Sunday, 12 February 2012

Audiobook Review: Bossypants by Tina Fey

First released in the UK: 18th April 2011
By: Hachette Audio UK

Once in a generation a woman comes along who changes everything. Tina Fey is not that woman, but she met that woman once and acted weird around her. 

Before 30 Rock, Mean Girls, and 'Sarah Palin', Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true. 

At last, Tina Fey's story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon - from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence. 

Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we've all suspected: you're no one until someone calls you bossy.

My review:

I haven’t listened to an audiobook since I was a kid but I want to try new things this year. Inspired by this list from April @ Good Books and Good Wine, I decided to start with Tina Fey’s Bossypants. So glad I did – I loved this. I found myself not wanting to stop listening and trying to fit it into as much of my day as possible.

Bossypants isn’t some groundbreaking text – it’s a fairly typical humorous biography – but what it is, is straight-up enjoyable from start to finish. Fey describes her life, from her childhood and early career, to 30 Rock and the birth of her first daughter and she never forgets to be hilarious while she’s doing it. I laughed out loud multiple times and kept rewinding my favourite bits over and over.

Although Bossypants is mostly fun and light, I think what tips it over from like into love for me is how feminist it is. Fey doesn’t preach at all, but she’s a smart cookie and makes a lot of observations about society’s attitude towards women, that are as seriously on point as they are witty.

The only part of the book I wasn’t that into was the section on Fey’s famous Sarah Palin impression. Fey devotes so much time to discussing this, way more than she spends on any of her other creative pursuits and, maybe because I’m not American, the importance of those Palin skits is just lost on me. I wish there was an option where you could swap out hearing about the work that went into the Palin impression, for hearing about the work that went into writing the Mean Girls script – much more interesting to me!

I’m convinced that if you want to read this, the audiobook version is the way to go. Fey’s narration is awesome – it doesn’t even feel like narration; it feels like Fey is personally keeping you company and chatting to you. You get to hear her comic timing on the jokes and I especially liked hearing Fey mimic the voices of the people in her life – so much funnier.

I’m sure anybody who already loves audiobooks would have had the sense to grab this one already. But if there’s anybody currently ‘meh’ on audiobooks, like I was, grab it now. It will change your mind.

Rating: 4.5 stars


  1. I definitely think the audio book would be the way to go for this one as well since Tina Fey has such personality just in the way that she talks. My friend read the actual book and said she couldn't stop laughing out loud! I'm not much of a Tina Fey fan, but if I do have a chance I might check out the audiobook version of Bossy Pants! Great review :)

    1. I wasn't a huge Fey fan before this audiobook, either. I loved Mean Girls but couldn't get into 30 Rock. However, she won me over with this and I definitely like her now :)

  2. I must confess I'm not a huge fan of Tina Fey. I just don't get her humour. But I admire what she's done for women in comedy and think it's great she's written a book. Am glad you enjoyed this one.


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