I Am the New Black
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I Am the New Black

3.08 of 5 stars 3.08  ·  rating details  ·  720 ratings  ·  125 reviews
The outrageously funny, heartbreaking, and surprising story of Tracy Morgan's rise from ghetto wiseass to superstar comedian.

Who is Tracy Morgan? The wildly unpredictable funnyman who rocketed to fame on Saturday Night Live? The Emmy-nominated actor behind the sly and ingenious character Tracy Jordan on the award-winning hit sitcom 30 Rock, whose turbulent personal life of...more
Audio CD, Abridged, 0 pages
Published October 20th 2009 by Random House Audio (first published 2009)
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Review also posted at My Bookshelf is Ready.

I went into this book with lower expectations and was pleasantly surprised at how well-written this was. That could have been due to a ghost writer helping Morgan (which was probably the case, because come on).

This was at times funny and at others, hilarious. Tracy gets to some dark stuff in his memoir, but never in that "manipulating the audience by revealing tragedy in order to get a sympathy award" kind of way. He laughs through it and moves forwar...more
Vannessagrace Vannessagrace
Tracey Morgan’s I Am The New Black is one of the most honest and telling memoirs I’ve read this year!

Mr. Morgan takes us through a life of peril to a life of luxury never knowing how good his life had become until he lost his family to booze and partying. It took his hitting rock bottom to realize until he changed his former neighborhood mentality, mindset, to one of a successful businessman who made it out of the world of drugs, gangs, hopelessness, and people who blamed their defeatist attitu...more
Sep 12, 2011 Daniel rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Tracy Morgan super-fans, not merely Tracy Morgan comedy appreciators
I was totally blindsided by Tracy Morgan's I Am the New Black. I took a look at his goofy face and exposed belly on the cover, dressed in an expensive suit jacket and tie with bunny ears, with the ridiculous title and the name written enormous in golden lights above, and thought: This is going to be hilarious. Maybe he'd even write it in character as Tracy Jordan from 30 Rock!

I feel bad for saying that I was disappointed to see that this was not the case. Why not have a serious autobiography of...more
I've read quite a few celebrity autobiographies and this is one of the better ones. Here's why.

Look at Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis. Kiedis spends most of his book detailing EVERY SINGLE drug deal he ever took part in. And if that's not enough, he, for some reason, feels the need to tell us whenever he got laid. The whole book, the guy's doing drugs, buying drugs and having sex. It's over 400 pages long and he barely gets in anything about the Red Hot Chili Peppers' music. That's why I read the...more
I listened to the audio version of this book, and although Morgan’s story of rags to riches is somewhat interesting and inspiring, that is about all this book has.

Listening to him orate and his inability to talk in complete sentences with some mode of fifth-grade articulation was downright pitiful. If one knew nothing of Tracy Morgan, one would never know he was a comedian. Other than Morgan shouting “I am BIG funny” numerous times throughout the book, and comparing himself to comedy legends Red...more
The good: Tracy Morgan is undeniably hilarious, and I liked him before he was cool. Brian Fellow? Hysterical. Astronaut Jones? Classic. Tracy Jordan? Marvelous. This book was a great insight into the background of what he calls 'the funny'. Most of the anecdotes from his childhood in the ghettos of New York are disturbing, some are funny, but they are all captivating. A should-read for any fan of Morgans.

The not-so-good: I always thought that a co-writer's job on a celebrity autobiography was to...more
I have a feeling this would be three or even two stars, had I read this instead of listing to it as an audio CD. Tracy Morgan is a rambler, and he jumps all over the place in time. He repeats himself and goes on and on sometimes when he should be getting back to some kind of narrative structure. But listening to it, I could always be doing something else too, so I would just tune it out when he was rambling and then pay attention again when he was back to a good story or being funny. And he is p...more
Lee Anne
This book was co(ghost)written by Anthony Bozza, who also co(ghost)wrote Artie Lange's Too Fat to Fish, and it has more than a few similarities. Both men had fathers who died young; both men have overcome (or tried to, in Artie's case) addictions; both books are written by comedians, but are sentimental more than they are funny.

Tracy Morgan is one of the funniest people out there right now, but this book made me laugh out loud exactly once. That isn't to say it's a bad book, but if you're expec...more
This book probably gets so many stars because I expected very little of it, and instead I was really moved and drawn in. Morgan's bio is much more thought-provoking than it seems on the surface. He (or possibly his ghostwriter) is able to tell a compelling story about his childhood and his life as a performer, creating a story arc weaving them together. Things mentioned in the very beginning become a part of his professional life.

