Books | Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Friday, 30 January 2015

“That is the motto women should constantly repeat over and over again. Good for her! Not for me.”  - Amy Poehler

Rating: 3.75/5

I love funny women.

They prove that being hilarious and being sexy aren’t mutually exclusive. They understand the trials and tribulations of being a woman yet joke about it so much that you forget them. Whether she plays Regina George’s ‘cool’ mom or the ever-ambitious Leslie Knope, Amy Poehler is equal parts charming and equal parts entertaining. 

Yes Please succeeds in being just that.

The debut memoir-ish autobiography details Amy Poehler’s life as a comedienne and actress in Chicago and New York, and her involvement in the Upright Citizens Brigade and Saturday Night Live among countless of vignettes and anecdotes to satisfy the need to know. The book is $12.99USD on iTunes, and $28.95USD for the audiobook (unabridged).

I received the audiobook, unabridged version, four days ago, and I finished it in three.

While Amy Poehler is the primary narrator, a colourful array of celebrities join in the fun from Carol Burnett, to Seth Meyers to Patrick Stewart. They bring their own brand of humour into the mix which makes the audiobook so lively. Though I was a little disappointed Tina Fey was not involved, I still soaked each utterance made and every word spoken.

There is so much to love about the books. For the most part, it’s simple. It’s direct and sincere. Neither Amy nor the book makes an attempt to be something it’s not. It is a book that you can expect from her. It’s funny, charming, with a surprising amount of heart.

Amy could make you feel sad and happy within seconds of each other. Her short chats on her divorce lead to great tips on divorce books. Delightful moon hunting with her boys becomes a discussion of the 2011 Haitian earthquake. There are so many beautiful anecdotes spread across the pages that begs to read.

While the book is not a comedy book, it does provide information about comedy and being an actor in the ‘Biz.’ The book has incredible pieces about her time during SNL, recalling scenes in hindsight and the strength of friendship in great lengths.  These little stories of hers provide great life lessons and morals, if you look over its raunchiness.

However, there were still certain issues I found when listening. Even in audio form, I could tell there was a lot of filler and padding. The book itself, has too many pictures and unnecessary fluff that were added to fill a page-quota. The small (yet long) additions about SNL and Parks & Recreation, while incredibly sweet and dutiful, were unnecessary.  She complains about things too often, so rampant in the book. It left me a bit frustrated and annoyed.

I found the book to be a scattered diary than a well-organized memoir. Anecdotes were repeated in chapters, stories from the same era were spread across, jumping back and forth which made the book incoherent at times. Yes, the book has its flaws and it takes away from experience but doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad book.

It was an absolute joy to read/listen. If you’re a fan of Amy Poehler, or a plain ol' fan of comedy, then I highly recommend giving it a go. You could finish it by the end of the day because you can't ever put it down.The book is not genius nor does it want to be. It is what Amy Poehler intended it to be. The memoir is sweet, silly and ever-charming.

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