3 stars (out of 5)
Let me say at the outset that I don't know a lot about Tina Fey except that she's exceptionally talented, and I chuckle every time I even think about her spot-on impression of Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live. But I've never watched her popular 30 Rock TV show or, for that matter anything else she's ever been in. But what little I do know was enough to entice me to take a peek at her autobiography - figuring at the very least I'd get a chuckle or two out of it.
And I did, at least at the outset. In fact, I told my husband Jack to be prepared to hear me chortle as I read through this one. But alas, the laugh-out-loud stuff came to a halt rather quickly, and the best I could muster from then on was an occasional smile. Although it was somewhat interesting overall, discovering such life-of-Fey trivia like what she learned from Lorne Michaels (creator and producer of the aforementioned SNL just didn't grab me much.
What I learned isn't much beyond what I already knew: She's exceptionally talented and her Sarah Palin thing was a bit hit, in large part because they look so much alike. New to me was that she has a scar on her face that she got as a child that has helped mold the person she is today (see, I told you I've seen her only on SNL sketches, and most of that time I was half asleep).
That's not to say the book isn't interesting; it's just that it's written much like one of her TV sketches - and sketches work best when they're seen, not read. Still, the book is punctuated with a few real gems. Her observation that "Politics and prostitution have to be the only jobs where inexperience are a virtue," for instance, almost made me snort coffee out my nose. And near the end (when the book starts getting really funny again), her bit on breastfeeding is a hoot.
I certainly wasn't disappointed after reading her life story as it's happened so far; for such a well-known, public "personality," she's a relatively normal woman with a good head on her shoulders, feet solidly on the ground and a work ethic that would put a Midwesterner to shame -- and in my world, by golly, that's a Martha Stewart good thing.
Bossypants by Tina Fey (Reagan Arthur Books 2011); 288 pp.