Sunday, January 25, 2009

Artie Lange - Too Fat to Fish by Artie Lange with Anthony Bozza

I was a little unsure when I received this book to review, but I was actually pleasantly surprised. Artie Lange, stand-up comic, actor, and a part of the Howard Stern show, did not sound like a book I would be able to get through. Yes, it was raw. Yes, it was crude, but certainly not to the extent I anticipated. In fact, this is a very personal, honest story of a man with many problems to overcome. Swinging back and forth between depression and paranoia, he is a perfect candidate for addiction of any type. Having lost his best friend - his father - at a relatively young age, has left him bereft and it would seem that his main issues begin around this basic time period.

Artie has told his story no-holds-barred. A comedian and an overachiever, with little self-confidence, he has taken his life, both good and bad, and laid it bare for all to see. He has had a profitable career, and he has spent a profitable career. His constant battles with depression and drugs is incredible, and he has been very fortunate with the support he has had. He obviously has a whole choir of guardian angels! There are laughs, particularly where the phrase “Too Fat to Fish” came from, and tears. Sometimes I wanted to comfort him and sometimes I wanted to shake him. Sometimes I just wanted to yell, “Don’t do it, Artie!”

I was most taken by the compassion that peeps through every once in a while in the book, and I was very happy that in the end he was able to feel he had accomplished a personal goal by entertaining troops in Iraq. Overall, this was a good story, probably not the last from Artie. For anyone who is a fan of Artie or Howard Stern or stand-up comedy, this is a no-brainer, you will enjoy it and learn a lot from it. For readers like myself, I admit I didn’t want to put the book down, it was a real attention grabber, so regardless of the crudity, I would recommend this book. It may even save someone’s life someday.

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