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I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  26,188 ratings  ·  2,754 reviews

Superstar comedian and Hollywood box office star Kevin Hart turns his immense talent to the written word by writing some words. Some of those words include: the, a, for, above, and even even. Put them together and you have the funniest, most heartfelt, and most inspirational memoir on survival, success, and the importance of believing in
Hardcover, 378 pages
Published June 6th 2017 by 37 Ink
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Johnett I listened to the audio version of this book and I must tell you it is the BEST way to experience Mr. Hart’s book. He does speak quickly, however, I d…moreI listened to the audio version of this book and I must tell you it is the BEST way to experience Mr. Hart’s book. He does speak quickly, however, I didn’t feel he mumbled, except in a phrase or two where that presentation was required for comedic purposes.

I usually listen to my audiobooks at 1.25-1.5 speed, but for this book, I was happy to listen and laugh at normal speed. Honestly, I think reading the traditional book would deprive you of at least half of the joy of the experience.

Spend the money or credit and enjoy! 😉(less)

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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  26,188 ratings  ·  2,754 reviews

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May 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-in-2017
I'll start off by saying I had zero interest in reading this book. I was admittedly a hater and felt that although I am a huge fan of Kevin Hart's stand-up, he did not deserve a book deal. His grammar is so horrible, I had to unfollow him on social media. With that said....
I LOVED this book. I really appreciated how honest and genuine the entire book felt. He was upfront about having a writer, and I think Hart and Strauss collaborated perfectly. You can just see the Hart shining through the enti
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I went into reading “I Can't Make This Up” thinking I was going to just laugh, but I didn’t expect to get hooked on the story itself as well. Kevin Hart's story is not a new one, but it is powerful and inspiring. The book started off strong with hilarious, endearing, and sometimes bitter sweet childhood and coming of age stories that incorporated life lessons. It's a leisurely stroll through a life where there were choices to be made, and desperate situations to be lived through. The book felt m ...more
Every experience is a potential life lesson. Even if you don’t appreciate it at the time, each struggle in the present is preparing you for something else in the future.

Almost everyone knows Kevin Hart's name by now, but that wasn't always the case. In his memoir, he tells the story of how he became an "overnight success that was only sixteen years in the making"–from a shoe salesman whose biggest dream was to become a Nike rep to a world-famous comedian. It wasn't always a smooth, upward tr
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

“You can’t control the events that happen to you, but you can control your interpretation of them. So why not choose the story that serves your life best?”

Let me begin this by saying I’m not what you’d call a big Kevin Hart fan. I have a couple or so young(ish) children who already will have a proclivity to swear words due to the simple fact that I am their mother, so when Hart’s stand up specials started to hit the cable channels
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it

Kevin Hart

Kevin Hart is an award-winning comedian and actor, and it took him only 16 years to become an 'overnight success.' In this inspirational and entertaining memoir - written with Neil Strauss - Hart talks about his life, career, family, and friends - and it's clear that he's a loving son, loyal friend, devoted father, and exceptionally hard worker. Hart is also an honest man and admits that - in his youth - he was a bad husband to his first wife.....and gambled, drank, and splurged too mu
Whitney Atkinson
This wasn't a bad book, but I have a couple of massive problems with it that don't really have anything to do with the book itself.

First, I listened to this book on audiobook like I do most memoirs and non-fiction books, even though I also own a copy of it. And I realized very quickly that it was going by really slowly. After about 3 hours of the audiobook, I realized that as Kevin narrates the audiobook, he throws in a TON of aside information and goes off on a bunch of tangents that's not wri
Steph Sinclair
This book really made me appreciate Kevin Hart and his story is very eye opening. I'm not sure why I never realized how long he's been around. From the consumer standpoint, it seems that he just exploded onto the scene, seemingly out of nowhere. His hilarious autobiography shows that he's been busting his ass for years to get where he's at today. This was a great listen. If you're a fan of his standup, you'll definitely enjoy the audio. ...more
Dec 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs, celebrity, humor
I currently have a full house. My attention is being pulled in all different directions, cutting into quality reading time. Last week I scanned the celebrity memoir shelf at the library to see if I could find one of interest. Most of celebrity memoirs are hit or miss but all provide light reading during busy times. My husband and I enjoy movies with Dwayne The Rock Johnson and Kevin Hart, my husband more than I but both of us find ourselves laughing hysterically at the on screen jokes. When Hart ...more
Theresa Alan
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a surprisingly inspiring book. Yes, it was inspiring to read about how he overcame a challenging childhood to become the only comedian in history to sell out an NFL stadium, but it was also jam-packed with motivational passages for anyone who is working toward a dream.

