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Publisher's Summary

From Naptown to Tinseltown - legendary stand-up comedian and actor Mike Epps finally tells all in this outrageous, hilarious, no-holds-barred memoir.

Before starring in Def Comedy Jam and Showtime at the Apollo - before the sold-out comedy shows, Uncle Buck, and becoming his hero Richard Pryor in a biopic - there was Indianapolis. And not the good part. Mike Epps is one of America’s favorite and funniest people, but the path to fame was paved with opportunities to mess it up. And mess it up he did.

Growing up in “Naptown” - what people who live there really call rough-around-the-edges Indianapolis - Epps found himself forced to hustle from an early age. Despite his mother’s best efforts, and the love of his well-behaved brother, “Chaney”, and his beloved sister, Julie, Epps was drawn to a life of crime, but as he quickly discovered, stealing and dealing didn’t really fit his sweet sensibilities. Not to mention he wasn’t very good at it - take, for example, the day he had to call the cops on himself when a dog wouldn’t let him leave a house he was burgling. After several arrests and more than a few months in jail, Epps finally realized that he was an unsuccessful thug, and instead turned to the next most obvious career path: stand-up comedy.

Heading first to New York, then all over the country, and finally to Hollywood, Mike Epps carved out a unique place in American comedy, combining hysterical tales of his family and friends with a mordant take on life in the Naptowns of America. Comedy saved Mike Epps, and here he reveals exactly how he finally grew up and got out, barely. And when describing how he survived when so many of his friends didn’t, Epps makes clear what he’s thankful for and sorry about.

Unsuccessful Thug is about growing up black in America, facing down racism in Hollywood, and ultimately how it feels to fail at thugdom, pull yourself up by the bootstraps, and end up selling out arenas and starring in movies across the country.

©2018 Mike Epps (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

The performer is not good

Stories good but I couldn't stand the reader. I couldn't make it past chapter 3. The audiobook would have been soooo much better with Mike Epps reading it

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good Book Bad Narrator

I loved the story but the narrator was a bit dry🤭overall good book. Would’ve been better if Mike did the narrating himself IJS✊🏾

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Mike Epps

Totally enjoyed the story but I did NOT enjoy the narrator at all. It would be a great audio book if Epps narrated himself

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Unsuccessful Thug Runs Circles Around Cities Everywhere

The only thing Mike Epps could have done to better present this audio is to have read the book himself. No shade on J. D. Jackson.

Unsuccessful Thug resurrects a Circle City cultural experience many locals can relate to. In the bigger picture pre–digital Indy was a bit sleepy when it came to fashion, musical awareness, and financial prosperity for most of the Back community, still is in many ways.

Mike Epps transparent and humorous spin on figuring out life allows us all to breathe through our hardships a little easier. His charming personality and hilarious outlooks on how life’s lows can point you in the right direction is worth every minute it takes to read this positive memoir.

Young people everywhere will be inspired from how this man’s journey from Naptown to Tinseltown paves hope into their dreams.

Well done Epps. Keep up the good work.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent!!!

Great journey and insight from a brilliant comedian. I enjoyed this story, Thanks for sharing it with us Mike.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

good book very entertaining.

good book very entertaining going to give it another listen. Mike Epps have a legendary fart joke that will go down in history.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Very well written! I

Mike is very open and honest on explaining his life. His love for his family and friends is very compelling. He is a role model for young black men every where. I only woodshed the book was longer.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Mike Epps=Cemedic Hero!!!!

I look up to Mike more now then I did before! His story truly hit home with me and I absolutely commend him on getting where he is and doing what he has done! Never giving up on his dream!!! I'm so proud to be a fan of yours and privileged to have been able to listen to your story! It has had one hell of an impact on me my friend!! Thank you Mike and God Bless!!!!!

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Don't like it

Listening to the narrator's makes it impossible for me to listen to this. This would have been better if Mike Epps had been the narrator.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Disappointed that Mike Epps didn’t narrate

It’s very hard to listen to a celebrity’s book or an autobiography when it isn’t the author narrating it. It ruins the whole experience. That being said, it is an interesting story. Shout out to Mike Epps; I look forward to following his career.