The Dinglehopper

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Audiobook Review: Bossypants

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This is a kind of, sort of, review suitable perhaps for a kind of memoir, sort of confessional, often humorous, always engaging text read aloud by its author.

I’ve read, like, one memoir.  One of Carrie Fisher’s.  No comedy.  Unless food writing counts.  I’d call myself a Tina Fey fan, but not a Tina Fey geek.  I have an enduring inner conflict about whether Mean Girls or Talladega Nights was the funniest movie ever.  I’ve seen some 30 Rock, but not all of it.  I caught some of her SNL work here and there.

I’d heard, just like everyone has probably heard, that Tina Fey’s Bossypants was a good read.  I’d also heard that hearing her read it was even better.  I dunno.  I didn’t listen to it ’cause I read it and wanted to experience it again, only better.  I listened to it because it’s hard to read while doing the dishes or whatever.

No matter what the advertising images show you, audiobooks for those times when you’re bored or afraid of your own thoughts.  Mowing the lawn, folding the laundry, prepping food.  They’re for people who don’t follow sports.

Hearing the memoir in its own voice is great, though.  That much is true.  Fey is conversational and authoritative, self deprecating and confident, humble and honest.  That comes through in the shape of the sentences, but it’s also communicated by her voice.  So yah, if you like to listen, this is AMAZING.

But I should say something about the content.  I think.

Chapter 17 is called “Dear Internet.” She takes some time to respond to online criticism.  It reminded me of nothing more than the (NSFW) end of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, except civil and dignified.  It was lovely, funny, and on point.

Actually that describes the entire book.  Whether she’s talking about dawning epiphanies in high school or mature moments of poor judgement, I often got the sense that this was every experience everywhere, related with as much wisdom as one could reasonably expect.

A line that sticks with me comes at the point early on in 30 Rock where the writers crammed into her apartment for all night sessions, her husband composing in a pantry and her child sleeping in the next room.

“These will definitely be my happiest memories of this time, because everything I cared about was within ten feet of me. “

The other is chapter 23, “A Mother’s Prayer for Its Daughter.” Chances are if you’re on social media you’ve seen someone link it on Christmas or Mother’s Day or sometime anyway.  If you’ve never read or listened to it, here’s one more chance.  Maybe it’s not what you’d say, but the sentiment is probably similar.

Recommended pretty much unreservedly if you don’t mind people talking about themselves.

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