Nicola's Reviews > Bossypants

Bossypants by Tina Fey
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's review
Apr 21, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction, kindle

Eloquent and funny, Tina Fey’s mish-mash of autobiography and personal essays made for some really good sunny-day-in-the-garden reading. In fact, I was enjoying it so much that I carried on reading for quite a long time after the sun had gone in. (England, huh?)

My criticism of Bossypants would be that it reads like someone said to Fey, “hey, you should write a book! here, have a large advance!” – rather than as a heartfelt desire to record aspects of her life on paper.

As a result, Bossypants is quite scattershot in its compilation. The autobiography of Fey’s young life is long and in-depth, but she scarcely outlines what happened to her after the age of 23. Where’s the story of how she met and fell in love with her husband? Where’s the story of how she made the decision to have a baby? I suspect that Fey may have found these subjects too schmaltzy to focus on at length, but if you’re gonna write an autobiography, write an autobiography.

What we’re left with instead is random anecdotes from Fey’s adult life, many of which come across a bit too much like blog entries. The decision to list all of the 30 Rock writers feels like pandering, and, in all, Fey seems to be too much aware of her audience. Parts of the book seem transparently written as a rebuttal to journalists who’ve profiled her unfairly.

Bossypants is a book that could have been a 5-star read. While it would be unfair to write it off as a quick cash-in – there’s plenty that’s entertaining here, and the social commentary about women is excellent – it’s impossible not to suspect a little more time, effort and passion could have gone into this project.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Alarra I agree with the entirety of your review (suppressing my urge to just write THIS). She is so funny but so much of the book felt like piecemeal anecdotes thrown together, like a funny FAQ. Not helped by realising that I have read some of these pieces before in other publications, further adding to the feeling that these are, like you say, akin to blog posts rather than an in-depth look at her life so far.

That said, she seems like she's doing a gazillion things at the same time (producer, writer, actor, mother, etc etc) - I guess it's hard to blame her for taking the easiest route to fulfil a book contract. But even while I was enjoying it, I was already wishing I was reading another, better version.

message 2: by Carol (last edited Apr 25, 2011 08:30AM) (new) - added it

Carol Neman Too bad, she's one of my favorites...I still might read it though so will mark it TBR

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