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Yearbook by Seth Rogen

Written by , Posted in Reviews

Four Stars

Best for:
Fans of Seth Rogen. Fans for humorous memoirs in general.

In a nutshell:
Actor, writer, and apparently former stand-up comedian (?)

Worth quoting:
Many things, but I listened while working out so didn’t note anything down.

Why I chose it:
I find Seth Rogen generally pretty funny in general, and the fact that he — and others — were doing the reading of the book sucked me in.

Review:
I didn’t know much about Rogen when I started listening to this book. I think I first saw him in Knocked Up (I missed Freaks and Geeks originally and had to watch it once it was available on streaming), and have seen others of the movies he’s written, like Superbad and 50/50. I don’t generally have a strong opinion about him either way. Or at least, I didn’t. Now, I rather like him.

The book is a mixture of stories from his childhood and stories of his life as a successful actor and writer. And of course there is a long running theme: his use of drugs like weed and mushrooms. If one isn’t a fan of stories of drug use, this probably isn’t the right book. Rogen does however seem at least somewhat aware that he was able to get away with many of his antics because he was a white kid, and that the stories might have gone very differently for a person of color.

Things that surprised me – he started doing stand-up comedy (didn’t know) at age 12! And like, kept at it all through his teen years. Fascinating. But the stories that really were interesting to listen to include his experience with mushrooms in Amsterdam, and the whole story behind the movie The Interview, about a journalist sent to assassinate the leader of North Korea.

Rogen is a great storyteller. There’s a casual tone that feels like someone funny I know just telling a story after dinner when we’re hanging out. But what really made the book for me is the fact that he got a ton of people to read whatever wasn’t in his voice. When his wife first appears in the story, she reads her part. Jason Segel features in a discussion about a ridiculous audition for 8 Mile. Even Snoop Dogg (yes, him) makes an appearance. It breaks up what can be a challenge of audio books, and keeps the reader involved.

Recommend to a Friend / Donate it / Toss it:
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