From “Jay and Silent Bob”, “Clerks,” “Chasing Amy”, “Mallrats” and, most recently, of “Comic Book Men”-fame, Kevin Smith has made out pretty well for a boy from New Jersey. Now, with his new memoir, “Tough Sh*t: Life Advice From a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good” you can track the evolution of his success in enhanced e-book form, complete with plenty of naughty references to bodily functions and illegal drugs, in type and on video. But is the “amplified” (aka enhanced) version worth the money?
Over the years, we’ve loved watching Smith show off his considerable talents as a writer, director, actor and podcast creator. So reading his words of wisdom had us all a-twitter, and the first few sentences did not disappoint. We were quickly howling with laughter as Smith reflected on his life beginning within his father’s, er, anatomy, discussions of the inside workings of The Weinstein Co. and his advice on rolling a joint. When you wade past the persistent discussions of his weight, and if you aren’t turned off by his potty-mouth, you’ll see a kind and honest father come through in his stories.
From a technical perspective, the Amplified Edition of Tough Sh*t was pretty disappointing. There are only 18 videos, ranging in length from 55 seconds to 2:52 in length. Don’t get me wrong, any true View Askew fan will love seeing Smith in his office, with his dog and backed by an enormous picture of his daughter. But the short snippets aren’t enough reason to make this a truly engaging or interactive experience. Each video, which switches from traditional shots to psychedelic coloring, is a mere preface to the chapter you’re about to dive into, leaving the reader wanting more.
There is, of course, a hardcover c0py from Gotham Books, measuring 272 pages, which will cost you $25. But for $13.99 you can read and watch Smith on your iOS device thanks to the enhanced iBooks copy. You can get a straight e-book version from either Amazon or Barnes & Noble for $11.99, but neither of those offer the not-so-compelling video extras of the iTunes version.
This is not Smith’s first book, nor his first memoir, having released “My Boring-Ass Life” and “Silent Bob Speaks” in years past. But this is his first enhanced e-book.