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American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot Paperback – May 11, 2010
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“Hilariously vivid.” (People)
“Funny and poignant and inspirational and brilliant. Nowhere in his story of emigration and redemption does Craig Ferguson realize that as lucky as he thinks he is to be ‘American on Purpose,’ we are luckier still to have him.” (Keith Olbermann)
“With American on Purpose, Craig Ferguson somehow manages to avoid the pitfalls of self-indulgence and self-importance that plague most (okay, all) Hollywood autobiographies. He has, instead, written a book that is hilarious and irrepressibly daft, yet also kind, poignant, and undeniably wise. It was a joy to read.” (Dennis Lehane, author of The Given Day)
“A great read . . . almost as good as my memoir.” (Carrie Fisher, author of Wishful Drinking)
“Ferguson has given us a biographical treatment that is both brutally honest and inspirational…American on Purpose is a book that should be read.” (Chicago Sun-Times)
“Hilarious and revealing...witty and emotional.” (The Daily Beast)
From the Back Cover
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.--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Odd, isn't it, that America never looks so good as through the eyes of someone who wasn't born into the privilege of this particular Democracy?
I read this book in a single sitting; starting the journey with a host who escorts us as easily through his life as he does through an hour of television every night. From the mean streets of a mean childhood, to the gilded halls of Washington, and through the backdoor that led him to television stardom ... with a long and poignant stopover in the haze of alcoholism. What an adventure! If you don't empathize with the man when he shakes his fist at the stars in the middle of the desert and chooses uncertainty just for the hell of it, you're not living right.
WIth the gentle hindsight of a man who has come out the other side of that haze, Ferguson is kind to virtually all the people in this adventure ... and Lord knows, it's uncommon enough for someone who makes their living in Hollywood to act that way.
This is a terrific read. Enjoy it.
Ferguson is his own harshest critic, and his true wit shows through in his writing. The book is funny, fast-paced, and even has a happy ending!
My final thought on the book is based on a line from the book at the end of Chapter 3: "... and the toys still talk." Read the book, watch his show, and you'll see that they do.
For a man with so many downs dogging his early child and adult years, he has an admirable lack of self-pity. Perhaps it's because he has conquered so much by the time he writes this memoir. I was conscious, however, of his sadness of how his problems affected his relationships, especially his great female loves. I teared up when he had to sell the perfect little seaside cottage he had shared with his second wife when they finally split up - the act being a symbol of the loss simultaneously of hope, dreams, love.
I am amazed at how he, and I suppose many males in general, accepts fighting fist to fist. As a female, I can't imagine willingly enduring/participating in and even looking forward to a great fight as Craig does during his years growing up in Scotland. Maybe the blows don't hurt as much when you are young or when the senses are dulled by drunkeness...This is not to be interpreted as acts of an aggressive self-nature, self-hatred or self-punishment but was endemic to the immediate culture.
This is a well written and serious memoir from a commedian told with frankness; not sparing the reader the darker moments fueled from the loss of great loves, very serious alcoholism, active drug use, career sputters, etc.
What I really admire about him now is that he doesn't keep hitting you over the head currently on his talk show with these details. Unlike Carrie Fisher, for example, his current humor is not dependent on constantly referring to the past difficulties. He concentrates now on the positives and I suspect that's what keeps him on safer and happier ground.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is really an entertaining read. Craig Ferguson is quite a character. I lost count of how many times he's been married & divorced. Read morePublished 2 months ago by T. R. SCHAEFER
I enjoyed this book.
I remember Craig Ferguson when he was on the Drew Carey Show and from the Late, Late Show. Read more
Craig Ferguson's book was as entertaining as his show. I loved both!Published 3 months ago by Billy Rubin
Interesting autobiography of this Scottish comic. How anyone can achieve fame while an alcoholic is beyond me, but I guess talent and persistence wins out. Read morePublished 4 months ago by fiberartist