Let me start off this review by saying that I am a fan of Kevin Smith. I’ve seen all of his movies, listen to his podcast, am a regular attendant at his Hall H panel at Comic-Con every year, and even visited his comic shop, Jay and Bob’s Silent Stash, back when they had a location in Los Angeles. When I heard that he had a new book coming out, I knew that it would be funny and entertaining, like the man himself.
Tough Sh*t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good, is partly and inspirational tome and part biography. In it, Smith chronicles his rise to indie fame with his first film Clerks and his film industry education at the hands of Harvey Weinstein. Smith leaves no rock unturned and chronicles each of his films, from Clerks, which was funded by credit cards and sold at Sundance, to his newest film, Red State, which he sold the rights to himself for $20 and took on tour through indie movies houses across the U.S.
A lover of all things pop culture, Smith’s book is peppered throughout with references to comics, Batman, Wayne Gretsky, and John Hughes, all of which had a large impact on his life. Smith also gets into the nitty gritty of life in Hollywood, telling of his falling out with Harvey Weinstein as well as the story of which star on the set of Cop Out was a nightmare to work with (hint – it wasn’t Tracy Morgan). But the book isn’t all film and Hollywood gossip. Smith talks extensively about his family, namely his father, wife Jenny and their daughter Harley Quinn (best name ever!). Smith may be the most humble man in Hollywood as he makes it clear that much of his success and sanity are due to the support and talent of his friends and family.
Through all of these life lessons and experiences, Smith’s message is clear – if a fat guy like him can make a living doing what he loves, then so can you. Smith encourages you to dream big and “follow your whimsy.” Life may not turned out the way you planned, Smith says, but keep an open mind and it may turn out to be a slightly different and more over the top version of what you were aiming for. In an age of cynicism, following your dreams may sound too idealistic, but Smith has his own unlikely and inspirational story to hold up as an example. He’s built an empire just by being himself.
Smith is the perfect narrator for his own book and I couldn’t imagine anyone else doing it justice. For the past few years, Smith’s been doing a weekly podcast and it’s clear that he’s comfortable behind the mic. Already funny on the page, his words take on a whole new life coming from the source (especially the cuss words). Smith speaks with charm and enthusiasm and his attitude is infectious. I actually wanted to stay at the gym a little longer just so I could keep listening (and it takes a lot to keep me at the gym, folks). The audiobook is also peppered with little asides from Smith as he reads – little side notes not in the book that are an added bonus of getting the audiobook.
Fans of Kevin Smith will no doubt be highly entertained by this book. If you've been listening to Smith for a long time like I have, some of the stories may be familiar. But this doesn't detract from the book because Smith has a way of never telling a story the same way twice. I'd recommend this for fans of Kevin Smith and those with an open mind who don't mind some crude language and humor.
The audio version of this book has at least one major advantage over the print version. It is read by the author! I love that, because no one knows how the written word should be read like the person who wrote them, but he also offers the occaissional aside comment or story that makes the listener feel they're getting something special.
This is an auotobiographical book, but trust me Kevin Smith is quite an interesting character.
This was the first read iv'e ever heard Kevin Smith do, but I am a fan of his movies.
I think the idea that sticks with me the most from the book is that so-called indie film is basically dead. I feel a real sense of saddness for that loss, and the fact that artists like him may have no future forum for their ideas.
Definately not for children, prudes, or those who are uncomfortable with the truth. Mr. Smith tells it like it is, and though you may squirm with the bluntness of his adjectives you will also find yourself laughing out loud.
...after a while I just lost interest in Kevin Smith. The book works best when we get to hear about valuable life experiences Smith has learned from. Stories involving some of his productions, especially the early ones, are entertaining as well. What brings this book down is when he stalls on episodes where it's difficult to sympathize with Smith. Sure, it's fine that I don't agree with every view of the book, but when the boring part goes on and on and on it's easy to lose interest and start wishing for the chapter to be over already. Entertaining, but nothing more.
I personally have not seen the print version of this book, but I do think having Kevin narrate his own story brings a very real feel to it. I prefer audio books, so my answer would be yes.
Can't say I know of any other book like this. Perhaps any memoir, but Kevin's is very funny and brings plenty of laughs.
I have not, but I do now. Listening to this book turned me on to Kevin Smith's podcasts, which are equally hilarious.
That if a man like Kevin Smith can accomplish his dreams, so can I.
Like I have said, I never knew who Kevin Smith was. I am too young to know Clerks, and his other movies, but I plan to see it now. The performance is great, even including a few, what I assume are, extras that Kevin adds as commentary to the text. If you have a credit, and are looking for some laughs, I would give this book a shot.
Yes, because kevin smith is, clever, witty, and a true original.
When Kevin Smith's daughter, Harley Quinn Smith read her thing to her dad at the end of the book. Very touching after 5+ hours of jokes about what comes in and goes out of genitals. It is a nice tug on the heart strings.
Try it! If you like it check out all the podcast Kevin Smith puts out! If you like the podcast. Download this book!
I would have to rank this book towards the top of my list. I have been a fan of Kevin Smith for a while and enjoy the work he produces. This book isn't too different from other podcasts but it is still a very good listen.
I really enjoy when Kevin Smith quotes Walter Gretzky, father or Wayne Gretzky. I forget the quote but it mentions that a great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be and not where the puck is currently located. I think that is pretty good advice. If it worked for the Gretzky family and Kevin Smith then it can work for me too, right?
I have listened to podcasts, q&a, and I have watched his movies. His movies are classics. You are missing out if you haven't watched his work. This book is similar to the podcasts and q&a.
I didn't plan to listen to this all in one sitting but I can easily picture myself finishing the book in one day.
Kevin Smith does a great job with this book. He is a good narrator and he does offer pretty good advice. I would recommend this book for anyone.
Lots of funny
The optimism brought to the table by Kevin
He is a master wordsmith and brings all the emotion necessary to tell his story.
I will take chances with the future and chase whimsies.
George Carlin's Brain Droppings
it was all funny
I strongly recommend this audio book
I love how frank and candid he is, he's real, honest and a true human f'n being! I like the way he reads it, the way his sense of humor is similar to my own.
Go where the "puck" is going to be.
His podcasting website is incredible and I suggest Hollywood Babble On and his show with Scott Mosier. Even though those aren't books, the shows are similar to this audio book recording, except sometimes with an audience.
Narrated by the man himself, this book is definitely a must listen for any Kevin Smith fan. And although it's available in text form, the book is best absorbed via Audiobook. The fact that Kevin Smith narrates this alone is enough to hold that opinion. But the way he does it, like he's talking to you in his always funny, passionate and emotional style combined with his little "not in the book" moments gives you the feeling that you are there with him in his living room and he's telling you all these stories personally.
The material itself is, as is usually the case with Kevin Smith, pure gold. I listened to this book in one sitting, and will probably listen to it again sometime. From his early childhood, to his heroes, to a passionate final few chapters about his family, this book is a great way to get to know the man behind (and silently in front of) the camera.
A couple of things you should keep in mind: first, I have been a huge Kevin Smith fan for years. I own and have watched all of his movies numerous times (except maybe Jersey Girl). I have some of his Q&A shows on DVD and watch those once in a while, and I have the Clerks cartoon. I also listen to his SModCast network of podcasts. So read the above review with that in mind. Second, if you are also a fan like me, you'll love this but a lot of material will be stuff you've probably already heard elsewhere in the View Askew/SModCo universe.