“Sometimes the greatest things are the most embarrassing.” Ellen Degeneres’ winning, upbeat candor has made her show one of the most popular, resilient and honored daytime shows on the air. (To date, it has won no fewer than 31 Emmys.) Seriously… I’m Kidding, Degeneres’ first book in eight years, brings us up to date about the life of a kindhearted woman who bowed out of American Idol because she didn’t want to be mean.
I really wanted to love this book because I watch Ellen’s show all the time and I think she’s hilarious. But this book just didn’t work for me. The first few chapters are very clever and funny, but then it lacks for the remainder of the book.
Each chapter focuses on something different, but it all seems to be surface level. You don’t complete the novel feeling like you know anything more about Ellen. This is a book where she picks random topics and gives you her opinion on them. And that’s fun at first, but it gets old.
I wish Ellen wrote on a more personal level, so that there was a balance between humour and seriousness. Lena Dunham’s book does this perfectly. But I do understand that Ellen’s book probably never intended to achieve what Lena’s did. Seriously…I’m Kidding is designed to make people laugh, and it does, but there needs to be something propelling the story forward. If there are only jokes, then the reader gets a little bored. Also, I could skip chapters that bored me and it wouldn’t matter. And even in non-fiction, a reader shouldn’t want to do this.
This book may ‘bring us up to date’ on Ellen’s life, but it doesn’t really delve deep into who Ellen is behind her comedic front. I’d only recommend this book to people who are Ellen fans.
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