Book Review: I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons

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Title: I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons
Author: Kevin Hart, Neil Strauss
Publication Date: 2017
Publishing House: 37 Ink

I actually finished this book a couple of weeks ago and have been swamped but it was a fantastic book that I read on the recommendation of a family member. Seriously there was one time I almost spit out my drink laughing. I will put an adult content warning on this book as there is a large amount of profanity and various other adult topics.

Synopsis 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: theaforabove, 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.

“Not only do you get to choose how you interpret each chapter, but your interpretation writes the next chapter,” he says. “So why not choose the interpretation that serves your life the best?” 

I found this book highly amusing but also very real. Kevin heart didn’t pull any punches when talking about his life. He analyzed his life: from how he was raised to his own mistakes with a critical eye. Some of the stunts that he pulled as his fame grew was really stupid and dangerous but he realized and is working to change those bad habits.

One thing that did impress me about this book was learning about the amount of work the he put in to making his career in comedy a reality and something that he could actually make a living doing. There were a lot of years of long nights for little pay in tiny comedy clubs or other venues where no one laughed. Hart stuck with it and didn’t give up and that tenacity has paid off.

I suggest this book for fans of comedy, for those who want an entertaining journey on learning what it takes to make it big, and I suggest this book for fans of Kevin Hart. Happy reading.

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