My rating: An easy 9/10. Loved it! Some parts are literally laugh out loud funny. Whips right along – a most enjoyable memoir of the childhood, teen, college and early career years of this exceedingly witty lady, up until the time of her notorious portrayal of Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live.
Picked this one up for a paltry dollar at the Sally Ann, shortly after I spent a happy ten minutes browsing it in front of its full-price display in one of the mega-marts. I couldn’t quite bring myself to spend the $17.50 sticker price, though I was seriously tempted, so finding it a few days later virtually free was one of those happy little serendipities of haunting the less posh side of the shopping world.
The first half of the book, the childhood-teen-college year memoirs, when Tina Fey was something of a self-described social outcast and romantic failure, is actually quite poignantly sad behind its comic mask. There is something – the only thing – to be said for having a tortured school life; often it brings out the inner drive to “show them” that leads to stellar success later in life; the bitterness can be usefully channeled into humour, and Tina Fey does that perfectly. She keeps it from being mean-spirited, and I admire her for that; that line is a fine one.
I have only seen Fey’s Palin impersonation in short clips, not having actually owned a television for something over twenty years, but I saw enough to appreciate how darned good it was. The latter part of the book is very focussed on that charade, and I must say Palin herself comes out of it sounding much more likeable than I’d expected. Sarah Palin makes me shudder in real life, in so many ways, but after reading about how graciously she handled being parodied in full prime time view, I get a bit of what her admirers see in her. A very small bit, but it’s there. So Fey has done Palin something of a favour by her mocking portrayal, in my opinion.
This is a keeper; I’ll definitely read it again, which is saying a lot because I tend to be quite out of step on pop culture as a whole, and reading about people you aren’t a particular fan of, or even have much knowledge of, can be a bore. Not guilty in this case. Thumbs up; good read.
And of course, the Goodreads page, with a gazillion reviews.