This laughable page-turner is less an autobiography (she reminds readers she’s nowhere near the end of her road) than Schumer’s self-proclaimed collection of mishaps, sexual adventures and life-shaping occurrences that range from shocking and outrageous to unexpectedly personal anecdotes reminiscent of a questionable past.
Schumer’s $8 million book deal with Gallery Books Group oozed promise for both avid “Inside Amy Schumer” fans and skeptical critics and was met with much enthusiasm from both. If you find Schumer’s blunt and borderline pornographic stand-up comedy endearing, you’ll likely be turned off by the book as well.
Schumer’s quick wit and brutally honest way of storytelling defines The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo just as pointedly as it defines her comedy sketches. Her casual prose is evident on every page of the novel, which reads easily and with voice comparable to a 320-page blog post.
Schumer alternates between formal sentences and expressions that seem more suitable for texts between friends, enabling her to maintain a strong style throughout the book. Her blatant disregard of typical writing etiquette mixed with quirky phrasing pulls readers closer, wrapping them up in the pages of the story and making it feel like they’re sitting across from her in a bar as she divulges in juicy gossip.
The book lacked functional organization but made up for its roundabout path with a common theme—humor, which has been Schumer’s defense mechanism from a young age. This isn’t Schumer’s first rodeo when it comes to poking fun at her flaws before other people have the chance. Many of her standup routines revolve around fat jokes or slutty stories and albeit her best efforts to take this book to a more personal level, she seems to fall into the same role once more.
She delves into tales of losing her virginity without consent, her family’s stumble from riches to rags and her dad’s diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis complete with details about the uncontrollable bowel movements that followed. Where readers may seek to find a deeper understanding of what makes Schumer who she is today, they come up shorthanded with nothing but Amy’s self-demeaning humor.
Even though Schumer’s way of storytelling isn’t for everyone, there is something to be said about her niche role in the comic community. She started her candid and satirical stand-up comedy in 2004 and successfully carries the same reckless façade from her first time onstage to the pages of this book.
The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo is a good distraction from the daily grind if reading about other peoples’ insecurities and dating disasters makes you feel better about yourself. If you are not attracted to Schumer’s style of comedy, you may be better off reading an autobiography written by a less vulgar comedian.
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