Informative, funny, depressing. This book is all these things and more. Personally I’m a big fan of biographies and comedians, and one of those comedians happens to be Artie Lange, so it’s no surprise I enjoyed this book a lot. It’s pretty much a biography; it starts off with Artie as a little kid and goes all the way to the end of making ‘Beer League’. It has its ups and it’s very low downs. It gives a lot of insight on movies, TV, and unfortunately drugs. Like I said before I like Artie Lange but it’s amazing that he’s still around with all the falls that he takes in here. There are some really great things in the book, the stories he tells about going to World Series games with his father, and the stuff during the making of dirty work had me laughing pretty hard. Unfortunately the swing goes the other way too and you hear really in depth about Artie’s drug problems from a cocaine problem to pain killers to heroin, it’s pretty fucking scary. If there’s any positive thing about that side of the story it’s that maybe it’ll keep some kid off that shit, it seems like a life destroyer, and fast. I dug this so much I’ve got both the hard copy of the book and the audio book. The book is about 320 pages, the audio book I think came in around seven hours, both are very enjoyable. Though much like the story it tells the audio book has some down sides. A few chapters in Artie comes in and announces he won’t be finishing it because of heroin withdraw and that some friends will take over the rest of the reading. The chapters with Artie are by far the best, I don’t think anything really compares the author reading the book but the guys that filled in did a pretty good job for the most part. Fans of comedy, biographies or just good stories should be checking out Too Fat To Fish.
You may know him as Mr. Wick from the Drew Carey Show, you may know him as the host of the Late Late Show, and if you’re really hip you may know his standup, some bands he’s been in or various other roles. The man in question is Craig Ferguson, and he’s here with a biography which will lead you from his home in Scotland to a late night talk show host. Personally I’m a big fan of biography books but it’s been a while since I’ve read a good one, American On Purpose really fills that void. It’s a great book and it doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of the man or if you’re not entirely sure who he is. A good biography book will suck you in and make you not want to put it down, a better one will make you feel like you know the person after you’re done reading it, this does both of them plus makes me want to hang out with Craig, because he really seems like an awesome guy. This covers everything from him growing up in Scotland, his fascination with America, his various marriages, and various jobs including a bouncer, a construction worker, a drummer and of course, and actor. Going into the book I didn’t know a lot about the man, I basically knew him as the guy that was on The Drew Carey show and the dude that hosts the Late Late show, but this book does an amazing job of fleshing out everything. I was surprised to find out he was into punk, the book has about a chapter devoted to that, and it was awesome. I was also unaware he was an alcoholic; a large portion of the book covers this. I really cannot recommend this book enough, I thoroughly enjoyed this. I really can’t think of anyone that I wouldn’t recommend this too; it may be the best book I’ve read all year. Clocking in at 268 pages so it’s enough to be a good read without overwhelming you.
I love biographies, they’re my favorite kind of book, and I also love comedy and have a huge respect and love for the classics like the Three Stooges and The Marx brothers. So when I came across this book I was pretty excited, and I’m glad to say it lived up to my own hype. It has some odd things about it, like this isn’t your average biography. There are even long stretches of the book that don’t even seem to be one at all, but that’s fine because all of it is incredibly entertaining. Groucho talks about his beginning days on the stage and getting bigger all the way up past his movie career. At 376 pages it makes for a surprisingly quick read, but that’s merely because you can’t put it down. If you like comedy I’d assume you like the Marx Brothers so this is a must read.
Most people know Bruce Campbell from his acting, most specifically the Evil Dead movies. Well Bruce decided he’d had enough life experience under his belt to write an autobiography. And damn if it isn’t a good one. This takes us from Bruce’s childhood making up games with his friends in the neighborhood to making backyard movies to the giant mess it was trying to raise money for, film and sell Evil Dead (a good chunk of the book). From there it goes onto other film projects, Bruce branching out and becoming an actor independent of Sam Raimi and his friends all the way to doing the book tour for this book. It’s also got an excellently hilarious intro by Sam and Ted Raimi. Anyone who’s a Bruce Campbell fan, a fan of movies or just likes reading autobiographies will really enjoy this one.
John E. Oden takes on the task of writing a boxing book, sure this has been done hundreds of times over but this time it’s a different kind of book. There’s a few things that make this book unique, first off it isn’t focused on the tragedy of the sport as so many now a days do. What this book does is take on a biographical stance on multiple boxers, telling some of their history, how they got started and in many cases the fight that made their careers. In just over 170 pages we take a look at Muhammad Ali, Oscar de la Hoya, Jake LaMotta, George Foreman, James J. raddock, Joe Calzaghe, Floyd Patterson, Bernard Hopkins and the Klitschko, Vitali and Wladimir. The author also gives us a look at Jack Dempsey, Gene Tunney, Joe Louis, Max Schmeling and their career defining fights. While there may be a lot of repeat information that you’ve heard before if you follow boxing or boxing history you may be surprised to find a lot of information you didn’t know. Each chapter is around five pages which help make this a page turner but none of this seems rushed. This book is a must read for any boxing fan.
Filed under: Autobiographies and Biographies, Books, Reviews, Sports | Tagged: Bernard Hopkins, biography, book reviews, boxing, Floyd Patterson, Gene Tunney, George Foreman, Jack Dempsey, Jake LaMotta, James J. raddock, Joe Calzaghe, Joe Louis, John E. Oden, Max Schmeling, Muhammad Ali, Oscar de la Hoya, Sports, vatali klitschko, wladimir klitschko | Leave a Comment »