Tuesday, 11 March 2008

KEVIN SMITH'S BORING-ASS LIFE- A book review

KEVIN SMITH
MY BORING-ASS LIFE

Titan Books

Silent Bob is one of us!

There is something very humbling about this book. Here is a man who is very grateful for the career he has, and clearly loves his life. Taking the form of a diary covering a year in his sometimes dull, sometimes fascinating life, the book is an eye opener for anyone who is a fan of his work, or just people who are curious as to what writer/directors do when they aren’t writing or directing. From this book, I’d say they’re generally watching the X-Files or TIVO’d Simpsons episodes.

The entry-a-day format makes the book very readable, either all at once or in chunks of a day or two’s entries at a time. It helps that Smith has a gift for writing as if he’s chatting directly to you, otherwise it wouldn’t be nearly as funny or sincere. His daily life is dissected in clear, and sometimes uncomfortably brutal, detail, which sometimes feels somewhat voyeuristic, but the guy is so good natured about it all that it’s hard not to laugh, wince or sigh along with him where appropriate.

The family life he talks of is a wonderful way to fill out the public persona he has. It is a great thing to hear about barbecues and sitting watching movies and talking to friends and fans, even moreso than the parts of the book covering his actual work. It is the ‘life’ aspect of the book I found much more interesting than the work stuff. I know about people making movies, but I didn’t really take into account all the other stuff invloved that doesn’t happen on set. Granted I should as I’ve done that stuff myself, but you don’t really think of ‘name’ directors having to do, well, normal things. Yeah, I know that sounds silly, but can you picture Scorcese on the toilet, checking emails? Me neither. Kevin serves up his life in a frank and entertaining manner that is difficult to put down and harder to forget.

It isn’t all an easy ride through his days though, there is a particularly heartbreaking/heartwarming section dealing with him helping his long-term friend and colleague Jason Mewes through a particularly bad patch, but even in these more difficult periods, there is a great amount of humour and warmth to be experienced. This is a chronicle of a geek who is, quite literally, living the dream. I hope he continues to do so, and continues to fill his life with a cast of characters more unique than any he could dream up for a movie or comic project.

Quite simply, read this book. Enjoy, learn, and wince along with the rest of us.

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