Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Tough Sh*t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good, by Kevin Smith

(hb; 2012: nonfiction)

From the inside flap:

"Kevin Smith is full of sh*t.

"That Kevin Smith. The guy who did Clerks a million years ago? Didn't they bounce his fat ass off a plane once? What could you possibly learn from the director of Cop Out? How about this: He changed filmmaking forever when he was twenty-three, and since then he's done whatever the hell he wants. He makes movies, writes comics, owns a store, and now he's built a podcasting empire with his friends and family, including a wife who's way out of his league. So here's some tough sh*t: Kevin Smith has cracked the code. Or he's just cracked.

"Tough Sh*t is the dirty business that Kevin has been digesting for forty-one years, and now he's ready to put it in your hands. . . Kev takes you through some big moments in his life to help you live your days in as Gretzky a fashion as you can - going where your puck is gonna be. Read all about how a zero like Smith managed to make ten movies with no discernible talent and how when he had everything he though he'd ever want he decided to blow up his own career. Alog the way he shares stories about folks who inspired him (like George Carlin), folks who befuddled him (like Bruce Willis), and folks who let him jerk off onto their legs (like his beloved wife). . ."


Review:

Potty mouthed, funny, smart, self-deprecating (in a healthy, charming way), no-nonsense and often inspiring (for those like myself, who are geeky, creative and average-looking), this is an excellent, earthy read.

His life- and filmmaking-based lessons and observations are spot-on, and, as I mentioned before, often inspiring. And his stories about those who have inspired awe and respect in him - George Carlin, Quentin Tarantino, Michael Parks and Tracy Morgan - are also interesting, as is his chapter about working with Bruce Willis, whose job description is movie star, but who, on the film set of Cop Out, acted like a film director as well: a less than flattering but respectful and honest recounting.

"Tough Sh*t is worth owning, if you're a Kevin Smith (check), and buy film/pop culture books (I generally don't).

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