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Buy Audiobook on Amazon.ca!
Buy Now on Amazon.com
Buy Audiobook on Amazon.com!
Mindy Kaling is so likable that I want to love her. I mean, I do like her, but I keep expecting her to be amazing in every way. Like, she's so cute and funny that I find myself hanging on her every word, waiting for her to say fantastic things. It's a long wait. She rarely has much of substance to say, which is disappointing because of the aforementioned likability.
Her book is cute and has lots of funny moments, but it also feels like all of the really interesting parts have been redacted. For instance, Kaling is an abbreviated version of her real last name, Chokalingam. When was the moment she decided to change it? Was there a funny story there? Also her parents sound fascinating and, as much as she talks about how much she loves them, I could have read a million more stories about them. Her dad is an architect and her mom is a doctor who had to re-do her residency when she moved to the United States from Nigeria. Wait, Nigeria? Her parents lived in Nigeria? I want to know more about that! Were any of her siblings born there? Has Mindy ever been there? Also, she includes a picture of her boyfriend in the book but never mentions him any other place in the book. What the--? If he's important enough to mention at all, why not more? If she's trying to stay private, why include his picture? There are at least a hundred chapters about her best friend, but not a single line about her boyfriend, other than in the caption of a crappy picture. Weird.
It's also clear that Mindy had just read Tina Fey's book when she wrote this.
She assures us at the beginning that she realizes she'll never be Tina Fey--because really who can?--which is very endearing, but then there are moments when it feels like she's lifted whole paragraphs from Bossypants and adapted them to her own book. One passage in particular that reminds me of Tina Fey is when Mindy claims that there is a relationship between the awfulness of Comedy Central roasts and the nation's desire to see Osama bin Laden's dead body--one of the rare moments of social commentary that didn't involve dating or personal grooming--though this is one of the funnier moments in the book so I guess it's okay.
Overall, the book had me wondering whether it was possible that professional comedy writers actually get ghost writers to write their memoirs for them, like athletes and reality show stars do. Is it possible that Mindy Kaling, famous writer and actress from The Office, had someone else write a general celebrity memoir, then filled it in with a few details and sprinkled it with words like gross and awesome? The fact that I'm even wondering that at all is not a resounding endorsement of the book.
Ultimately, the book doesn't suck. It's, uh, funnier than Paris Hilton's book but with fewer pictures and cute layout features. It's definitely not as good as Tina Fey's book, nor as funny as Sarah Silverman's, nor as revealing as Kathy Griffin's, but...wow, I read a lot of celebrity memoirs apparently.
I bet the audio book is decent though.