In particular I was moved by the parallels between his relationshi...more
This is a review of the audiobook version, which is read by Tracy Morgan. It sounds like he does quite a bit of ad-libbing in it, so I'm not sure what was in the written version and what wasn't. Anyway, overall I liked this. It was a bit disorganized and rambly, but that's also what made it endearing and more touching than it might have been otherwise; it really felt like Tracy Morgan was just having a conversation with the listener. The audiobook, I think, is probably funnier than the written v...more
I've been on an audio book kick lately...so this review is for the audio book version of "I Am the New Black".

Having said this, I'm not sure how the printed version would read. The audio book is read by Tracy Morgan...but I can't tell if he's actually reading the text or sort of free-form-ad-libbing. It comes across as if he's sitting across from you kind of rambling about his life. The audio book comes across as being fairly disjointed as a result.

It's interesting, I guess...sort of in the way...more
What do you expect from a book whose author's name is twelve times bigger than the title?? The ghostwriter for Mr. Morgan seems to just be transcribing interviews with Tracy - four letter's and all! Man! I left that S#@t! in high school! As to the rest of the book, it does offer some insight and opinions about fellow SNL members and some inkling of the process,
but gets repetitive towards the latter part of the book. Overall, not bad, but the ghost writer has also produced articles for Rolling St...more
Unfortunately, this wasn't as funny as I had hoped and definitely didn't offer much in the way of "behind the scenes" SNL information. Morgan and his ghostwriter put forth a positive tale of hard work and hardship, but there is so much repetition and so many tired analogies that it got old. Despite the mediocrity of the writing, I can see a lot of teens and young adults, especially in the African American community wanting to pick this title up at the library.
If you are a Tracy Morgan fan, you will enjoy this sometimes silly, sometimes tragic, and yes, loopy account of where he came from and what he believes in. In particular, I recommend the audio book which he narrates with all of the passion and all of the joy that come with his somewhat sideways way of looking at the world.
This memoir grew on me the moment I opened the book, in which the thing here is, I don't ordinarily read prologues or openings. If the book is really good, then I'll go back to read the forward, and epilogue, and even acknowledgements and indexes, if any. But not starting out.

For Tracy's memoir however, I read the opening, and was pleasantly quite surprised. That intro was that fabulous. He's humble, but hungry. Still, I braced myself for a rough read…despite it already being clarified in the i...more
This book was interesting.
At times it was inspiring (he definitely worked his way from ghetto to stage) and other times just annoying (all the "praise God" stuff at the end).
I often times found myself reading along to Tracy's actual voice in my head - that made parts of it more readable. I'm not a literary snob by any stretch of the imagination, but this book was very poorly written. His use of the word "motherfucker" was really out of my comfort zone (he would say that's because I'm white) bu...more
Can't imagine picking up the hard copy - Tracy was made for audiobook.

I would kind of like to know if the book has anything the CDs don't. Because certainly you don't get the same hauntingly cool experience of listening to Tracy's late father's original recorded songs by reading the book. Are there like, family photos?

Yes, there has been a lot of oversharing and stories of hard times. I'm 1/2 the way through and he has already identified his personal hero as three different people. That's cool....more
I really enjoyed this audio book. I have no idea how it would play out as a written book, but in Tracy's voice it felt so authentic. He is truly a blessed comedian. It was interesting that when he made bad choices in his life, he claims he could feel it and eventually get away from it. Such as his drug dealing that was not in his or his family's character, the baby that wasn't his that he raised anyway due to the issues he had with his father, and the ass of Chico Divine that he now has to bury...more
(FROM JACKET)Who is Tracy Morgan? The wildly unpredictable funnyman who rocketed to fame on "Saturday Night Live"? The emmy-nominated actor behind the sly and ingenious character Tracy Jordan on the award-winning sitcom "30 Rock", whose turbulent personal life often mirrors that of his fictional alter ego? Is he Chico Divine, the life of the party-any party, anytime, anywhere-getting ladies pregnant eveywhere he goes? Or is he a soulful, tender family man who emerged from a hardscrabble ghetto u...more
Tracy does A LOT of over-sharing, but if you imagine it as him actually reading it to you, it is far more enjoyable.

