For almost 80 years, Kirkus Reviews has served as the industry bible for bookstore buyers, librarians, and ordinary readers alike. Now Popdose joins the Kirkus Book Bloggers Network to dish on the best — and sometimes the worst — in pop-culture and celebrity books.

This week, the King of the Nerds gets inspirational, with mixed results…

Kevin Smith’s most successful and enduring creation is, without a doubt, Kevin Smith. An owlish pop-culture savant from Jersey, Smith has transformed himself—through charm, smarts, and years of relentless hustle — into something like the voice of a generation. He’s a moviemaker, Twitter celebrity, writer of comic books and memoirs, comedian, and tireless champion of independent film. He owns a comics shop, runs a production company, presides over an empire of message boards and podcasts, and, for all I know, by the time this is published will have just opened the first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise on the Moon. The guy’s got a lot going on, is what I’m saying.

Smith has always been — has thrived on being—a polarizing figure. He is beloved and despised in equal measure — but usually by different people. However, after reading Tough Sh*t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good (asterisk in the original), out this week from Gotham Books, I must announce myself a member of both camps. Smith spends at least part of the book in philosophical mode, discussing the production of his greatest work: himself. There is much here that is moving and perceptive, and of great value for any creative artist or would-be artist; unfortunately, there are also a number of central arguments that are simply the purest howling nonsense.

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About the Author

Jack Feerick

Critic at Large

Jack Feerick — editor, proofreader, freelance know-it-all, and three-time Jeopardy! champion — lives with his family somewhere in upstate New York, where he plays in a rock 'n' roll band and occasionally runs his mouth on local radio. You can listen to more of his work on Soundcloud, if you like.

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