Bossypants by Tina Fey. From the inside flap: “Before Liz Lemon, before “Weekend Update,” before “Sarah Palin,” Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true.”
I was both eager and reluctant to read Bossypants – eager because I enjoy Tina Fey’s work on 30 Rock and reluctant because I’d heard several disappointing reviews of the book. The bad reviews all seemed to have the common theme, however, of the readers having been let down because they had really high (read: impossibly high) expectations. This is why I generally avoid books that receive the massive hype and publicity Bossypants received. How could they ever live up to the buzz? I’ve been burned enough times that I now refuse to read most bestsellers, including practically mandatory works like the Harry Potter series or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. I’m tired of getting my hopes up that a book will be really spectacular, only to find it’s simply okay. Or worse, that it’s terrible. This, I’ll think, this is what everyone is having kittens over? And then I’ll spend way too long wondering what’s wrong with me that I don’t enjoy the things everyone else enjoys and, really, I don’t need to spend any more time comparing myself unfavourably to others. Already got that one covered.
So. Bossypants. Thumbs up or thumbs down? I’d say thumbs up. Was it the finest piece of literature I’ve ever read? No. Was it life-changing? No. Was it funny? Yes, by times. It was laugh-out-loud funny occasionally. Sometimes it was thought-provoking and sometimes it was mildly interesting, but I never found it boring. Do I wish I had bought it from the bookstore (for $29.99) instead of borrowing it from the library? No.
Tina Fey comes across as humble and down-to-earth and honest and approachable and a wonderful departure from the ‘diva’ attitude among female entertainers that seems to be in fashion now. If you read the book from the perspective of ‘spending time with an amusing and charming person’ instead of ‘golden words from a comedy genius,’ I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.