I didn't know this book had a co-writer until the acknowledgments at the end, and now I'm reading up on the guy, Tucker Max, who seems like an asshole. Whenever I see that a book is ghost- or co-written, I get fixated on wondering that the process is, and whose voice is whose. I was struck at how the beginning of Haddish's memoir has a Black street (vernacular? Ebonic?) voice (I'm concerned I'm expressing that in an offensive way, and I don't know how to say it better!), and later it takes on a more historically white/educated sentence structure.
Regardless, Haddish has a huge persona: brash and sexual, open and precise. She reminds me of a high strung high school friend who was sensitive and emotional, and who has also managed to live her life as an artist. I'm writing lots of stuff that feels coded Black, but I think that's Haddish. She embraces and embellishes stereotypes in her writing, and I think some of the joke is on white people. Not all, because white people aren't the center of Haddish's universe. We're barely in it, which I love.
I can't write concretely about this book, citing examples, because damn Cloud Library's "upgrade" snatched it back as soon as I hit the last page. Rude.
Anyway, if you've read my reviews of comedian's books, you'll see that I often (always?) feel like they're to a small or large extent a hustle, or as Carrie Fisher puts it in The Princess Diarist, a lap dance. The Last Black Unicorn doesn't feel any more an insurance policy than any other celebrity memoir, but it does feel forced. When I got curious about Haddish and watched a short video of her stand up, I then read the same bit in an essay. The essay told a lot more than the bit did, though, it was about her abusive, stalker now ex-husband. I'm glad she was able to tell the whole story on the page.
I was expecting more of a comic romp, I think, than the intensity of Haddish's survivor stories, which is powerful, and surprising.