The question you’re probably asking yourself right now is: What does Kevin Hart have that a book also has?
According to the three people who have seen Kevin Hart and a book in the same room, the answer is clear:
A book is compact. Kevin Hart is compact.
A book has a spine that holds it together. Kevin Hart has a spine that holds him together.
A book has a beginning. Kevin Hart’s life uniquely qualifies him to write this book by also having a beginning.
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. 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 us 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. “Hart is an incredibly magnetic storyteller, on the page as he is onstage, and that’s what shines through [in this] genial, entertaining guide to a life in comedy” (Kirkus Reviews).
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About the Author
Neil Strauss is an award-winning Rolling Stone editor, New York Times columnist, and writer/cowriter of eight New York Times bestselling books including The Game and The Truth.
Read an Excerpt
I Can’t Make This Up
This introduction is mandatory.
That means you have to read it.
You can’t just skip ahead to the sex scenes.
Because in order to get the most out of this book, there are three important words you’re going to need to know and understand.
The first word is: “Huh?”
It’s pronounced short and sharp, as if someone just hit you in the stomach. Typically, it’s spoken while pulling your neck back, raising your eyebrows, and quickly scanning the room to make sure everything looks normal and you’re not in some weird-ass dream.
The dictionary definition of the word is: “Did you just say what I think you said? Because it literally makes no sense and my mind can’t process it right now, so I’m going to have to ask you to repeat it.” It’s the kind of thing you might say when your dad comes home bleeding and tells you that someone hacked him up with an axe.
(This really happened, people. I can’t make this up.)
The second word is: “What?”
This is pronounced with a silent “t,” and it generally follows a few seconds after a Huh. It’s spoken with your mouth contorted into a look of disgust and your forehead creased, while looking at someone like they’re batshit crazy.
It is short for: “What the hell did you just say? Because I only asked you to repeat the crazy shit you just said, and now you’re adding some even crazier shit on top of it. My ears can’t believe what they’re hearing right now.”
It’s the kind of thing you might say when your dad, whose head is busted open and wrapped in a blood-soaked towel, assures you that he’s fine and doesn’t need to go to the hospital and just wants to lie down for a little bit.
The third word is: “Okay.”
It’s spoken with a shoulder shrug, a side-to-side shake of the head, and a roll of the eyes. It means: “I can’t even begin to fathom your reality, but I’ve decided to just accept it and move on.”
It’s what you say when a Huh and a What have gotten you nowhere, and you’re starting to think that maybe you actually are stuck in a dream and shouldn’t eat pizza before bedtime anymore. Like when your dad tells you that the reason someone hacked him up with an axe was because he was jealous of his skills as a refrigerator repairman.
This all may seem unbelievable to anyone who hasn’t met my father, but this is the honest-to-God truth. In life, you can choose to cry about the bullshit that happens to you or you can choose to laugh about it.
I chose laughter.
These are the stories behind the jokes, and a few lessons I’ve figured out about life, success, family, and relationships along the way.
Actually, I’m still working on the relationships part, but the rest I got down.
Table of Contents
Mandatory Introduction 1
Life Lessons From DAD 3
Life Lessons From Mom 21
Life Lessons From School 47
Life Lessons From Work 79
Life Lessons From Passion 107
Life Lessons From Apprenticeship 129
Life Lessons From the Grind 163
Life Lessons From Transition 185
Life Lessons From Opportunities 213
Life Lessons From Obstacles 235
Life Lessons From Loss 253
Life Lessons From Independence 273
Life Lessons From Team Building 287
Life Lessons From Breakthrough 317
Life Lessons From Success 341
Epilogue: Life Lessons From Legacy Building 365