Title: The Last Black Unicorn
Author: Tiffany Haddish
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Comedy, Memoirs, Race
Dates read: 7th – 13th October 2019
Publisher: Gallery Books
5th sentence, 74th page: So we started being serious and being together all the time.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
“An inspiring story that manages to be painful, honest, shocking, bawdy and hilarious.” —The New York Times Book Review
From stand-up comedian, actress, and breakout star of Girls Trip, Tiffany Haddish, comes The Last Black Unicorn, a sidesplitting, hysterical, edgy, and unflinching collection of (extremely) personal essays, as fearless as the author herself.
Growing up in one of the poorest neighborhoods of South Central Los Angeles, Tiffany learned to survive by making people laugh. If she could do that, then her classmates would let her copy their homework, the other foster kids she lived with wouldn’t beat her up, and she might even get a boyfriend. Or at least she could make enough money—as the paid school mascot and in-demand Bar Mitzvah hype woman—to get her hair and nails done, so then she might get a boyfriend.
None of that worked (and she’s still single), but it allowed Tiffany to imagine a place for herself where she could do something she loved for a living: comedy.
Tiffany can’t avoid being funny—it’s just who she is, whether she’s plotting shocking, jaw-dropping revenge on an ex-boyfriend or learning how to handle her newfound fame despite still having a broke person’s mind-set. Finally poised to become a household name, she recounts with heart and humor how she came from nothing and nowhere to achieve her dreams by owning, sharing, and using her pain to heal others.
By turns hilarious, filthy, and brutally honest, The Last Black Unicorn shows the world who Tiffany Haddish really is—humble, grateful, down-to-earth, and funny as hell. And now, she’s ready to inspire others through the power of laughter.
This might be the funniest, most ridiculous, and yet serious book I have read all year. Or maybe ever. It was intense, intriguing and made me have a whole new appreciation for some of the horrors that other people, and in particular, women are forced to endure. But there was also so much humour and hope, that it was incredibly difficult to get bogged down in the tales that, if anyone else wrote about them, would fill make me cry in the most horrible way ever.
To start with, this novel is just downright funny. The first two chapters allude to some of the more difficult aspects of Haddish’s life, but mostly they’re just really funny. High school days in which a smart arse found a way to fit in, mostly by pursuing a boy that really didn’t have much interest in her. But then it gets a little, alright, a lot more serious. She talks about abuse, death and the many, many bad situations that she found herself in throughout her life. But, it’s still tempered with humour. So that when I was telling my partner about this amazing book I was reading, he just stared at me in abject horror, wondering what the hell kind of book I’d found this time…
I didn’t realise until the last few chapters that Tiffany Haddish was the woman in Girls Trip. But when I did, I not only rushed to finish the book, but I also grabbed out my remote, flicked Netflix on and settled in for a great movie. Somehow, her role and character in this movie had way more meaning because I understood a little more of the very real shit she’d been through. Like The Last Black Unicorn, Girls Trip touched on some serious issues but with so much humour that it wasn’t until afterwards that you realised it wasn’t all just a good lark. Actually, writing this review, I’ve decided that I need to watch that movie again…
The Last Black Unicorn details a life that is full of hurdles and difficulties. But they’re not told with a sense of loss or woe. Rather, Haddish tells her tales with a great dose of humour, a dark sense of humour that I absolutely adored. It was a great reminder that you can overcome almost anything, if you can find a way to move on and not be bitter (alright, not always that simple, but Haddish gives me so much hope). I am now madly in love with this woman. This is just an amazing read for everyone. No matter what your literary tastes…