By: DoubleDay Canada
Up-close, personal, and yes, funny — this is the must-have celebrity memoir of the year.
This candid, first-person memoir chronicles Russell’s life from his humble beginnings in suburbia as a scrawny, brown, bullied kid with ADD all the way to his remarkable rise as one of the world’s top-earning comics. This is a shockingly honest book filled with poignant memories of his family, his life and his career. Call Me Russell is a deeply inspirational story for aspiring artists of any culture about having hope, working hard and dreaming big.
I fell in love with the idea of Russell Peters years ago. Probably when I first heard him on YouTube or on The Comedy Network. But there was something about him, whether it was his personality or the fact that he hasn’t been shot yet for making fun of other ethnic minorities. Needless to say his stuff was (and still is) brilliant!
Call Me Russell, although now has some inaccurate information, like the fact that he’s no longer engaged and that in-fact he’s divorced. That’s a two year window, and I’d love for him to come out with a little accompaniment of the book with updates of what’s going on in his life. Like his child daughter. Like the divorce. Like how the rest of his family is doing.
Anyhow, this biography was a really refreshing piece as anybody who comes from a small town or is constantly being told that their dream is unrealistic and should consider a life of practicality, and work to achieve an income whether you like the job or not. Russell wasn’t phased by this. He’s a Canadian. Born and raised by Anglo-Indian parents.
His mother was the less conservative of his two parents, but also had less issues integrating into the Peters’ new life as Canadians. His father is a proud man, and when he was constantly forcing himself to make life decisions that would have been exceptionally unappreciated back home, he did it because he knew what he needed to do. This family was your “new-immigrants-trying-hard-to-make-life-work-in-a-new-country” kind of family. That whole verse of “started from the bottom now we’re here” by Drake is definitely most applicable to Russell.
He started with very little. Doing gigs in little towns, that unless you’re from Canada, you wouldn’t even have an idea of where they were. That was another thing about this book I liked. Although I never made many visits to a lot of these little towns in Ontario, I knew where they were. I knew where Mississauga was, or Timmins. A lot of biographies are featured in places I only saw in magazines. Russell has the kind of personality that you would actually love from the get-go.
Even in his writing you can hear it coming out of the pages. The entire arrangement of the book was like he was doing a whole routine, right there. I’m sure he could’ve been doing a TEDTalk and I would’ve been hooked on his every word.
If you haven’t seen his stuff, I’d highly recommend you YouTube it. Find out what he’s about. He tells stories and twists them into comedy. If you aren’t sensitive to slight vulgarity, or un-racist racial jabs, you might actually enjoy him.
I’d like to think this book is a great recommendation for anybody who’s looking for biographies with a lighter side to it. It’s nothing heavy because this book only covers Russell’s first 30 years of his experience. He has a great story to tell. Which is nearly as drama-free as you can get. He’s a comedian. Not a rap artist.
If you’ve read this book I’d love to get your take on it.