I read it from the perspective of my sister and myself—we’re both published novelists. Also, because of my sister, I know more than the average nonperformer about the world of stand-up, sketch, and improv comedy and what i
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Kevin Hart is the overnight success that was sixteen years in the making.

I Can't Make This Up is as funny and brutally honest as Kevin Hart's standup comedy is. Kev as we his fans call him, has had a rough life. Drug addicted criminal father, overly strict and super religious mother. An unhappy first marriage that included domestic violence. Years spent struggling to make ends meet and nonstop rejection. No one believed in Kevin except his mother, even he lost hope at one time.

This book isn't a
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I Can’t Make This Up is a memoir by Kevin Hart, detailing his life from childhood through his slow rise to fame, to where he is today - widely considered to be a well-known comedian and actor, and the lessons he’s learned along the way.

I’ve been a fan of Kevin Hart for quite awhile now, but was unfamiliar with his early climb to becoming a comedian and had forgotten about some of his earlier Hollywood appearances. Today, it seems like he is in movies all the time and one of my personal favorite
Renee Amberg
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
I REALLY loved this book. I always had respect for Kevin Hart and his work ethic. The life lessons in this book were simple, quick, & actually got me laughing out loud. I really look up and aspire to his way of living - not taking things personally, the drive to keep going (even after multiple consecutive failures), positivity, and his sense of community / team work. Well done!
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)


I liked this audiobook about as much as I expected to, which is to say, a lot. Kevin Hart is a funny, charismatic comedian, and I found his life story to be interesting and his delivery engaging. However, it was his side stories and little anecdotes that I enjoyed the most. Highly recommend readers to listen to this one on audio because Hart's reading makes his story so much more enjoyable.
Krista Regester
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons by Kevin Hart is inspired by his life and rise to fame. He goes into great detail on how he sculpted and improved his comedy through friends, family, idols, and old pros. His absolute best comedy performances are when he speaks of real life events and situations that he’s been through; likewise these are the best parts of this book! As usual I always recommend listening to memoirs when they’re read by the author because they always put a personal twist on it. K ...more
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At the start of Kevin Hart's teenage life, he was working in a shoe store and earning just enough money to pay his rent and food. However, after his friends encouraged him to do stand-up comedy he decided that he would quit his job and go the path to becoming a comedian. At first, he was earning only a few dollars every show and he had to borrow money from his mother and girlfriend to pay rent. He, later on, lost almost all of his money from crashing both of the cars that his girlfriend owned. H ...more
Ellen Gail
About once every 4 or 6 weeks, I drive 4 hours to visit my sister, brother in law, baby niece, and fur-nephew. The drive is boring as hell. Literally over an hour and a half of it is a straight stretch of road in cornfield hell. There's construction everywhere that sometimes pushes it to 5 hours. Then there's the drive back in just two short days! It's worth it, but it tests my sanity.

What I'm trying to say is, this audiobook is a godsend. It may or may not have made me laugh so hard that I pee
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audio version by Kevin Hart and loved it! Initially and over time, Kevin grew on me like a fine wine. His humor, work ethic, television and films continue to grow because of his burning desire to excel and expand. I especially enjoyed the beginning and last chapter of the audio. I recommend to all. 10 of 10 stars
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I knew I would laugh, and I did - a lot! But more than that you learn that this funny guy isn't just some clown. He's worked and continues to work his ass off for his craft. The life lessons he shares are not revolutionary, however, when stated with his simplicity and humor you rewarded with some gems to live by. Awesome job Kevin Hart. ...more
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5/5 stars!

I recently saw most of the film THE UPSIDE, starring Bryan Cranston, Kevin Hart and Nicole Kidman. I missed a little of the beginning but I watched and enjoyed the rest. I was surprised by how much I felt for Kevin Hart in the film, because I'd previously only seen him in commercials or very short comedic bits and he got on my nerves, to be honest.

