The Last Black Unicorn

The Last Black Unicorn

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERFrom 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 ma...

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Title:The Last Black Unicorn
Author:Tiffany Haddish
Rating:

The Last Black Unicorn Reviews

  • Navessa

    Indomitable spirit. Which historical figures come to mind when you hear that phrase? Mother Teresa? Gandhi, maybe? Those are two of the people who pop into my head right away.

    And now, whenever I hear those words, I will also think of Tiffany Haddish.

    I was late to the Haddish fandom. I somehow missed her years of stand up. It wasn’t until I saw the preview for

    and was like, “WHO IS THAT HILARIOUS WOMAN?” that I became aware of her.

    Two days before the movie hit theaters, I saw her on Ji

    Indomitable spirit. Which historical figures come to mind when you hear that phrase? Mother Teresa? Gandhi, maybe? Those are two of the people who pop into my head right away.

    And now, whenever I hear those words, I will also think of Tiffany Haddish.

    I was late to the Haddish fandom. I somehow missed her years of stand up. It wasn’t until I saw the preview for

    and was like, “WHO IS THAT HILARIOUS WOMAN?” that I became aware of her.

    Two days before the movie hit theaters, I saw her on Jimmy Kimmel, talking about how she took Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith on a Groupon swamp tour. If you haven’t seen this interview, do yourself a favor and

    . Do not drink or eat anything while you do, because the threat of choking is REAL.

    So, this hilarious, witty, high-energy woman with an infectious smile was a large part of the reason I watched

    , second only to the desire to support this glorious comedy with an ensemble of super talented black women staring in a major motion picture (seriously, Golden Globes, how the hell did you

    )

    I’ll just come right out and say it:

    is the funniest movie I’ve ever seen. If you haven’t watched it yet, do so. We need to support women-driven movies. We need to support women of color in the industry, especially since the industry itself doesn’t. For more on this, check out Jada’s Twitter thread:

    Seriously, Haddish was robbed. If she doesn’t get nominated for an Oscar, I will lose what little faith remains in the Academy. For me, she stole every single scene that she appeared in. She’s one of those people that your eyes drift to, even when the whole ensemble is together. Because the whole time you’re wondering what she’ll do next.

    Okay, so this is supposed to be a book review, but I wanted to include all this background, because it’s what led me to

    .

    I listened to the audio version of this, and I recommend you do the same, because it’s an EXPERIENCE. Haddish herself is the narrator, and whenever you can listen to someone tell their own story, you should. She brings an emotion and realness to the narration that no one else could. And if you think this is one of those books that you’re just going to laugh your way through, be warned. You’re not.

    You’ll probably cry at some point. Hard. Like I did. Your face will probably burn with the strength of your blushes, because you know those horrifically embarrassing memories you have of your teen years? Those stories you’ll never tell anyone, because OMFG I WISH I COULD FORGET THAT HAPPENED? We all have those stories, including Haddish. And she tells them. Without sugar coating anything. I cringed

    so many times, because it brought up all those times I acted in ways that make me yearn for brain bleach.

    Lastly, you’ll probably get so angry while listening to this that you’ll want to punch someone.

    Me before this audio book:

    .

    Me after this audio book:

    .

    Tiffany Haddish’s childhood and early adult life were…rough. You need to prepare yourself for hearing what she went through. Child abuse, molestation, physically abusive romantic relationships. At one point, she was a pimp. Which all sounds pretty Dickensian and bleak. And it can be, at times. But those times are made bearable, because Haddish is a hell of a storyteller. One minute I found myself in a full rage about what was done to her, and the next, I was hysterically laughing.

    That is where my opening statement comes from.

    Indomitable spirit.

    Because after everything that she’s been through, the fact that she is so positive and hysterical and energetic is awe inspiring. This is grade A role model material right here.

    I can’t recommend this book enough. For literally everyone. Because I truly do believe there is something here for everyone. I truly do believe that men and women from all walks of life will find takeaways here. That they’ll be inspired by her story. That they’ll apply her lessons to their own lives.

    That it will help people going through a hard time to find the light.

