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December 15, 2008 |

By Dustin Rowles | Books | December 15, 2008 |

I’m a Kevin Smith fan. I know the guy has his detractors but I’ve liked everything he’s done, even Jersey Girl. I’ve seen his DVDs An Evening With Kevin Smith and the follow-up Evening Harder, and the guy knows how to tell an anecdote. That’s for damn sure.

Those anecdotes are where Silent Bob Speaks really shines. The book is a collection of columns Keven Smith wrote for Arena Magazine, Details, New Jersey Monthly, and Film Comments. They range from amusing to hilarious. Unsurprisingly, the really funny stuff is when Kevin is dishing on his experiences with various actors and actresses. Of particular note is his animosity toward “Greasy Reese Witherspoon” and his plan for revenge is so moronic and juvenile it is near brilliant.

As a writer, Kevin is no-holds-barred with his opinions. He writes how he speaks, which makes for an incredibly easy read. At times he loses his unique voice, especially the chapters in which he interviews Ben Affleck and Tom Cruise. It’s pretty funny when he writes about his unabashed love for Affleck and how Cruise completely brings him under his spell.

What it does not go into is the apparent curse that Kevin brings to his interviewees. It wasn’t long after these pieces were published that Affleck had a run of failed movies and, well, we all know what happened to Cruise’s stature.

Aside from the behind-the-scenes dirt he also offers a few personal pieces about such diverse subjects as his experiences with fat-buster drug Xenical, and his wife posing nude for a painting. He ends the book with an unpublished essay on the San Diego Comic-Con. It’s hilarious and brings new meaning to the phrase “tongue in cheek.”

Silent Bob Speaks is a fun book for the fans, a fast read, and includes some hilarious bits, mostly at Kevin’s expense. His self-deprecation is on full display and it would almost be grating if it also didn’t come off as completely honest. If anything, I have more respect for the man now than I already did. He knows the kind of filmmaker he is, and he is happy to keep making the movies he wants to make. They cost little and he has enormous freedom to keep doing what he wants to do. Not a bad gig.

This review has been selected from the ongoing Cannonball Read series. Details are here and the growing number of participants and their blogs are here. Check here for more of Tyler DFC’s reviews.

Cannonball Read / TylerDFC

Books | December 15, 2008 |

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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