I should probably start this review by telling you that when it comes to comedy there’s no denying the fact that I’m fussy. However one show I do keep up to date with (via the wonders of YouTube) is Ellen. So, being a fan of her show and after hearing her mention it everyday around the time of it’s release last year I thought why not read her latest book Seriously…I’m Kidding.
Less of an autobiography and more of a collection of comments and observations of everyday life, Seriously…I’m Kidding provides a light-hearted view of the little things in life much like the opening monologues on her television show. The majority of the reviews I had read beforehand were from disappointed fans who after reading the misleading blurb had expected to find an autobiographical piece so if you are looking to read about Ellen’s rise to fame and gain an insight into her daily life this isn’t the book for you. Amongst the random subjects she does touch upon a few more personal ones including why she left American Idol, her and Portia’s decision not to have children and becoming the face of CoverGirl at age 50, although she doesn’t do so with a serious tone.
The content and length of the chapters varies throughout with the longest one being only around six pages. There are quite a few which could be termed ‘filler’ chapters but I took these with a pinch of salt and wasn’t bothered by them at all. The book even includes colouring pages for children and a special chapter for the audiobook listeners, as Ellen says herself ‘I decided to include a little something for everyone’. Although I read the paperback version in this particular case I think it would possibly be even better in audiobook format as Ellen’s timing and delivery seems to be key to her style of comedy and this is obviously more difficult to show through writing.
There is no organisation to the content, the chapters don’t follow any sort of order so it would be very easy to pick up and put down at any time however if read in one go it would only take a few of hours at the most. The writing style can only be described as an informal ramble which is very much like having a conversation with a friend as Ellen addresses the reader directly throughout.
I think this book made a refreshing change from all the dystopian, action-packed, end of the world style books I seem to have overdosed on over the last year. Yes, it is silly but it is also very entertaining and I thoroughly enjoyed it. You won’t learn a lot about Ellen and her life but you will most likely be amused by what you read so if you are looking for a fun, light-hearted book then why not give Seriously…I’m Kidding a chance. 4/5
This post was written by regular reviewer Erin, get to know her here.
Photo © Erin Elise