  • Carol

    I haven't seen Girls Trip, The Carmichael Show, Keanu, or If Loving You is Wrong. Big surprise - I'm not a raucous-rude-comedy-appreciating viewer. Not that there's anything wrong with those who are, of course.

    I became a Haddish Fan Girl the first time I viewed the 5 -7 minute video clip of Haddish on the Jimmy Kimmel show doing her bit on Will and Jada Pinkett Smith and the swamp tour. It was the funniest, most brilliant bit I've seen in a long, long time. On that basis, I checked LBU out of m

    I haven't seen Girls Trip, The Carmichael Show, Keanu, or If Loving You is Wrong. Big surprise - I'm not a raucous-rude-comedy-appreciating viewer. Not that there's anything wrong with those who are, of course.

    I became a Haddish Fan Girl the first time I viewed the 5 -7 minute video clip of Haddish on the Jimmy Kimmel show doing her bit on Will and Jada Pinkett Smith and the swamp tour. It was the funniest, most brilliant bit I've seen in a long, long time. On that basis, I checked LBU out of my library, with no- to low- expectations, not because of Haddish but because comedian memoirs are often problematic. Like most of America, I read Bossypants a while back. Fine, but not revealing. Similarly, Amy Poehler's book is funny, in parts, but on the whole it's not special or memorable.

    That 5-star rating doesn't mean that I consider Tiffany Haddish's memoir to be the literary equivalent of Crime and Punishment. I rate the books I read on whether they were successful in their category and, in this instance, The Last Black Unicorn is a top-flight comedian memoir, and vastly better than readers have a right to expect from any celebrity memoir, generally.

    As an aside, she won my heart by explicitly thanking her ghost-writer, and allowing her ghost-writer to write his/her (I don't recall) acknowledgments at the end. That is incredibly gracious of her and I can't recall the last time I saw a celebrity recognize the talent of her writing partner.

    Haddish's memoir is her story, in her voice. As in, each reader needs to be prepared for plentiful f-bombs, intentional bad grammar, slang et al. I suspect she's a champion code-switcher, but she chose to write LBU in her stand-up voice and readers shouldn't expect anything different. LBU also includes horrifying details about Haddish's childhood, about domestic violence, about rejection by her mom, who suffers from mental illness.* And she manages to present the bad accompanied by just enough humor to take the edge off, while still disclosing all of the pain and the horror. (In contrast, I stopped reading

    after 15 - 20 pages because her descriptions of childhood events so disturbed me.)

    Eighty percent of LBU is a chronological telling of Haddish's life to-date, including her overnight success that didn't occur overnight. Then, for good measure, several of her greatest bits finish it off. That's when I encountered the Smith-Groupon-SwampTour story in writing. And it was word-for-word identical to her performance on the Jimmy Kimmel show. As in, Haddish has perfected delivering her lines and bits so that she comes across like your favorite girlfriend, casually telling you one of the funniest stories you've ever heard, from the passenger seat of your car while you head to Target. But there's nothing casual about how she approaches her work. It is nothing less than perfect every time, even if she seems to be entirely relaxed in her Uggs.

    Tiffany Haddish is funny. And gifted. And perceptive. And likeable. And a hard worker. And resilient. And authentic. And still seeks a relationship with her trouble mom, in a way that makes your heart break. And she is, through it all, a consummate professional. If you like her, you'll love The Last Unicorn.

    *Haddish's father left when she was 3. Mom remarries and has 4 more kids. Haddish's stepfather tampers with the brakes on her mom's car, intending to kill all of the kids as well as mom, but they weren't in the car when Mom had an accident and suffered severe brain damage. Mom later is diagnosed with schizophrenia. After the accident, Haddish - then 9 - is in charge of herself and her four younger siblings. Read that sentence again. I'll wait. Haddish and her siblings enter foster care when she is 12, and they are temporarily separated from one another. Foster care is as good as you've ever heard elsewhere. At 15, she and her siblings are together under the care of their grandmother. (Wait, you say, there was a grandma? Why didn't she take them in earlier?? She's a piece of work.). She cares for them to the extent of the DSS payments. When Haddish turns 18, and the DSS checks stop, Haddish is on her own.

