Tough Shit: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good
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Tough Shit: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  4,226 ratings  ·  554 reviews
That Kevin Smith? The guy who did “Clerks” a million years ago? Didn’t they bounce his fat ass off a plane once? What could you possibly learn from the director of “Cop Out”? How about this: he changed filmmaking forever when he was twenty-three, and since then, he’s done whatever the hell he wants. He makes movies, writes comics, owns a store, and now he’s built a podcast...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published March 20th 2012 by Gotham (first published January 10th 2012)
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Michael
I "discovered" Kevin Smith's Clerks years ago on my college's cable system and immediately loved it. I've been a fan of Smith's voice ever since that time, enjoying his films and then subscribing to many of the podcasts Smith produces as part of his Smodcast network.

If you've listened to a lot of Smith's commentaries, podcasts and various question and answer DVD releases, you've probably heard different variations of the some of the stories and incidents Smith relates here in Tough Shit: Life Ad...more
Everitt
First, I'm a big Kevin Smith fan, and have been since 1994, so this is an admittedly biased review. 4.5/5 Stars

The best thing about Smith's style, in film, his podcasts and this book is that he mixes the sacred and profane in a way few others can. In fact, I can't think of anyone that can imitate the man. He was in a lot of ways an uncredited visionary: "Clerks" invented the bromance popularized by Judd Apatow. He is one of the five great indie filmmakers from the 1990s that, for me, defined the...more
Laura Graves
http://www.owltellyouaboutit.com/posts/tough-shit/

For someone who was around seven when Clerks premiered, I was very excited when I opened my box from Penguin Audio and saw this book. I didn’t need anyone to tell me who Kevin Smith is, what he looks like, or why he’s famous. I knew all that already thanks to my two older brothers. So I would like to half-heartedly dedicate this review to them. Brian and Blake, without you I would have been as clueless about who Kevin Smith was as all my friends...more
Cayr
Reading Kevin Smith is kind of a guilty pleasure for me. On the one hand, his humor can be base and vulgar. On the other hand, he is a very good writer, extremely intelligent, and his sense of irony and effortless wit are a joy to behold. (It doesn't hurt that I also happen to find him very attractive, and that I am a fangirl who understands the whole comic book thing.) Sometimes he hides his light under a barrel tagged with profanity, but it strikes me as more of a marketing ploy to keep his yo...more
Brandon
It's been 10 years since I watched my first Kevin Smith movie. Since then, I've seen all of his films, read all of his books and graphic novels, listened to hundreds of episodes of shows contained on the SModcast network and taken in two live shows. Therefore, it's fair to say that I'm a pretty big fan of his. With that information, it's hard to feel like I'm really reviewing this book given my massive bias. I'm going to give it a shot though.

I knew that even before I picked up this memoir/motiv...more
Peter Derk
Listened to on audio, read by the author. The guy's done enough podcasting that it works pretty well.

If you're not really familiar with Kevin Smith, this is an awesome point of entry.

Do me a favor, if I ever write a book someday, don't refer to it as a Point of Entry. Sorry, Mr. Smith.

But really, he goes through his whole career here, the interesting parts, the weird parts, and some of the funniest.

One of my favorites, the oft-told tale where Kevin and friends decided to protest the churchy pro...more
Traci
You seem to either love or hate Kevin Smith. I have yet to find someone who is ambivalent about the director (unless they literally have no idea who he is). And that's OK; someone like Smith who turned filmmaking on its head with "Clerks" deserves to be revered or reviled.

