This hilarious autobiography/ memoir is exactly the type of story we need to read in today’s stressful times as it will have you laughing out loud. Famous comedian, Kevin Hart takes the reader through a roller coaster of events that occurred throughout his life including the good, the bad and the ugly. Hart begins his story by taking us back to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he grew up. From childhood to teenage stages, to being a young man to adulthood, Kevin provides insight and wisdom on life that he gained either through experience or via the characters that have entered and/or left his life. With each chapter being a new “life lesson”, we learn about his drug addicted womanizing father, his brother who was in and out of trouble but eventually got his act together due to the military, the co-worker who told him he should go into comedy and to Tory, his baby momma who added drama. We learn Kevin loved his Dad but never wanted to end up like him, and loved his brother but were two different people, to how Kevin was Mr. Awesome in high school but graduated with no plan and ended up working retail all while dealing with a love-hate relationship with Tory that all lead to self destruction, self discovery and relationship wisdom. Kevin provides us with keen insight into the hustle that he endured during the early stages of his career driving from Philly to NYC to perform in comedy shows that either paid little or nothing at all.
Throughout all the hustle and hardship that Kevin mentions in the book, he continuously makes references to his solid foundation that came from his rock which was his mother, Nancy. He comments on how she kept him consistently busy with activities like swimming lessons and then having to be watched by a neighbor everyday so he would stay out of trouble. He mentions how all she had to do was give “the look” and knew that he was in deep water. While he describes her as a strict, fierce, highly disciplined, church-going, bible-reading tough love kind of a mother, he also mentions how she was his everything and biggest supporter all along whether he was aware of it or not. Kevin mentions that it wasn’t until she got really sick and eventually passed away while he was shooting the film Fool’s Gold (2008) in Australia that he realized how much she meant to him and that life lesson number whatever is that there is nothing stronger than a mother’s love.
The take away from this memoir is a mix. By the end you feel as though Kevin is a good friend, yet also a comedian who provides you with life lessons that don’t always hold value but then shockingly your heart is melted by the fact that Kevin learned and shared the biggest life lesson of all. That lesson is that is life is short, and you should spend it with your family and loved ones and that you can’t expect 100% of anything when you give anything less that a 100%. That you should work hard everyday, stay disciplined and focused on your goals and that you will achieve success through all you hard work.
My advice to the readers out there reading this article is to not read this book but rather listen to this book through audible.com or audio books via apple or the library with books on tape. Kevin Hart reads his own story and thus adds comments that are improvised throughout the reading that is not on page. Kevin’s energy throughout the reading makes the words come to life and fills the atmosphere with laughter, wit and love. Hard copy 4/5 stars, audible version 5/5 stars.