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Goodreads⎮Reviewed Aug. 2017
Narrator: Kevin Hart
Length: 11 hours 14 minutes
Publisher: Audible Studios⎮2017
Synopsis: Superstar comedian and Hollywood box-office star Kevin Hart turns his immense talent to the written word by writing some words. Some of those words include: the, a, for, above, and even even. Put them together and you have the funniest, most heartfelt, and most inspirational memoir on survival, success, and the importance of believing in yourself since Old Yeller.
It begins in North Philadelphia. He was born an accident, unwanted by his parents. His father was a drug addict who was in and out of jail. His brother was a crack dealer and petty thief. And his mother was overwhelmingly strict, beating him with belts, frying pans, and his own toys.
The odds, in short, were stacked against our young hero, just like the odds that are stacked against the release of a new book in this era of social media (where Hart has a following of over 100 million, by the way).
But Kevin Hart, like Ernest Hemingway, J.K. Rowling, and Chocolate Droppa before him, was able to defy the odds and turn it around. In his literary debut, he takes the listener on a journey through what his life was, what it is today, and how he’s overcome each challenge to become the man he is today.
And that man happens to be the biggest comedian in the world, with tours that sell out football stadiums and films that have collectively grossed over $3.5 billion.
He achieved this not just through hard work, determination, and talent: It was through his unique way of looking at the world. Because just like a book has chapters, Hart sees life as a collection of chapters that each person gets to write for himself or herself.
“Not only do you get to choose how you interpret each chapter, but your interpretation writes the next chapter,” he says. “So why not choose the interpretation that serves your life the best?”
4.5★ Audiobook⎮ I can officially say that this was the only time I have ever laughed while listening to the closing credits of an audiobook. That pretty much says it all.
But in case you want more, here it is: This probably goes without saying, but I Can’t Make This Up was downright hilarious. Like, laughed-until-I-cried funny. But that shouldn’t surprise anyone. After all, it was written and narrated by Kevin Hart, whom I consider to be one of the funniest people on the planet. What was surprising, however, was the fact that it was more than just funny.
It says as much on the cover with the subtitle “Life Lessons”. Still, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of profundity from Hart. He gives excellent advice in this book. What’s more, it was advice I was able to immediately put into action. Listening to I Can’t Make This Up during the morning put me in the right frame of mind to approach the rest of my day.
That was partially due to the fact that laughter will put anyone in a good mood, but also because Hart makes a point of uplifting the listener, saying things like “There is no need to seek external approval when you already have internal approval”. When I wasn’t laughing, I was nodding my head in agreement. Who knew this guy was so wise?
Hart’s use of humor and casual delivery are bound to reach more people than a regular self-help book would. People like Kevin Hart and you tend to listen to those you like. I Can’t Make This Up is a great way for Kevin Hart to use his talent and notoriety to reach fans on a deeper level.
Even though it was seriously funny, I Can’t Make This Up was so much more than a standup act. If all you’re wanting is the humor, I suggest watching one of his comedy specials. But if you’re interested in getting to know the man behind humor, I Can’t Make This Up is the way to do it. Hart is brutally honest about his family and childhood in Philadelphia, and while it is approached in a humorous manner, the intimacy between Hart and his listeners/fans can’t be missed. He opens up to the audience like never before, sharing incredibly personal details from his life. Hart discusses the highs and the lows, all the while encouraging his listeners to learn from his experiences.
I Can’t Make This Up was over 11 hours long, but it didn’t even feel like half of that. This was such an entertaining and easy listen that the time flew by. This would be an excellent audiobook to hear while driving in the car. Just be sure to pull over if you start laughing too hard.
Narration review: I Can’t Make This Up just might be one of my favorites listening experiences ever. So much of it felt exclusive to the audio experience. Hart, who also narrated, frequently and obviously went “off script”. These instances, in which Hart talks directly to audiobook listeners, were even more hilarious to me than the scripted humor. Because of that, I can’t imagine the book version holding a candle to this audiobook.
Hart’s narration made I Can’t Make This Up even more similar to his standup shows. He was unapologetically himself. Hart’s natural tonal range aided the narration process dramatically. His voice was captivating and engaging, as only a true performer’s can be. If you’re a fan of Kevin Hart, do yourself a favor and pick up this audiobook. ♣︎