Book Report: Sinbad’s Guide to Life (Because I Know Everything) by Sinbad with David Ritz (1997)

I’ve read Chris Rock’s Rock This, I’ve read Bill Cosby’s Time Flies and Love and Marriage, Rita Rudner’s Naked Beneath My Clothes, Judy Tenuta’s The Power of Judyism, and more recently, Jeff Foxworthy’s You Might Be A Redneck If…. So I’ve read my share of the comics’ attempts to cash in on their fleeting fame with a book deal. So I picked up Sinbad’s Sinbad’s Guide to Life (Because I Know Everything) from the St. Charles Book Fair for $2.00. Because I read these things habitually.

Honestly, I probably have seen some of Sinbad’s stand-up routines, but I know him mostly from Necessary Roughness. I didn’t have expectations of his style of comedy. After reading the book, I still don’t. I’m sure he’s a pretty good comic, but he’s not that good of a writer. Even with help, the substance of this book is hard-pressed to actually fill out the book. Part memoir, part humor, I guess Sinbad wanted to pass on some of the lessons he learned the hard way.

But it’s tricky to translate comic success to hardbound books. Cosby did it, but that’s because his humor is topical and bound in storytelling, so he’s got a head start on people who simply fire off zingers. Rock’s biting topical commentary offers some humor and some laughs. Even Rudners musings are amusing at times. And the Foxworthy book was a picture book of one liners. So rating these books, I’d put Sinbad a step above Tenuta; her schtick doesn’t translate well to the printed word, and maybe Sinbad’s would have, but it really didn’t make me laugh, educate me, or teach me anything.

It’s not a bad book, it’s simply a book hardly worthy of any adjectives. Probably not $2.00 either, but what else could I do? I have a library to fill.

Books mentioned in this review:

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