Monday, January 22, 2018

A Surprising Letdown

The Girl with the Lower Back TattooThe Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I expected laughs coming out of my butt and instead I got a relative dud. I did not see that coming!

I am a fan of Amy Schumer, yes warts and all*, and so I expected to love this book. Her show is hilarious, her stand-up is good stuff, and I really enjoyed her movie Trainwreck...or A Girl Without Complexes as it is known in Russia. This book, however, does not meet expectations.

The subject matter is hit and miss. I really enjoyed when she got on the topic of her show or movie. There was some snort-laugh-worthy material in her dating stories. I wasn't so interested in her stuffed animals, though, and didn't feel like they needed a full chapter of their own. There is a lot of time spent on her mom and dad, who are honestly more interesting people than Amy comes off as in this book.

She's just not a truly wild and crazy gal. While it didn't make for an exciting read, it was interesting to find out that she's actually an introvert of sorts who forces herself to perform. She'd be more at home spending most nights, well, at home. She's a movie-on-the-couch-in-PJs-with-a-bowl-of-brownie-mix kind of date night girl. And I don't hate on that! Hell, that sounds like heaven to me. Problem is, when you're writing an autobiography and that's the kind of a material you're working with, the book ain't gonna thrill ya.

Amy is also not a terribly dynamic reader. There isn't a lot of life in her reading voice. I chose to listen to this in audiobook format, because I feel like you should always read a comedian's book that way. They're writing about themselves, they're natural performers, this is right up their alley! Well, looks like I have to amend my "always" when it comes to comedians' audiobook narration. Schumer sounded like she was on valium a third of the time, bored to death during another third, and on top of things and engaged for the third third.

Now, I've bagged on this book for most of this review, but in fairness, it's not horrible. Yes, it did take more than a month to get through seven cds, which is an astronomical amount of time for such a short book. However, I have read worse and this doesn't come close. As a Schumer fan, let's just say I was let down. I expected a laugh-riot and was surprised when I didn't get it. That doesn't mean there isn't merit herein. It just means I set the bar too high.

* Mostly I'm talking about the few a-holes that have dug up her past and tried to throw it in her face. Others claim she's stealing jokes. I've looked into it, and to me this just sounds like jealousy and sour grapes. The rumors and accusations I've seen have all been from dudes and the ax they're grinding stinks of fear, as if they're afraid vaginas have invaded and will one day rule the world if dudes don't whip out their penises and beat them back!

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