Saturday, June 9, 2018

Non-Fiction Review: Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish

Rating: ★★★ +.5 | Non-fiction | 6 hours 29 minutes | Gallery Books | 12/05/17

Tiffany Haddish was the breakout star of 2017  following the success of the film Girl’s Trip. The Lasst Black Unicorn delves into how she went from a broke stand-up comedienne living in her car to having a first look deal with HBO.

This memoir is an absolute must listen on audiobook. Haddish writes like she talks and it flows so much better when listening to it. Also, all of the dialogue is written in script format and sounds much better when Haddish is “acting it out.” She’ll say things that aren’t in the book like “and then I was like” or “he was like” before launching into the words that are on the page. Also, there are some updates and asides that aren’t in the printed book so trust me, you want this on audio.

The majority of the book is Haddish sharing her stories of growing up in South Central LA, all of the toxic and abusive relationships she found her self in and how she used her comedy hustle to get on the other side. The latter half focuses on what it was like for her, a girl from the hood, to adjust to life as a star and learning to fit in in Hollywood. I loved the relationship between her and Jada Pinkett Smith and how Smith mentors Haddish on how to be a star.

In the acknowledgments section, it’s revealed that this book was co-written by Tucker Max, a controversial writer who wrote a lot misogynistic books chronicling his sex life. There was a quite a bit of rumbling from feminist publications when it became known he co-wrote this book. TBH, I wasn’t too surprised since Haddish has the same raunchy, sex-based humor Max does. This revelation didn't bother me, but I will say there is a “Roscoe” story about Haddish sleeping with a handicapped man that I found really out of place, cringe-y and borderline offensive. It never fit in with the overall theme of the book. Apparently, this particular story is something Max says is the greatest story he ever wrote...I get the feeling this story was an extreme fabrication of something that may have happened but it came off as really crass and a little bit like making fun of handicap people.

Humorous and heartbreaking, The Last Black Unicorns is an ultimately hopeful memoir that will have you cheering for Tiffany Haddish's continued success if for some reason you weren't already.

Now look, I’m not saying I noticed her before she blew up but I remember watching The Carmichael Show and thinking she was the only funny person on it.

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