I am trying to tick off some categories in my 2018 reading challenge – and this book by Amy Schumer is a previous Goodreads Peoples Choice winner #yay. My husband and I watched ‘Trainwreck’ a few years ago – and he was surprised how much the Amy Schumer character reminded him of me…… (this is a compliment – I think?!) We watched some of her stand up and found that very entertaining too (probably I enjoyed it more than him – even though he doesn’t mind a vulgar sex reference much!!) Anyway – I wanted to find out more about the real Amy – rather than the semi autobiographical one from Trainwreck (and was hoping I wouldn’t be massively disappointed in the whole Greatest Showman / PT Barnum autobiography debacle from earlier this summer)
Here’s the Amazon blurb:
“In The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, Amy shares stories about her family, her relationships, her career, good – and bad – sex, recounting the experiences that have shaped who she is today: from the riches to rags story of her childhood to her teenage quest for popularity (and boys) to becoming one of the most sought-after comedians on the planet and an outspoken advocate for women’s rights.
Whether she’s experiencing lust at first sight in the queue at the airport, discovering her boot camp instructor’s secret bad habit, or candidly discussing her father’s multiple sclerosis, Amy Schumer proves to be a fearless, original, and always entertaining storyteller. Her book will move you, make you laugh, catch you completely off guard, and answer this burning question: is it okay for a 35 year-old woman to still sleep with her childhood teddy bears?”
First up – I really enjoyed the book. It’s quite explicit sexually – but that’s not a huge surprise if you’ve seen any of Amy’s previous work! But it’s also very soul bearing emotionally. Both as a woman – but also in her role as a daughter. I hadn’t appreciated that her father had multiple sclerosis – this touched a nerve having watched a family friend – the Dad of one of my best friends – go through this diagnosis and live with MS for 30 years until he eventually passed away a few years ago. I note from a bit of Google research that Mr Schumer has undergone some stem cell research (mentioned in the closing chapters of the book) and has successfully stood again – which is AMAZING news.
Amy is very open and honest throughout the book – again, as you would expect from her stand up. I thought it very interesting how she would class herself as an introvert – despite her chosen career.
I loved her relationship with her sister, brother in law and niece – they are clearly a really vital and loved part of her world. Her relationship with her Mum is more ‘interesting’ and is explored in some depth at different times in her life.
The book also emphasised just how hard she worked for years on end before becoming an apparent ‘overnight success’ – and I hadn’t really thought before how a comic has to be continually working on their act – as she says, it’s not like being a musician where everyone wants the old classics people want new stuff all the time! (The complete opposite of a Take That concert where everyone pops to the loo whilst they play the new stuff, willing them to sing Relight My Fire so they can do the Lulu bit – or maybe that’s just me?!?!?)
I found the book interesting, funny, thought provoking, emotional and really enjoyable. And a million times better than the P T Barnum autobiography!!