    I'm not made of nearly as strong stuff as Ms. Haddish. She has all of my respect for her lack of bitterness and her large heart. If you're interested, don't hesitate to read her book.

  • Rachel Reads Ravenously

    This book gets 5 stars because it made me LAUGH! Not just chuckle laugh while reading, I mean tears down my face I was dying kind of laugh. Tiffany Haddish is someone I only found out about because one of my Facebook friends shared a video of her. I haven't seen Girls Trip yet (despite one of my good friends loaning it to me on DVD. I'm sorry! I'll watch it asap!). You bet your ass I am going to be looking up her backlist and watching everything this woman is in!

    First off, this book isn

    This book gets 5 stars because it made me LAUGH! Not just chuckle laugh while reading, I mean tears down my face I was dying kind of laugh. Tiffany Haddish is someone I only found out about because one of my Facebook friends shared a video of her. I haven't seen Girls Trip yet (despite one of my good friends loaning it to me on DVD. I'm sorry! I'll watch it asap!). You bet your ass I am going to be looking up her backlist and watching everything this woman is in!

    First off, this book isn't super PC and I am convinced Tiffany is all kinds of crazy. But you can feel her genuine self in this book, her struggles and her comedy. This woman has lived quite the life and I am sure she's going to keep living on even better throughout the years.

    This book is a memoir/series of essays, some about funny points in her life and others, much less funny parts. But everything in this book shows how Tiffany came to be herself and what an amazing woman she is. I have so much respect for her and I admire her hard work.

    If you want a book that will make you laugh your ass off and pull at your heart at the same time, you need to read this book. Plus people have told me the audio is amazing, so you can also listen to it!

    Follow me on ♥

  • Lola  Reviewer

    Tiffany Haddish made me clutch my chest, crying from laughter, and only a few people can do that to me. She is hilarious.

    But that’s not all.

    She is strong. She was strong when she was a child, a teenager, and she is still strong today. I can’t even believe how much she went through. I didn’t know who she was until I watched

    and some of her promotional interviews, but once I did, I needed to know more about this authentic woman.

    This woman who didn’t grow up a Hollywood star. She is li

    Tiffany Haddish made me clutch my chest, crying from laughter, and only a few people can do that to me. She is hilarious.

    But that’s not all.

    She is strong. She was strong when she was a child, a teenager, and she is still strong today. I can’t even believe how much she went through. I didn’t know who she was until I watched

    and some of her promotional interviews, but once I did, I needed to know more about this authentic woman.

    This woman who didn’t grow up a Hollywood star. She is living, breathing proof that, yes, some people are born with talent, in her case the ability to make people laugh, but being born with talent doesn’t guarantee you success.

    You need to work hard to make it, and Tiffany Haddish certainly did and does. In this memoir, she is being one hundred percent honest about her struggles, mistakes and bad choices.

    She discusses her (many) previous and unhealthy relationships, her upbringing with and without her ‘‘crazy’’ mother, the people who tried to take advantage of her, as well as those who gave her a chance, an opportunity and the support she needed when she was down.

    Now, it is not impressively-written. Tiffany Haddish writes the way she speaks, kind of like I do, and that works extremely well because you can almost hear her voice in your head as you’re reading the book.

    So I could not stop reading. Some chapters are sweet, others

    sweet, but Tiffany tries to find humour everywhere—and every experience she goes through, whether positive or negative, provides her with new insight on her life and who she is as a black woman comedian.

    I have only admiration for Tiffany.

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  • Erin

    If you looked up the word Authentic on the internet, a giant picture of Tiffany Haddish should be next to it.

    A lot of people had never heard of Tiffany Haddish until her star making role in last years Girls Trip, but Tiffany has been on her grind for decades. Tiffany is an overnight sensation that was 20 plus years in the making. Tiffany like most great comedians has had a rough life. Abandoned by her father, raised by a mentally ill and abusive mother, she spent years in foster care, was molest

    If you looked up the word Authentic on the internet, a giant picture of Tiffany Haddish should be next to it.

