Monday 17 January 2022

Book ~ "I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons" (2017) Kevin Hart and Neil Strauss

From Goodreads ~ Superstar comedian and Hollywood box office star Kevin Hart turns his immense talent to the written word by writing some words. Some of those words include: the, a, for, above, and even even. Put them together and you have the funniest, most heartfelt, and most inspirational memoir on survival, success, and the importance of believing in yourself since Old Yeller.

The question you’re probably asking yourself right now is: What does Kevin Hart have that a book also has?

According to the three people who have seen Kevin Hart and a book in the same room, the answer is clear:

A book is compact. Kevin Hart is compact.

A book has a spine that holds it together. Kevin Hart has a spine that holds him together.

A book has a beginning. Kevin Hart’s life uniquely qualifies him to write this book by also having a beginning.

It begins in North Philadelphia. He was born an accident, unwanted by his parents. His father was a drug addict who was in and out of jail. His brother was a crack dealer and petty thief. And his mother was overwhelmingly strict, beating him with belts, frying pans, and his own toys.

The odds, in short, were stacked against our young hero, just like the odds that are stacked against the release of a new book in this era of social media (where Hart has a following of over 100 million, by the way).

But Kevin Hart, like Ernest Hemingway, JK Rowling, and Chocolate Droppa before him, was able to defy the odds and turn it around. In his literary debut, he takes the reader on a journey through what his life was, what it is today, and how he’s overcome each challenge to become the man he is today.

And that man happens to be the biggest comedian in the world, with tours that sell out football stadiums and films that have collectively grossed over $3.5 billion.

He achieved this not just through hard work, determination, and talent: It was through his unique way of looking at the world. Because just like a book has chapters, Hart sees life as a collection of chapters that each person gets to write for himself or herself.

Kevin Hart is a stand-up comedian and actor.  I think the first movie I saw him in and when I first really became aware of him was Get Hard, a movie that came out in 2015.  I didn't have high expectations for it but found it funny.  So since then I've seen a few of his movies and liked them.  I like reading bios/autobios so thought I'd check out his book.

Hart's parents weren't married.  His mother wasn't overly happy when she found out she was pregnant again as she'd already had a son with Hart's father, who was a drug addict who was in and out of jail.  She was religious and raised her sons as a single mother.  She was a strict disciplinarian and had no qualms about smacking her kids with a belt or frying pan to bring them back in line.

Hart wasn't crazy about school and barely got through, something he now regrets.  He got a job as a sneaker salesperson where he excelled right after he graduated from high school.  But he got a taste of performing and that became his dream.  He worked hard, performed in small clubs, was mentored by more experienced comedians and didn't often say "no" to opportunities that came his way.

I found the writing style to be honest and was surprised at some of the stories he told that maybe he should have kept to himself (things maybe his kids shouldn't know).  I found the stories from his childhood appalling but Hart now appreciates the structure and discipline his mother instilled (it sounded to me like it bordered on child abuse).  As a head's up, he swears A LOT so if you're easily offended, you won't like this book.

I was enjoying getting to know Hart but got turned off when he talked about cheating on his first wife and how much he loves his second wife and she's his soulmate (they married in 2017) ... but then he cheated on her while she was pregnant with their first child (after the book was written).  When he gets drunk, he pees in things like hats and purses and that didn't stop him from drinking.  He seems to think this is funny but I found it disturbing.  It didn't seem like he takes drinking and driving seriously ... he would get hammered and then drive and he's lucky he never killed anyone.  When he was caught on a DUI, his solution was to stop driving not drinking (he hired a driver who quit when Hart peed in his hat). 


Anonymous said...

He is funny but sounds like a jerk.

Teena in Toronto said...

I kinda agree!