If you are familiar with Amy Schumer and her comedy, you likely think either the sun shines out of her ass or she’s awful. I’m in the former camp. I enjoy her sketch show, Inside Amy Schumer, and her stand-up, as well as her movie, Trainwreck (though I admit I have not been crazy about her handling of the Kurt Metzger fiasco, which occurred just as this book was released). If you like Schumer, I can’t imagine you wouldn’t like The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo.
Written as a series of essays and lists, plus excerpts from her old diaries (with footnotes), accompanied by often hilarious photos, the book is unsurprisingly candid and funny. What did surprise me were the serious bits–still told with humor, except for the chapter on the shooting at a screening of her movie–her relationship with an abusive guy, her non-consensual loss of virginity, her introversion. I hadn’t previously read or heard many interviews with her, so these details of her personal life were news to me. She’s survived much more than being a woman in the world of comedy and entertainment.
My only worry beginning this book was that it would contain too many jokes from her stand-up; that fear is definitely unwarranted. The tone is familiar–and I might just have to listen to the audio book–but the content is fresh. I laughed out loud at least once most chapters, often suddenly from an offhand-feeling quip. I appreciated her vulnerability, but let’s be real; if this book weren’t funny, I’d be disappointed.
Although early on she states that it’s not a self-help book, there are still plenty of moments when Schumer writes directly to the reader or otherwise points to the lessons she’s learned, or, more accurately, how she gets on with things and lives her life. Most aren’t a surprise, at least to me, but she doesn’t become preachy and those bits are borne of personal experience.
I hope she writes the theoretical future books she mentions. Especially Juggling Dicks. 😉