Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Rabbit by Ms. Pat - Book Cover
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Rabbit can be seen as the story behinds the jokes. Ms. Pat stripping away the punch lines and solely getting to the facts.


Author
Patricia Williams, Jeannine Amber
Publisher Dey St.
Book’s Publish Date 8/22/2017
Genre Biography
Good If You Like Stories About Someone Pulling Up Their Bootstraps And Making a Way Out Of No Way

Books Focused On Growing Up In Urban Areas

This Isn’t For You If Don’t Like Stories About Black Folk Selling Drugs, The Hood, Or Things Of That Nature

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Summary

Patricia Williams, known as Ms. Pat, is a force to be reckoned with. Yes, that is very cliché to say, but take into consideration she came from practically nothing. She was raised in a household filled with verbal abuse, where her mother had to scam her way until keeping some kind of food and housing over her head, and that is just the beginning. There is teenage pregnancy, dealing drugs, getting shot, and so much more that it drives the idea that laughing to keep from crying is probably the most common coping mechanism there is. Yet, by luck, the grace of a higher power, you name it, she found peace. Well, at least stability. As you read the story, you’ll realize, similar to Bernie Mac’s situation, her peace surely was not in the form of a quiet household.

Highlights

It’s Strips The Comedy & Speaks Of The Pain

In most biographies, on top of hearing the speaking voice of the author, you also can feel them trying to make light of a situation. Maybe, on occasion, they’ll touch on something dark and you can feel the tone shift, but it doesn’t stay throughout the book. Rabbit is a bit different. Now, I wouldn’t call this outright depressing, of the ilk of PUSH, but despite Ms. Pat being a comedian, this book doesn’t try to be funny.

My take is that, without literally hearing Ms. Pat, you can’t make light of the situations she was in. Hearing about the relationship she had with Derrick, while it won’t bring you to tears, it will have you saying, “Damn.” Add in all she had to do to raise her kids, the danger she was in, and Michael? What you get is a harrowing tale. The kind which makes the saying, “It gets better” seem real and believable.

On The Fence

It Doesn’t Go Into Ms. Pat’s Rise In Standup

Ms. Pat’s rise in standup Comicview, Last Comic Standing and more is not part of this book. We learn how she got her stage name, a little bit about working the chitlin’ circuit, and her time talking on podcast, but as for her career? Not so much. This perplexed me a bit for while I get the point was telling her story, it felt like she mostly gave her whole act away. What I mean by that is, taking note I saw her live, if you read the book, pretty much it is all the details of her stand up. Almost making Rabbit feel like a special without any jokes. So without the inclusion of her time on the aforementioned shows, entering those spaces and how off it was, it felt like we were missing a chapter or two.

Yet, considering Ms. Pat is still building towards big things, including a TV movie about her life, maybe it felt too soon to write about in 2017?

Overall: Positive (Buy)

With being a quick read, yet still packing an emotional punch, Rabbit has a few surprises. The biggest one is that it doesn’t really push comic relief in the slightest. Yet, with looking at is as a statement of what Ms. Pat went through, her stripping away the jokes and just touching on the raw pain, you see immense value in this retelling of her life. Hence the positive label. Rabbit is a tale of strength and hope that survival can be rewarded if you try to do the right thing, ultimately. Yes, you may struggle to do so, may even have to deal with some ultimatums to get on the right path, but it is possible to find joy, peace, and fulfillment.


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