Book Report - Behind the Bell by Dustin Diamond

Yes you read that correctly – I’m doing a book review. Granted what I’m reviewing stretches the very definition of what you can even call a book, but it still technically counts. Fair warning, I wouldn’t expect this feature to reappear all too often. It’s not because I don’t read books, I read what I would consider a fair amount of them actually. It’s that I have no idea how to review a damn book. In book reviews you can’t just curse and talk about punching people in the throat or whatever I usually talk about. No in a book review you have to talk about subtext and character motivations and use words like “superfluous” and “prognosticate”. What does that second word mean? I don’t know! That’s why I don’t write book reviews!

So how come I feel I can review this one? Simple, here’s why:

Because this book is really, really bad. There’s no subtext here. It’s a book where a former child star talks shit about everyone he worked with and brags about how big his dick is for 300 pages. Character motivation? An excuse to write a book about how big his dick is I assume. Does this sound like something you want to actually sit down and read? You know what at this point it still might, so please allow me to crush any remaining desire you may have.

The prospect of hearing all the inside dirt on one of the cheesiest, most squeaky-clean television shows in history is definitely intriguing. Who doesn’t love themselves some scandals? It’s just too bad the inside story is being given to us by a self absorbed jackass, who is obsessed with the size of his own junk. I know I keep bringing that up, but trust me so does he. I’m only trying to give you an idea.

The other problem is that the scandals themselves aren’t that shocking or well, scandalous. Ok the Mario Lopez rape story is pretty fucked up, but other than that there’s nothing too mind blowing. Hey guess what? Cast members hooked up behind the scenes. I bet that’s the only time that’s ever happened in TV ever. Well that’s nothing, because suck on this tasty tidbit – sometimes, off the set….they’d smoke weed. I KNOW RIGHT?! People smoking weed?! That shit is crazy!

Someone told me that it’s a little crazier because it’s a bunch of kids doing it, but not really. By this point in the show most of the actors were like 16 or 17. Sixteen year olds having sex and smoking pot? That’s not scandalous, that’s pretty much the standard. Plus a lot of it is pure speculation on Diamond’s part.

A lot of the book, at least in the early sections, is centered on how mean they were to Dustin, who was several years younger than them. Again, a bunch of teenagers were rude to a younger kid? I’m still not too shocked. It’s not like they were mean to him in that they would set him on fire or poison his coffee, because that would have made for a fantastic book. No they just said rude comments to him sometimes. So…there ya go.

Seriously, look at the guy. Now you just wait until I tell you how many women he's apparently slept with.

That pretty much sums up the behind the scenes stuff. There’s also a lot of talk of how Screech should have got more focus and how the show was terrible and the only funny lines were the ones Dustin came up with on the spot (none of which ever made it to air mind you) and so on. It’s all rather unpleasant to read. Wouldn’t a lot of people reading this book be fans of the show? So why would they want to read about how terrible the show is and how they’re fools for enjoying it?

I was still kind of with the book at this point but that’s when shit goes off both the rails and the deep end. The next section of the book is focused entirely on how much ass Dustin has gotten over the years. He says it’s well over 2,000 women. Process that shit. I’ll wait. Really let it sink in. Picture the episode where Screech put on a grass skirt and played a ukelele.

That’s right, let the image seep into your mind. That dude has had sex with multiple thousands of women. Possibly while wearing that outfit. The world can be a pretty unfair place sometimes huh?

It’s interesting to note however that a couple of years ago Dustin did an interview where he said he had slept with about 400 women. Now math will tell you that 400 is not the same number as 2,000. In fact it is a great deal less. So unless Dustin had a very busy couple of years (to get to that number he would have needed to sleep with about 2.3 women a day), me thinks somebody isn’t telling the whole truth. Also I’m told if you watch his amateur porn (which I have absolutely no fucking intention of ever doing ever), the big dick rumours will be quickly put to rest.

Even if you ignore the fact that all the sexual conquest shit probably isn’t true, it’s still all presented in a very hypocritical way. First of all, one of the biggest criticisms he has about his cast mates (primarily Tiffani-Amber and Mario Lopez) is how slutty they were. Get the irony? You can’t critique someone for being a womanizer and then turn around and go “I banged 2,000 chicks, aren’t I fucking awesome?”

That’s essentially what the core concept of the whole book boils down to – look how awesome I am! I’m not like Screech at all, I’m cool! Actually no lie, almost that exact sentence appears in the book. I’m not sure about you, but I don’t really want to read several hundred pages of a guy desperately trying to prove to us how fucking rad he is.

On top of the actual content not being good, the book itself is not well-written. There’s awkward wording, paragraphs that repeat themselves (I don’t mean he repeats his thoughts, I mean the physical paragraph is printed twice in a row), and many sentences that just have words missing. It’s just sloppy. Yes I’m sure I have typos and what not in here but let’s face it this is pretty much a glorified blog. This is a book that you can actually buy in stores, so there’s no excuse. Plus he uses the word ‘douche’ and it’s many variants waaaaay too much. Every other sentence seems to have the word. It’s as though he just learned the word right before writing the book and was super excited to use it.

As sort of a side note, this book inspired me to do some reading up on our friend Dustin Diamond and my god I had no idea how widely disliked he is. There’s so many websites devoted to how he sucks, comedians hate him for stealing their jokes, the general public just doesn’t seem fond of him. I had no idea.

I also didn’t know about how a few years ago he told everyone he was going to be ejected from his house and asked people to buy t-shirts to support him, then proceeded to never send t-shirts to anyone who paid for them. In fact, apparently the whole thing was just a publicity stunt, although I’m not entirely sure if that’s the absolute truth. Either way isn’t that fraud? How did he actually get away with that?

What’s kind of insane is that just a few short hours ago, news came out that he actually is facing foreclosure on his house again (or for the first time if that t-shirt thing really was a hoax). I’m actually curious now to see how this unfolds.

Anyway I’m getting offtrack. The point is that the book is not good. It’s poorly written, doesn’t really contain any stories that are shocking, and really just comes off as petty. It all comes off like a child going “this is what you get for being mean to me!” Thankfully I didn’t pay anything for the book and I recommend you do the same, only go one step further and just avoid it all together.