The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo (★★★★★)

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Amy Schumer   *   Gallery Books   *   August 16, 2016   *   336 Pages

I think I’m probably the last person in the world to read this book, but I had to wait until I could get it from the library. And since it’s so popular, I had to wait a loooong time. The good news, though, is that, after finishing it, I can understand why so many people like it.

I am familiar with Amy Schumer mostly from seeing her in Trainwreck, a movie she wrote and starred in last year. Apparently she was also in a reality TV show called Last Comic Standing, which–despite being around for nine seasons–I had never heard of… And she has her own show on Comedy Central, going on its fifth season, which I’ve never seen either. (I don’t know what to tell you. I’m not cool.)

I did enjoy watching Trainwreck, though. It’s a love story at its heart, but it’s not typical or predictable (well, not completely predictable, anyway). I liked Schumer’s character. She’s damaged and kind of crass, but also really clever and strong. I didn’t know when I watched the film that her character in that movie is actually almost completely autobiographical. So The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo is basically more of the sameSchumer is still her funny and irreverent self. She’s self-deprecating and entertaining and maybe too revealing. But she made me laugh. And she even managed to surprise me a few times, which is always nice.

I thought most of the book flowed nicely–though I will say the chapter on her mom was somewhat brutal to read. I’m not sure she was quite ready to go public with those feelings, unprocessed as they seemed to be. How a person can write about how horrible her mother is for (SPOILER ALERT) having an affair and breaking up the family–while simultaneously acknowledging that her father went out of his way to hook up with hussies like it was his job–makes me think there is some unfinished business there. The only difference between Schumer’s mom and dad–that I can see–is that her dad was willing to be upfront about his indiscretions, while her mom preferred to deny and pretend. But I guess for a comic like Schumer, being fake is probably the ultimate sin…

At any rate, I really liked this book. It’s a solid five stars, in my opinion, though I’m pretty certain not everyone will feel that way. I’d suggest watching a sketch or two of her show before you dive into this one.

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