This is an interesting, if expletive-filled, book. Yeah, there's a lot of swearing here, so if you've got delicate ears - or eyes, I guess - this may not be something you want to pick up. Smith writes exactly the way I imagine...more
Joe Barlow
The infuriating thing about Kevin Smith is his determination to hide his intelligence and sensitivity behind a cloud of vulgar profanity and fart jokes. CLERKS and CHASING AMY were the films that prompted me to start writing screenplays and making my own short movies, and for years I held him up as an indie role model, although I lost a bit of faith when Smith squelched his unique voice and began churning out mainstream-ish comedies like COP OUT and ZACK & MIRI. Smith feels my pain -- he's a...more
Eric
Apr 09, 2012 Eric rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Hardcore Kevin Smith fans
Shelves: humor, memoirs, audiobooks
Smith discusses a wide variety of topics in this book -- what inspired him to make Clerks, the Weinstein's, making Cop Out with Bruce Willis, Wayne Gretsky, Red State, the Southwest incident, George Carlin, podcasts, Quentin Tarrantino, and meeting his wife. But if you are looking for any sort of motivation or advice in any of them, you can safely skip this book. If you are looking for occasionally funny, always interesting look at Hollywood from a fringe insider, this is a decent book to read....more
sixthreezy
If you are interested in reading this book, I highly recommend listening to the audiobook version that Kev himself narrates. Yes, @ThatKevinSmith narrates his own book, but are you surprised? The man just has such a way with words, and anyone who is familiar with SIR! or any of his podcasts will know what I am talking about. He's mesmerizing as a reader, or narrator, and I could not help but being fully transfixed to his narration of his own story. No one could have read it any better than he di...more
Lucy
I remember watching Kevin Smith’s Clerks and Chasing Amy back in the day – I was big into slacker movies in the 90s. I think those are the only two of Smith’s movies I’ve seen – now I’m more of a romantic comedy kind of girl. Still, I remember the two films fondly; they introduced me to Smith’s humor, and in turn led the way to me listening to this audiobook. Now I know Kevin Smith more as a personality, as well as an annual public speaker at Hall H at Comic-Con. Based on all this I knew I was s...more
terpkristin
Really more of a 2.5-star book than a 3-star book for me, this was an enjoyable autobiography of sorts from the man who brought us Clerks, Chasing Amy, Dogma, and other great and not-so-great flicks. There were some great stories in here, including the "full story" of the Southwest "too fat to fly" incident. There were a lot of war/film lover/film industry stories, as well. I admit I'm not much of a movie buff. I sometimes watch them, but really only on the order of a handful each year...I suspe...more
Kim
At times hilarious, disturbing, insightful and inspiring the one thing this book wasn't was boring. For those who want an in-depth, detailed biography of Kevin Smith's life look elsewhere. This isn't that book. Instead Smith looks at the key moments in his life, both good and bad, and how they influenced his philosophy and life decisions.

Told in the typical Kevin Smith manner it is irreverent, filthy, funny but at times a bit of a rant with a touch of fanboy thrown in. A lot of what he said reso...more
Myha
If you know me, you know I love this man and his sense of humor. This is a brilliant extension of his podcast that I have enjoyed over the last 5 years. This book is a retelling of many stories I have heard many times but put together this is a gem of a book. Ironically, this is also a great motivational book told by someone who never strove for greatness but has achieved it many times over by just being himself and doing what makes him most happy. It has a great message as well as being stinkin...more
Anelis
Having watched multiple times his Q&As and heard some of his podcasts....and read some of his blog posts.....and seen all of his movies I can say that I had already read at least half of the book before I even read the title.

The audiobook is read by Kevin Smith and I really suggest that you try it first instead of another format. I couldn't imagine a better narrator for this book.

I thought I had gotten over Kevin Smith and his pompous cocky attitude but I guess that deep down I'm still a fa...more
Jessica
I was so inspired by this book that I typed a portion of it into my iPod notebook and read a certain quote back to myself whenever I feel like I'm not getting anywhere as an artist. I think this book speaks to the artists among us more than anyone else. Here's the quote:

"There's a trick to being whatever you want to be in life.
It starts with the simple belief that you are, who or what, you say you are.
It starts like all faiths, with a belief.
A belief predicated more on whimsy than reality.
An...more
Callie Rose Tyler
***Warning***
If you are easily offended or not a fan of crass, crude, and expletive ridden humor do not read this book!

This book, written and narrated by Kevin Smith, is the genuine article and very....well Kevin Smithish.

This is not the traditional chronological from birth to now memoir but is more event focused and will very often jump back and forth in time. The events that are discussed are chosen based on their importance and impact on Smith's life and creative process.

The major topics dis...more
Kara
I am a huge Kevin Smith fan. I admire his personal story and his commitment to being himself, combined with his desire to make movies HIS way. I have legit-acquired autographed photos of him and Mewes in my living room. I am still proud to display them despite this book. I proudly believe that "Dogma" is one of the smartest, misunderstood, underrated movies ever made.

With that said, half of this book was exactly what I would want to know about Kevin. He gives very compelling insight into what it...more
Laura Roberts
Kevin Smith gives the smackdown to all that oppose him. Y'know, kinda like that scene in "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" where they print out a list of all the people who posted shitty things about the real-life Jay and Silent Bob on MoviePoopshoot.com and go door to door beating them up? Yeah, kinda like that. Except funnier, and with much less violence.

He tells the tale of his rise to fame, having to eat crow for making "bad" movies like Mallrats (one of my faves by KS, actually, since Jason...more
Sam Quixote
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 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 ha...more
Paul Hamilton
Apr 16, 2012 Paul Hamilton rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Paul by: Nikki
Talk about unusual: I just finished Kevin Smith's sort of memoir-meets-motivational-self-help-vanity-project in one sitting. This is unusual primarily because having the time to read nearly 250 pages in an evening almost never happens, but it's also unusual because you might expect that I'd only devour a book this way if it was amazing.

