Review: American on Purpose by Craig Ferguson

American on PurposeTitle:  American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot
Author:  Craig Ferguson
Narrator: Craig Ferguson
Format:  Audio
Genre:  Memoir
Source:  Personal Copy
Published:  September 22nd 2009 by Harpercollins
My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


In “American on Purpose,” Craig Ferguson delivers a moving and achingly funny memoir of living the American dream as he journeys from the mean streets of Glasgow, Scotland, to the comedic promised land of Hollywood. Along the way he stumbles through several attempts to make his mark–as a punk rock musician, a construction worker, a bouncer, and, tragically, a modern dancer.

To numb the pain of failure, Ferguson found comfort in drugs and alcohol, addictions that eventually led to an aborted suicide attempt. (He forgot to do it when someone offered him a glass of sherry.) But his story has a happy ending: in 1993, the washed-up Ferguson washed up in the United States. Finally sober, Ferguson landed a breakthrough part on the hit sitcom “The Drew Carey Show,” a success that eventually led to his role as the host of CBS’s “The Late Late Show.” By far Ferguson’s greatest triumph was his decision to become a U.S. citizen, a milestone he achieved in early 2008, just before his command performance for the president at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. In “American on Purpose,” Craig Ferguson talks a red, white, and blue streak about everything our Founding Fathers feared.

I’ve been a fan of Craig’s for a long time. I loved him on Drew Carey, I enjoyed his movies (even the ones he outwardly admits he’s not proud of) and I love his late night show! So why did it take me so darn long to read his memoir? I’m not really sure. But it now ranks among my favorite memoirs! (And yes, I admittedly have a huge crush on Craig! My husband teases me mercilessly!)

His story is everything I would expect from him – hilarious and unique – yet it is also dark and honest at times.  And the best part? I listened to this book from audible, so I got to hear it all told from his voice. Something that I feel added greatly to the effect.

I think for me, it was one of those “Wow, a kid from a lower-middle class life travels through hell and across the globe to finally become comfortable in his own skin and make a huge sensation out of himself!” but it wasn’t as cliché as it may sound.

This story Chronicles Craigs life from his childhood in Glasgow to the bright lights of late night television, the ups and downs of his marriages and the years he spent as an addict. He truly is an amazing man, and his story will make you appreciate his comedy even more than you already do! (Especially the way he runs his The Late Late Show, the perfect mix of Johnny and Dave with lots of his own control over his monologue and guest interviews.) You will laugh, you will cry and then you will laugh some more.

The long story short? If you’re a fan of memoirs or even remotely enjoy Craig Ferguson? This book is definitely for you! And, I highly recommend the audio version!

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