One big problem I have, is that it seems a little pre-mature for him to do a book like this. 30 Rock is only a few seasons in and his first headlining movie with Bruce Willis is about to drop. That said, there really isn't much to this story (thus the wide spacing and larger font).

Another problem is the flow of the story. Tracy has had a hell of a life, but if I had edited the bo...more
Oct 28, 2012 Chezon rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tracy Morgan fans
The audiobook is "read" by him. It's very apparent that he isn't reading the book verbatim (I do believe he reads the introduction), but I think his personality shines when he's just speaking from the heart. I laughed out loud in a lot of this. But in length, it just wasn't enough. I'm contemplating actually reading the book, but I'm not sold on doing that, because what I love most about Tracy Morgan is the way he expresses himself. That's the reason why I waited for the audiobook rather than ju...more
Audiobook Version: Tracy Morgan narrates his audiobiography which always adds a personal touch. Don't expect anything more than Tracy sitting back, telling you about his life. There is no organization to the book, so the reader has no clue what's coming next. He quickly goes from poinant to offensive without warning. That said, he has a touching life to share starting in the Bronx and Brooklyn to his rise to fame on the comedy circuit. I always appreciate celebrities that get themselves clean an...more
Honestly.I must say that i am surprised at how inspiring this book is. I didn't really know what to expect. While it does have the raunchy language and tales he is known for. it also exposes a different side of him. Letting us into his more sensative side. We learn about his heart. His views on life and what goes into his art and material. While not as fullof the wild tales i'm sure some will read it for. There is enoguh to keep you satisfied. I feel this is definately a book for younger people...more
This is a generous two stars. Tim and I listened to the audiobook on a road trip, and it was read by Tracey Morgan himself. He seemed to retell a lot of it rather than read it word-for-word. Don't let the cover fool you--it is mostly not a funny book. He tells about his life growing up in the projects and his life now, though the details of his rise to fame are not very clear. He gives a lot of shout-outs to people in his life and just plain shouts his opinions on a wide array of topics, from th...more
Well, it was interesting to a degree.

Not the most well written book, but he is a comedian by profession, not a writer.

He repeats himself a lot and this makes the book exasperating. Just as in a conversation where a person keeps telling you the same story over and over, makes you want to excuse yourself.....but again, maybe the drugs and alcohol have addled his brain a bit.

The running theme of, "I was married to the road and drugs were my coping mechanism." is his take on why his life went sout...more
When I checked this out, it was the first time I've ever seen a librarian openly express dismay. She was like "Tracy Morgan!" in a disapproving tone. I was like "Yeah, he's interesting". She's like "I guess he's just one of those people you either love or hate". I was like "Yeah, he's interesting". (I really had no good response for her). I guess she hates him? I think he's pretty likeable. Except for his recent outburst of anti-gay-slurs. I just cant imagine he meant it in the way it came acros...more
I thought this book was going to be humorous and in some respects it was but that was not the main focus of the book. This is an autobiography of Tracy Morgan's life. It's interesting to see the processes that he has gone through. His descriptions of his childhood and time at SNL are inspiring. What comes off as surprising but refreshing is how self-aware he is of everything that has happend to him. He seems to be at peace with his past and looking forward to his future even though he had a roug...more
Lea Ryan
Tracey Morgan reads the book himself, and his emotions really come through. He even cries a couple of times. He also plays recordings of two songs his father wrote and performed just before he died back in the 80s.

The story itself is pretty intense. There's a lot of language, not that it bothered me. He tells a story about losing his virginity that's kind of disturbing. Basically, he lays his story out, the good and the bad.

He's also very grateful to everyone who inspired him or helped his care...more
I rarely give up on books, but halfway through this one, I decided to stop wasting my time. Absent from this book is Morgan's usual wit and humor. In it's place is a hard story of a broken family and growing up as a poor black kid in NYC. But the way Morgan tells it is like watching home movies of someone else's childhood, and no one wants to do that. Morgan is probably banking on cashing in on the success of 30 rock and relied on that rather than writing a compelling book.

As for my expectation...more
Amar Pai
Utterly lacking in substance. There's not a single detail in here interesting enough to recount. AND it's not funny! Feels like it was written in an afternoon.
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Tracy Morgan is an American actor and comedian, best known for his work on the TV series Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock on which he plays Tracy Jordan. (I'm just kidding Tracy!)
More about Tracy Morgan...
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