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Between the Bridge and the River Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; Reprint edition (March 8, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811858197
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811858199
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #471,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. A gallery of grotesques slogs through the sewers of the entertainment industry toward redemption in this exhilarating debut novel from the host of The Late Late Show. Leading the pack are Fraser, a Scottish "phony TV evangelist... drunken, selfish media prick... gossip and sot" who has been disgraced in a sex scandal; his cancer-stricken boyhood pal, George; vapid sit-com star Leon; and Leon's 300-pound, sexually perverted Svengali brother, Saul. They make their separate but linked ways through a world populated by snake handlers, serial killers, dead-eyed whores and hack studio executives pushing formulaic action films, while they take hallucinatory side trips. The sprawling tale, with plenty of Scottish backstory, casts a jaundiced eye on media debaucheries and petty vanities, throwing in miscellaneous riffs on everything from Starbuck's to escort ads, but Ferguson is particularly sharp—and funny—on Hollywood proper. For every satire of organized religion or a Vegas that's "as glitzy as a trailer park at Christmas," however, he delivers an injunction to "help others" or an ode to Paris in springtime that somehow sounds fresh. The result is a tour de force of cynical humor and poignant reverie, a caustic yet ebullient picaresque that approaches the sacred by way of the profane. (Apr. 10)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Ferguson is best-known to Americans as host of The Late Late Show, and moviegoers may recognize him as the Glasgow hairdresser in The Big Tease and the pot-puffing lead in Saving Grace. His strange, funny, profane, surreal, and surprisingly moving first novel is about friends since childhood from Glasgow. Fraser meets fame and fortune--well, the Scottish equivalents, at least--as a televangelist but unfortunately has insatiable yens for booze, prostitutes, and . . . knitwear. Meanwhile, George is a bit of a lost soul, who may or may not have a terminal illness. The novel also features illegitimate half-brothers Saul and Leon from the American Deep South and an eclectic cast of historical figures, including Carl Jung. Ferguson pokes good-natured fun at the media, pop culture, reality TV, religion, and, of course, Scotland as the novel jumps gleefully from Glasgow to London to Paris to Miami to Vegas to L.A., and from one character to another, while somehow managing to make weird literary sense. Fond of deranged, slightly warped humor? Try this. June Sawyers
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Craig Ferguson is the host of The Late Late Show and has worked as a drummer, a bartender, a stand-up comedian, and as an actor on The Drew Carey Show. He is the author of the novel Between the Bridge and the River, and lives in Los Angeles, California.

Customer Reviews

When I finished the last page, it instantly went down as one of my favorite books ever read.
Ashe
A delightful, funny and provocative story taking place on two continents and in the minds of some complex and compelling characters.
A. Swift
It's one of those stories that makes your mind stop for a second and think, "did I really just read that?"
K. Storck

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

93 of 94 people found the following review helpful By TrishE on November 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There is a sharp needle, called a 'between', that is used for fine stitching in heavy fabric. This implement is a perfect metaphor to describe the crafting of the unique and inspiring fiction that is "Between the Bridge and the River." The golden thread of Craig Ferguson's sharp wit and keen insight into the depravity and glory of the human psyche shines in stark contrast to the novel's weighty themes: death and illness, abuse and misogyny, self-loathing and depression, redemption and grace, and above all, love and miracles and hope.

Before the story begins in earnest, the author reminds us of the mysterious nature of time and of bumblebee flight. Synchronicity and serendipity surface again and again, weaving a pattern of transformation and miracles. Improbable-impossible coincidences and twists propel the characters through their adventures.

Mr. Ferguson shines a harsh and unforgiving light on western popular culture. Sex and violence are used as expertly as a surgeon wields a scalpel, exposing the disturbing pathology that underlies much of modern life. But the author also reveals an unexpected tenderness and depth of emotion. It is the author's expression of the profound poignancy of the human experience that has stayed with me after this read, leaving me with a sense of the sweetness of life.

"Between the Bridge and the River" is funny, sexy, desperate, heart-breaking, hopeful and beautiful. I love this book and I recommend it highly, because we are born and we die and the journey between is a mystery. And because bumblebees can fly.
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88 of 90 people found the following review helpful By M. Drudzinski VINE VOICE on March 29, 2007
Format: Paperback
I'm not a huge Craig Ferguson fan (I prefer Conan O'Brien's brand of late night fun), but I have to admit, this novel is outstanding. It is witty, incisive and worldly wise. Ferguson does what many novelists find difficult -- he combines humor with insight to give us a layered and satisfying novel about love and loss, corruption and faith. You will laugh out loud and gain a further appreciation for Ferguson's intelligence along the way. A must read.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By D. M. Seeley on April 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ferguson has crafted what is, simply, the wildest, most hilarious ride I've had the pleasure to read in ages. A little Carl Hiassen, a dash of Hunter Thompson... but comparisons do little justice to this magnificent opus. It is a singular, riotous, bit of work. Nobody is spared: Religion, vanity, showbiz, sex -- it's all target practice for Ferguson, and his rapier wit. It's not a book for the timid.

I can't remember laughing out loud so often, while reading a book. This is a true gem.
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54 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Stein on April 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Bridge is very comprehensive and funny. I got a great sense of each character. The story was widely divergent than I had anticipated and I loved reading Mr. Ferguson's uncensored prose! He is a naughty boy and who doesn't love a naughty boy! He is wonderfully descriptive (think George's tumor! or vulgar Saul!). His recipe of good and evil, love & sex, funny & sad, and redemption, make for a clever and intelligent read. I highly recommend BETWEEN THE BRIDGE AND THE RIVER ...More books please, Mr. Ferguson!
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Laurel Malek on April 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Between the Bridge and the River is a swift and crowded tour through contemporary sex, drugs, and rockin' religion. Fans of Christopher Moore, Bill Fitzhugh, Tom Robbins and Tom Holt will be delighted to welcome another wild man to the scene. Ferguson's many characters are easy to keep track of, as their distinct personalities and traits are very well drawn. TV preachers, Hollywood stars, serial killers, a femme fatale, and many other folks careen around Glasgow and Paris, Florida, California, and Vegas. As they ricochet in valiant confusion, occasional slapstick and manic misadventures, some find a clearer understanding of what they really want from life. It's a very entertaining and hilarious read.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Heidi Salomone on January 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I bought the book because I love his Late Late Night Show, but was wonderfully thrilled with his writing. The plot was exciting and moved along at a rapid pace, with participants gradualy more and more defined and unpredictably connected. It held my interest throughout, especially once I got the diverse charcters and their relationships straightened out. It was hard to put down. The people were amazing and easy to identify with, as I've had a pretty bizarre life too. The realistic language and actions at times were hilarious. Hopefully there will be more books like this by Mr Ferguson.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Diet Coke drinker on April 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is hi-la-ri-ous. smart, fun, witty, clever, all of the above. I was transported. Rare book that can make you laugh out loud but also ponder the meaning. Never saw his show in my life (have now, though) and it makes you think what's going on behind that on screen persona and that charming accent?

Obviously some brainpower.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By E. Akers on July 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
I couldn't help hearing Ferguson's voice in my head as I read this book. Smart, droll, and surreal, this delightful romp is full of literary and historical references. By page 60, I was telling all my friends to read this book.
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