In this book he tells the story of his life, his successes and failures, his positive and negative points, his love for his mom and famil
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it

I didn't expect half of what I got from this book. I knew there would be funny parts, obviously, but it was much more than a funny memoir. During the telling of how he got to the level of success he has obtained, there were some real life struggles unfolding across every page. It didn't read like a hyped version of his life but a look back of on how funny, crazy, sad and tumultuous a life can be. I have experienced quite a f
Dee's Reading Zone
September 18, 2017... I guess Kevin Hart can make this stuff up and for it, I'm questioning my rating to this bestseller... Give me another day or two as the ball drops on what he said about his personal life, marriage, etc... in the news. He has apologizes to his new wife and kids but what about the readers of his book/audio. We know that he is a comedian but please this stuff ain't. .funny at. all! So really what are the life lessons did Hart really learn since openly apologizes to pregnant wi ...more
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
Despite not knowing much about Hart, this was a 99p Audible deal over Christmas and i'd just seen him in Jumanji so I thought i'd give it a go....

And it is well worth it.

He's properly honest about his life, relating it with humour and an incredible positivity that represents the overarching 'lesson' he wants to put across with this book. He's worked hard for what he has now, been through hard times, messed up, and got right. It's truly funny, but real. Not only that, it's genuinely inspirationa
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
HILARIOUS!!!! Authentic Kevin Hart!!! Life stories told only the way he can tell them! I listened to the Audible audiobook, that was narrated by him and the story was AWESOME! Hours of listening to K. Hart was a treat! I It was also nice to hear the background story about his 1st marriage as well as how he got in to comedy! I can't count how many times I laughed out loud and was wiping tears from my eyes! ENJOY ...more
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I didn’t know what to expect coming into this book. I enjoy Kevin Hart’s movies, but I didn’t really follow him as a “comedian.” With that said, I thought this was a great book! I tend to have mixed feelings when it comes to celebrity memoirs as many of the tend to be purely for publicity reasons, offering the reader no value or substance, but this one felt very honest and genuine. He was just sharing his story and offering readers advice that goes beyond the standard work hard and you'll succee ...more
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Even the Library of Congress and acknowledgments pages are funny.
 Sarah Lumos
3.5/5 stars

Prior to reading this book, I obviously knew who Kevin Hart was, but I didn’t know know him if you get what I’m saying. The only thing I knew was that he was a comedian who appeared on late night sitcoms sometimes. But after finishing the 100 or so chapters in this book, I feel like I have a good sense of who he is as a person.

I decided to read this book because it had awesome reviews on audible. I loved Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah, who als
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is laugh out loud funny. Funny man Kevin Hart has much to draw on as he shares tales from his upbringing in an entertaining, inspirational and always humorous fashion making this book a big ball of fun. The book is spread across 99 chapters (yes 99) with some of the craziest chapter titles I’ve ever seen in a book, divided through 16 Life Lessons.

He uses the life lessons to dispense advice and to explore what he has learned and his not always successful way of handling what life throw
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
A very entertaining book. Every chapter is a different story into Kevin's life. Lots of amazing stories of where he came from and his relationship with his Mom, Dad, brother and even his relationships with women. How he went from having nothing and working hard to get what he wanted. There were times where I just wanted to yell with frustration with the screw ups he did but then as you keep reading you see how he grew, matured, learned from his mistakes and became a good man and good father. He ...more
Sarah Robinson
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I listened to this on audiobook and absolutely loved it!! Both hilarious and inspiring!
Burneeka Y Tindale
I had to finish it. This is an excellent read. I'm proud to be a Philadelphian!!! ...more
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Play Book Tag: I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons by Kevin Hart 5 stars 3 14 Dec 17, 2018 01:10PM  

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Kevin Hart is an award-winning actor and comedian. His films, including Central Intelligence, Think Like a Man, Get Hard, Ride Along, The Wedding Ringer, and The Secret Life of Pets have earned over $3.5 billion at the box office. His stand-up comedy tours, including Let Me Explain, Laugh at My Pain, and What Now?, have sold out arenas and football stadiums, leading Forbes to name him the “king of ...more

Articles featuring this book

As we wrap up our 2018 Reading Challenge, we decided to ask our Goodreads coworkers a simple yet tough question: What were the...
213 likes · 378 comments
“In life, you can choose to cry about the bullshit that happens to you or you can choose to laugh about it.
I choose laughter.”
“How you handle rejection is very similar to how you’ll handle success. If you’re strong enough to handle rejection without taking it personally, without holding a grudge, and without losing your passion and drive, then you’ll be strong enough to reap the rewards. But if you’re too weak to handle failure and disappointment, then you’re too weak to handle success, which will only end up damaging your life and happiness.” 34 likes
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