I Can't Make This Up--Life Lessons


It's no secret, I'm a big fan of Kevin Hart. Not just because he's a Philadelphia native like myself but also because he is the quintessential example of going from 'rags to riches' . You ever heard the saying, "Pull yourself up by your bootstraps"-- well it's a metaphor often used in America to explain how one can come from humble beginnings and become successful based on one's own efforts. The problem with this saying is that not many people have boots with straps or boots at all, to begin with---and that's the story of Kevin. He literally had nothing. He managed to change his circumstances through hard work, dedication, support from loved ones, and a bit of luck.

His life story, as told in his stand-up, launched his career as a writer, comedian, producer, and actor.  

I spent three days devouring Kevin Hart's memoir. It was detailed, honest, and of course, laugh out loud funny. What I enjoyed most about the book is that it was written in his own voice. Obviously, most celebrity books are written in collaboration with ghostwriters, but Kevin's book read as if the writer transcribed exactly what he said. It was really well-written.

There was very little sugar-coating. It was raw and honest. Hart told stories of domestic violence and cheating during his first marriage, mismanagement of money, arrogance, and alcohol abuse. There was one point when Kevin landed his first big break in Hollywood but it was short-lived, and he had to return to the grind of standup to rebuild his career. That was the biggest takeaway for me--- sometimes you just have to humble yourself and return to the basics, to create new opportunities.

Although I enjoyed reading this book, shortly after finishing, the scandal about Kevin cheating on his pregnant second wife surfaced. Suddenly the old, unfaithful, Kevin Hart of the past, as described in the book, rear its ugly head. When it comes to infidelity, it's apparent he still struggles. Honestly, that's okay with me. I can separate his relationship with his wife from the art and business acumen. Indeed you can't always separate 'the art' from 'the man', but in this case, I think you can. I'm looking forward to his next tour, "The Irresponsible Tour" where he will be sure to discuss the scandal. You have to respect the hustle; he will monetize a very personal matter and hopefully learn from it.

There seems to be a push in the publishing industry to mass produce celebrity memoirs because it's lucrative. Many of them are trash, trust me, I've read a lot of terrible celebrity memoirs. This book isn't one of them. Even if you're not a big fan of Kevin Hart like I am, I can't make this up--life lessons is a really good read!