start in one place, move in a multitude of different directions, ends up in a completely different place, and you aren't quite sure where it started or ended or how it got there. ...more
Dolly
This is an interesting compilation of humorous essays from Bill Cosby. It's a quick read and spans a variety of topics. My Mom and I thought it wasn't quite as funny as some of his other books, but my Dad, who is quite close in age to Mr. Cosby, laughed out loud many times while reading the book. So maybe you'd have to be a guy from his generation to understand. I appreciate his candor and wisdom and I have loved his humor for years, so although this wasn't my favorite book by him, I still liked ...more
Emma
This book is okay, but it was in the biography section and I got it for a school project when I needed a biography. THIS BOOK IS NOT A BIOGRAPHY. That is the only downer, so now I have to read and recreate a whole new project that is due on the 27th. Yay
Amber
I feel like I might have enjoyed more if I was a little bit older. One chapter gets its inspiration from the popularity of Cabbage Patch dolls in the 80's - I think that about sums it up. Funny in parts but overall I was skimming through chapters.
Mike Ely
An easy read of a loose collection of stories, mainly from Bill's childhood or raising children. Most of them were pretty funny so it was a worthwhile read. It's not his best book though.
Todd Noorman
Bill Cosby is a great comedian, and has so many wonderful stories to share. I could "hear" him tell his stories; he writes just like he speaks. This is a fast, pleasant read.
Jacob
"Three grandchildren...These kids have an energy and my wife loves these people, but they have decibels." (p. 181)

This is the only book I've read by Cosby so I don't really have a point of comparison. On the whole this is enjoyable and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny. I tended to enjoy the material from his youth or about his family more than the material that's based on supposition ("The Missing Pages," etc.). I mostly read this to help decide if I want to drop $40 to see Cosby when he comes to
...more
Lucy
A very funny book. I could relate to many of the things he talked about. If you looking for a light read with a lot of humor then Bill Cosby's book iOS for you
Davina Bell
I really, really enjoyed it!!!! As always, with Bill Cosby, you can always expect good, clean, wholesome comedy and get it. He asks and answer questions all of us wonder, but we do not have the guts to speak them into existence. I really liked "Missing Pages' and "I Didn't Asked to be Born". I believe anyone over the age of 25 can relate to his stories and observations. As a wife, I enjoyed his views on marriage. As a parent, it was good to know that my children are not the only ones who annoy t ...more
Lisa
I didn't want to rate Cosby 1/5 because I love him, but I probably won't remember much of the tales he told to tell in this collection. One of my favorite things about him is that it's not just his voice that's distinctive, it's his delivery. I felt I read his words EXACTLY as he meant them to be absorbed. That is his success.

And while his stories are sweet, amusing and often thought-provoking, I felt the substance of the tales he chose for this book were lacking in punch. My favorite was the Ad
...more
Kate C
This is the second book by a comedian that I have read in the past six months, the first one being Ellen's. I guess I just prefer the talent live. Was it funny? Yes. Did I laught out loud at some points? Yes. But I also felt that some chapters were forced just to add pages to the book. I'm not sure that I felt a theme stringing the book together at all. It was more like an afternoon lunch with your grandfather telling you some snippits of old stories that he can't quite remember in full but make ...more
Jim
I could listen all day to this man. He has been a comedic presence in my life since I can remember, both on television and on record. These perhaps, although, are not his best sketches, but they still warm my heart and make me chuckle. No one is as good a storyteller, especially on stage. As I was reading I could hear the words as if in his voice. Still better when he delivers it personally, but a delight nonetheless.

Sadly, all the recent stories of alleged rape have disheartened me (and I feel
...more
Jennifer
If you don't have a grandpa (or grandpoppy) and want to experience what it's like, here's a book for you. Interesting, sometimes rambling stories is what you'll get. I'm torn with the use of smartphone tags at the end of each chapter; they slowed me down a bit, but the extra video tidbits from Mr. Cosby are good. Thanks Mr. Cosby (@billcosby) for another good respite between my regular reading, though I still think you're wrong about Cabbage Patch dolls -- mine are truly adorable, especially com ...more
Joseph
Bill, Bill... The book is just not as good as your earlier stuff and sort of not funny overall. And I have no idea why he continues to have those bad cartoon pictures in it. I would give it a 1 star, but I didn't hate it, just could have done without it.
Michael
*If I could, I would have given this book a 3 1/2 stars*

At times, very light-hearted, but very thoughtful at other times in the book. My favorite chapters in the book were, "The Morphamization of Peanut Armhouse", "The Missing Pages", "Erectile Dysfunction", and "My Son's First Bad Word." Be forwarned, Bill does a lot of jumping around with his thoughts and this can get a little confusing, but it helps keep it "real" to me. He kind of reminds me of Grandpa Simpson on "The Simpsons" but his stori
...more
Katrin
No matter what, I love Bill Cosby!
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a great read. 1 4 Oct 09, 2012 08:42AM  
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American comedian, actor, television producer, activist, and luminary. A veteran stand-up performer, he got his start at various clubs, then landed a vanguard role in the 1960s action show I Spy.

He later starred in his own series, The Bill Cosby Show, in the late 1960s. He was one of the major characters on the children's television show for its first two seasons, and created the humorous educati
...more
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