Well, Tough Sh*t isn't amazing. It's kind of repetitive, honestly: Smith has an analogy about Wayne Gretzky that he references a half dozen times; he talks a lot...more
Karen DelleCava
Kevin Smith is brilliant, hysterically funny, inspiring, at times poignant and definitely not for the faint of heart. Generously peppered with the F-bomb, Smith's message: If you can dream it, you can become it. Tough Sh*t is the Red Bull boost any writer will appreciate if you're slogging through a first draft of a novel and wondering to yourself, Can I actually get this book published?

He also challenges the critics. Hey, we all love and believe great reviews of our work but when a less than fa...more
Nicky
I loved this book, almost as much as I love Kevin Smith. Tough Shit: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good is a great mix of behind-the-scenes tidbits about his career, autobiographical stories of his life and the relationship he had with his father, a peak at life in the industry… but most of all, Tough Shit is about an ordinary guy who chased a dream and won, and at it’s core the entirety of the book follows along that theme: his motivation, his strengths and weaknesses, his life long...more
Natalie (Natflix&Books)
While I'm not going to pretend to be the biggest Kevin Smith fan of all time, I AM a pretty big Kevin Smith fan. I've seen Mallrats, Chasing Amy, and Dogma at least a dozen times each and have even watched Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back a number of times. I didn't think Jersey Girl was THAT bad (although I love Liv Tyler and would watch pretty much anything with her in it--except for this little seen movie called Heavy, which if just f**king horrible. I mean, like, so bad that it is the go-to mo...more
Leigh Clemons
I wouldn't recommend that everyone live his/her life according to the wit and chronic wisdom of Kevin Smith. For me, however, Smith's work in film, podcasting, and now in print have been a literal and figurative lifesaver. I had followed his films and the maiden voyage of SModcast for a long time, but Smith's dive into the full-blown world of podcasting corresponded with a time in my life when I had, well, WAY too much time on my hands. I listened hardcore, and I was hooked.
Smith book reveals t...more
Du
I should have loved this book. Kevin Smith is intelligent, personable, and creative. This book went nowhere for me. The first 100 pages were just there. They contained complaining and dissatisfaction about his movies not being as successful as he wanted them to be. The next 50 pages were very interesting about the filming and financing of his movie Red State. The next 50 pages covered his being removed from a Southwest flight, and the final 50 were an ode to his wife and George Carlin.

I wish the...more
Nicole
Best parts of this book include the chapter on what a nightmare Bruce Willis was to direct, the details about the Southwest Airlines incident and the chapter on Smith's wife. Sure, there's a lot of masturbatory dreck about how great his movie-making career went that makes you want to smack him (no real guidance provided for filmmakers of today to get their shit made other than -- "be yourself" and get people to come to your indie movie no one will distribute by attaching ticket sales to a live Q&A...more
Mary Hannon
I don't feel like I can give this book 5 stars only because I already heard most of the stories, either in Podcast form, via Twitter or his blog. But I just love this man so much, I'd read anything he wrote. He's got a great outlook on life, despite losing his father to a massive heart attack and being thrown off a Southwest AIrlines flight for being "too fat to fly". He's managed to create a kingdom of words, and any one who knows me knows I love words. He's a faithful, devoted husband who woul...more
Rebecca
May 09, 2012 Rebecca rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: tv
I have read some previous books from Kevin Smith and seen most of his movies, so of course, I picked up his latest. I'll just say now it was okay. I have kind of fallen out with his movies and rarely listen to the radio in the mornings anymore (love my 4 minutes commute!) but when I do flip on the 'ROQ and if I do hear Kevin Smith, I do get happy. He is one of my favs on Kevin and The Bean show. And thanks to this book, I didn't know he was more of a regular. And thanks to my history in radio pr...more
Modi123
I am not a biography sort of person, but I can safely say this was one of the more interesting books I have read in sometime. A behind the scenes narration of Kevin Smith (yes, *THAT* Kevin Smith) from his beginnings in Jersey to the trials of being a film maker. A whole mess of language, geek love, and up-beat pep that I was not expecting. The most unexpected aspect - the internal fear dialog he has as he puts out his ideas, his writing, and himself. I always took Smith as some sort of stalwart...more
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Kevin Patrick Smith is an American screenwriter, director, as well as a comic book writer, author, and actor. He is also the co-founder, with Scott Mosier, of View Askew Productions and owner of Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash comic and novelty store in Red Bank, New Jersey. He also hosts a weekly podcast with Scott Mosier known as SModcast. He is also known for participating in long, humorous Q&A...more
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“Remember: It costs nothing to encourage an artist, and the potential benefits are staggering. A pat on the back to an artist now could one day result in your favorite film, or the cartoon you love to get stoned watching, or the song that saves your life. Discourage an artist, you get absolutely nothing in return, ever.” 47 likes
“As human beings we govern our actions with our deepest fears. But if you name that shit, you claim that shit: let enough people into your closet and you'll find there's no more room for skeletons. Leave yourself nowhere to hide and you can live your life unguarded.” 18 likes
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