    A lot of people had never heard of Tiffany Haddish until her star making role in last years Girls Trip, but Tiffany has been on her grind for decades. Tiffany is an overnight sensation that was 20 plus years in the making. Tiffany like most great comedians has had a rough life. Abandoned by her father, raised by a mentally ill and abusive mother, she spent years in foster care, was molested(even if she didn't realize it), married an abusive and controlling man twice( 2 marriages to the same man)and was homeless. Had most people experienced even one of these things, it would have broken their spirit, but not Tiffany. I don't think its possible to break Tiffany's spirit. She is so filled with happiness and joy, its contagious.

    I love Tiffany Haddish and I love that she doesn't tone down personality for anyone. I will warn you, this book is written the same way Tiffany talks and it took me a minute to get used to, but other than that I absolutely loved this book.

    2018 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge: A Celebrity Memoir.

    2018 Badass Books Reading Challenge: A Funny Book.

    Around the Year in 52 Books: A book you expect to make you laugh.

  • Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell

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    🌟 I read this for the Yule Bingo Challenge, for the category of

    . For more info on this challenge,

    . 🌟

    I knew I wanted to read this book the moment I watched

    . She seemed like such a fun, wonderful, crazy person. I watched

    recently, you know, for "research," and in that movie, I feel like Tiffany Haddish is channeling a lot of her own self for that character.

    THE LAST BLA

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    🌟 I read this for the Yule Bingo Challenge, for the category of

    . For more info on this challenge,

    . 🌟

    I knew I wanted to read this book the moment I watched

    . She seemed like such a fun, wonderful, crazy person. I watched

    recently, you know, for "research," and in that movie, I feel like Tiffany Haddish is channeling a lot of her own self for that character.

    THE LAST BLACK UNICORN is a celebrity memoir that actually lives up to the hype. It's one of those raw, honest memoirs that have become so rare these days, because I think the quick access to the internet makes it all easy for people - readers - to spread the dirt, and the outrage, and be all, "Oh my God, you'll never guess what

    said in her memoir! #boycott"

    These days, it's like we require celebrities to be saints in order to win our admiration. They have to be larger than life and elegant, but also play by all the rules we set for them. If they don't, they get torn apart in gossip magazines or called things like "tacky," "skanky," or "ungrateful." It really isn't fair to expect people to live like this, since most people

    live like this, and I'm glad that's changing at last. It certainly results in much more candid memoirs... like this one!

    In Tiffany's memoir, she portrays her authentic self and talks in the book the way she talks in real life. While reading the book, I could actually imagine her voice in my head. It added an extra level of enjoyment for me, because it made the book so personal. Most of the book is laugh out loud funny, either because she's laying out the scenes the way she does in her comedy routines, or because she's been through so many ridiculous situations that you can't help but let out a horrified giggle as you clutch your metaphorical pearls. My favorite example of this is when Tiffany decides to get back at a cheating ex (whose sex tape she scavenged out of a dumpster) by pooping in his shoes and then splicing a scene from the tape into bootlegged copies of

    and sending them all to his family for Christmas. Which they watched. And called her about. Angrily. She was not sorry. She also became a pimp just to undercut his own amateur attempts at pimping - and succeeded!

    But the book has a darker side too, with abuse in many different kinds of forms, ranging from neglect from her mom and foster mom, to abusive boyfriends and husbands, to molestation (from her foster grandparent), to the sexism that occurs from being a woman in comedy, and how people try to take advantage of women who are just starting out the same way they try to take advantage of starlets.

    THE LAST BLACK UNICORN is a really funny memoir, and if you don't mind darker scenarios being written about irreverently, and with a lot of cursing to boot, I think you'll probably enjoy this book, if not for the honesty, then for the way she has managed to channel a seemingly limitless amount of positivity for the negatives in her life and used humor as a way of coping.

    Thank you, Trevor Noah, for mentioning this book on your channel and bumping it up my to-read list.

