I can’t say I was super familiar with Adam Corolla before picking up this book. In fact, I think I have only seen a handful of episodes of The Man Show and a special on Comedy Central. I decided to read Not Taco Bell Material only because it sounded like an interesting story about someone’s less-than-traditional life, which is just the sort of thing I love.
The entire book was entertaining, and not surprisingly the most entertaining parts were before he became famous. To summarize the book, he created each chapter around different houses that he lived in throughout his life and how his life evolved while at that place of residence. Now that I have spent some time in Los Angeles and not only made friends there, but learned the area, I enjoyed reading about each suburb he lived in. Seeing places like Glendale and Van Nuys pop up made me smile because I could relate them to stories my friends have told me as well as my personal experiences. (This must be how people who live in New York City feel when they see their city mentioned in songs and movies…not that I would know much about that.)
Not Taco Bell Material was particularly interesting to me because it wasn’t just a book where a self-absorbed celebrity talked about his hardships. Adam Corolla reflected about life lessons and humanities flaws for the most part. At times I didn’t fully agree with his comparisons or conclusions, but it’s possible they were slightly overstated for comedic effect.
At the end, if you were too much of a knucklehead to have understood the hard-work-pays-off point he was trying to make, he summarizes it beautifully in the following quote.
“That useless second front door on the first house you read about didn’t stay there for years because no one had the skill to remove it; it was because nobody had the will to remove it. I came from the least effective group of people to grace this planet, yet I’m a doer. I’m a closer. I get shit done. And that’s not something you can buy, or that someone can give you. It’s something you have to build into yourself and your life. The ability to take care of business, to focus, to lock it off and knock it off. As opposed to every dump I grew up in, my current house stands as the testimony to that mind-set.” – Adam Corolla
I think that particular selection resonated with me in particular as it seems more and more people expect to be given, “good fortune” in life. I can’t say I’m cashing million dollar checks like Mr. Corolla, but I can see where I have come from and the distance I’ve crossed to get where I am today. I’m content with that.
So if you’re looking for some light and entertaining reading I would highly recommend checking out a copy of Not Taco Bell Material. You’re unlikely to have a grand revelation about yourself and humanity, but it may make you stop and think for a moment.