1/03/2016

Steve-O - Professional Idiot: A Memoir (Book Review)


Steve-O - Professional Idiot: A Memoir (Review)

Well, I had a lot of fun writing that Star Wars review last night, so I'm gonna go ahead and write another review. I finished reading Steve-O from Jackass' memoir, Professional Idiot, last night, and I definitely recommend it to anybody who enjoyed Jackass or any related shows/movies.

The book starts off with Steve-O recounting his childhood memories, and how even from a young age he was all about being extreme and "rad". He tells a bit about his family, and how his father traveled a lot and his mother was an alcoholic, so he and his sister were pretty much fending for themselves at a young age. Along with that, they frequently moved around from London, to Canada, to Connecticut, back to London, etc. I guess I assumed that Steve-O was just born a twenty-something year old lunatic, but getting some insight on his childhood allowed me to form a more well-rounded opinion of the guy.

He also includes bits of things people like Johnny Knoxville, Jeff Tremaine, his father, and a few others said about him and things he did. I enjoyed that because it gave us additional insight into every situation, so if we didn't trust what Steve-O had to say about it, we could take what his friends and family said and get the big picture. Including outside opinions gave the book a more well-rounded feel, and I almost wish he had chosen to include more of them. But I guess it was Steve-O's book, and if he had included too much of what other people said it would no longer be authentically his own.

Of course, the part of the book that I found most interesting was his downward spiral into drug-induced hell. He tells his account of becoming so obsessed with fame and addicted to drugs that he literally started to hallucinate and act in ways that even Steve-O himself found to be thought was insane in a bad, bad, way. Eventually he decided he needed to get clean, but even then his fixation with being the center of attention soiled his intentions. He did finally pull it off, and as far as I know to this day he is clean and sober.

There were many instances where I found myself taking a break from reading to google things that he mentioned, to find the Youtube or whatever version of it. The fact that he basically filmed everything he did makes it fairly easy to find videos of most of the stuff he mentions. That too, adds another layer of validity to the memoir.

At first I was skeptical as to whether or not Steve-O actually wrote his book, simply considering the person whom I had known Steve-O to be. He certainly didn't seem like the type of person to be doing much writing. But toward the end it did seem like he really wrote it himself, because he gets down to a very personal level and states his own thoughts in a way that I feel only Steve-O himself could have. Still, he may have had a ghost writer helping him out with grammar and things like that, but the one thing that I took away from reading Professional Idiot was that Steve-O is a lot smarter than he seems.

Overall, the book is worth reading, and quite entertaining for the right reader. It's not like the thing has any ground-breaking literary merit, but it never claims to be especially well-written. There are certainly some parts where changing the wording would have worked in the book's benefit, but the story is definitely coherent and interesting. It's a quick read, too.

Overall: 8.5/10

Up next: A Long Way Down: The Book Vs. The Movie

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