    4 to 4.5 stars

  • Didi

    I definitely recommend listening to The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish. Firstly she's hysterical and can definitely tell a joke and/or a story. The memoir traces her life from her youth to current her success. Each story reveals something about her character and her growth into the woman she is today. Some of the stories are draw dropping and snatched my edges, but as a whole it's very interesting. The only real complaints I had with The Last Black Unicorn is that the story is told very q

    I definitely recommend listening to The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish. Firstly she's hysterical and can definitely tell a joke and/or a story. The memoir traces her life from her youth to current her success. Each story reveals something about her character and her growth into the woman she is today. Some of the stories are draw dropping and snatched my edges, but as a whole it's very interesting. The only real complaints I had with The Last Black Unicorn is that the story is told very quickly and in broken up short stories. It would have been nice if she had taken the time to go deeper on her thoughts about some of the things that had and have happened to her. We speed from one story to the next and barely have time to digest it to the fullest. Allyn from YupIReadIt on Booktube described it as hilariously depressing and that is the most accurate description. I wouldn't bother getting the book the audio is excellent because it's read by Tiffany Haddish herself.

  • Roxane

    This is definitely worth reading. Haddish is incredibly funny, smart and observant. She has lived a hard life which makes her success all the more admirable and deserved. There are places where I wanted more depth. The book is short and reads fast, sometimes too fast. But the funny parts will bring you to tears. So will the painful parts. I am not a fan of books by comedians is all. They just don’t work as cohesive narratives.

  • Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

    I listened to the audiobook, and I really expected a killer narration. Every single other audiobook autobiography of an actor/comedian that I've ever listened to was flawlessly narrated. I mean, it's their own words and they're actors, right? Well, not here. Tiffany's narration was so odd. Really choppy, really strangely read, like she had trouble with her own words. It honestly sounded like bad acting

    I listened to the audiobook, and I really expected a killer narration. Every single other audiobook autobiography of an actor/comedian that I've ever listened to was flawlessly narrated. I mean, it's their own words and they're actors, right? Well, not here. Tiffany's narration was so odd. Really choppy, really strangely read, like she had trouble with her own words. It honestly sounded like bad acting.

    Tiffany's life has been a very interesting journey, and she has suffered and has overcame huge obstacles. I've seen her comedy before, and I've really loved her on stage, however, she comes across in her book as just... mean.

    She is horrible to fat people and Jews, and it made me like her a whole hell of a lot less.

    The overall layout of the book also leaves much to be desired. The format is scattered and there wasn't any cohesion.

    While this book had funny moments and made me respect Tiffany's journey, it tarnished my impression of her as a person.

  • FrankieReads

    Please Note: I DNF'd this book at about the 40% mark. I listened to the audiobook version. This book was terrible. First, it wasn't written well at all. The story was extremely choppy and rushed. There were quite a few recountings of very ugly things that occurred in Haddish's life, but were told in an overly light-hearted manner that came across unseemly and inappropriate.

    The book detailed some of the obstacles that Haddish had to overcome prior to her current success. However, it also showed

    Please Note: I DNF'd this book at about the 40% mark. I listened to the audiobook version. This book was terrible. First, it wasn't written well at all. The story was extremely choppy and rushed. There were quite a few recountings of very ugly things that occurred in Haddish's life, but were told in an overly light-hearted manner that came across unseemly and inappropriate.

    The book detailed some of the obstacles that Haddish had to overcome prior to her current success. However, it also showed such an in-depth level of ugliness and ignorance that I couldn't get past it. Her descriptions of her encounters with a Jewish man who wanted her to emcee Bat/barmitzvahs, and her description of a differently abled co-worker were downright offensive. There didn't seem to be a lot in the way of acknowledgement of where this thinking was erroneous or how she grew from these moments. There just seemed to be a lot of "shucking and jiving" for laughs and attention that plays into a LOT of stereotypes about black women.

    I'm very happy for her success. I believe there is a need for more Black voices in Hollywood. I'm glad that other people connected to her story as I believe more POC stories need to be told. I wish her all the success, she's just not for me.

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