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How to Murder Your Life: A Memoir Hardcover – January 31, 2017
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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“Sensational…Marnell treads a knife edge between glamorizing her own despair and rendering it with savage honesty. Several sections read like the drug-fueled interludes of The Goldfinch…She propels the reader through what could seem like repetitiveness (drugs, binges, bad mistakes, sprawling parties) with the skill of a pulp novelist.” (New York Times Book Review)
“A remarkably honest memoir of addiction...Marnell is a great storyteller. Funny, with the clever hustler’s knack for an energetically spun tall tale.” (The New Yorker)
"One of the year’s most buzzed-about books...Her—ahem—addictive tone and ready humor, as well as the excitement the book met upon publication, make it easy to see the book as a film. [...] Reading the book, I thought not of the emerging class of young female memoirists, but of the late New York Times media columnist David Carr’s The Night of the Gun." (Vanity Fair)
"This book is a work of substance disguised as an evanescent sparkle...350-plus pages of vertiginous dazzle...Marnell is all coked-up crackle and energetic, angel-dusted impunity." (Slate)
"Marnell’s authorial debut is noteworthy for its compelling twin narratives of a rising young talent in the rarefied world of pre-2008 print publishing and of her simultaneous downward spiral into a death-defying feedback loop of substance abuse, insomnia, bulimia and violent relationships—all told in a prose style that is like a spit in the face to an English teacher or to the notion of authority altogether. Her signature emphatic all caps and charmingly sarcastic colloquialisms, her crass irreverence and staggering self-awareness, are themselves, forgive the figure of speech, addictive." (LA Times)
“The literary love child of Keith Richards’s Life and Dirty Blonde: The Diaries of Courtney Love.” (Nylon)
"Marnell has made a career on, well, being a disaster. Or, more accurately, on being an addict, a descent she details with bracing honesty in her new book." (Washington Post)
"How to Murder Your Life is so readable even when it isn't especially easy to read...All of her relationship stories are ones that put the "brute" in "brutally honest." All of her glamorous evenings end like they're scripted by Cronenberg...How to Murder Your Life is the rare drug memoir that isn't redemptive. It's better because of it." (i-D, Vice)
“Jaw-dropping.” (New York Post)
"The book is as compelling — and as problematic — as her magazine writing: vivid, maddening, heartbreaking, very funny, chaotic and repetitive, as benders are." (New York Times)
"[Marnell's] memoir brims with all the intoxicating intrigue of a thriller and yet all the sobering pathos of a gifted writer's true-life journey to recover her former health, happiness, ambitions and identity." (Harper's Bazaar)
"Cat Marnell's memoir How to Murder Your Life should come with a warning label that says buckle the FUCK up....[Marnell] writes about her life with a candor and self-awareness that is unexpected...I read this book in two wide-eyed sittings, cringing and laughing the whole way through." (BuzzFeed)
"Gripping." (The New Republic)
"Companionably charming...her control of style and tone is impressive, as is her wry self-awareness...Reading Marnell is so much fun: When she’s sparkling, high and pretty, it seems so thrilling to be her." (The Cut, NYMag.com)
"Fantastically entertaining." (Glamour)
"Easily one of the most anticipated memoirs of the year...[Marnell's] got an inimitable style (and oh my god, so many have tried) and a level of talent so high, it's impossible not to be rooting for her." (NYLON)
"A gutting, riveting read that peels back the shiny facade that often cloaks the fashion publishing business. At its core, How to Murder Your Life is a cautionary tale about how even the most gifted, determined talents can fall victim to the grip of addiction, but it's also a peek behind the curtain at the inner workings of this competitive industry, and how the shiny world of magazines isn't as glamorous as it often appears. At the end, one thing is for certain: Marnell's storytelling abilities prove why so many of her editors took a chance on her despite the liability she became, and why she's cemented her spot as one of the internet generation's cult-favorite writers." (Fashionista)
"Marnell’s writing is funny, self-deprecating, and deeply appealing to the type of person who reread Valley of the Dolls. The book features a breezy voice, moments of real insight, and stellar name-dropping. It’s not hard to imagine some of it—the free open bars and free designer gifts and free private jets, at least—being really fun. And that’s a testament to her writing, because in truth it sounds exhausting to be a famous drug addict, hallucinating mice in your apartment and gamely maintaining shockingly toxic relationships with people who steal from you or have sex with you while you’re sleeping, all while losing job after job." (Jezebel)
"Marnell takes you through her rollercoaster of a life, which is marked by certain milestones like when she first tried Ritalin, when she moved to New York City, and how she made and ruined a career in one of the most competitive industries in the world. It's as intense as it is heartbreaking. But mostly its hilarious." (Refinery29)
"It’s an addiction memoir for realists who’ve always wanted to get better but have also known there’s no magic pill — for girls who suspected those that talk about how their lives have changed because of yoga or green juice or jesus to be completely full of shit. There are almost 400 pages of deep, dark struggle (which also are funny and engaging as hell) — but there’s no ending, which is the only honest way to finish an addiction memoir." (Thought Catalog)
"How To Murder Your Life is like The Devil Wears Prada on crack - literally...The memoir, as funny as it is horrifying at times, offers a unique glimpse into the heyday of elite publishing, before Condé moved into One World Trade and interns sue...though she's not completely clean, Cat, a gifted writer, bitingly sharp, and acutely talented, has survived." (GUEST OF A GUEST)
"In this soul-riveting new memoir, [Marnell] divulges the true details of her life behind the shiny facade: prescription pill addiction, the wrath of bulimia and endless self-sabotage. How to Murder Your Life paints a vibrant portrait of addiction and the dark shades of consequences that come along with it." (Brit + Co)
"Marnell’s voice is original. She’s startlingly honest and writes things nobody should...How to Murder Your Life is what every addict memoir should be: adventure-packed, shocking, darkly humorous, and gut-wrenching—the only thing missing is sobriety...You’re likely to read it in one fast sitting." (THE FIX)
"Absorbing." (Science of Us, NYmag.com)
"You have to read Cat Marnell’s new memoir “How to Murder Your Life”...It’s so well written…I could not put it down." (The Stripe)
“[Marnell's] is a New York crash-and-burn story, a slow-motion train wreck rescued from mere voyeurism by Marnell’s wit, impressive memory for people and vivid scenes, devastating honesty, and true gift with words.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Though there is some healing, this isn’t a recovery memoir. And it’s much more than a manual for how to screw up one’s life, or an encyclopedia of prescriptions, street drugs, and their glam nicknames (though it is both of these things). Marnell is a talented writer who’s made a successful career centered on her passion. She writes emphatically and outrageously about things some would prefer to think don’t exist, and that’s pretty great.” (Booklist)
"This is an interesting tale about toxic life in New York, big dreams, big goals and fighting to be happy." (WGSN Insider)
“A twenty-four hour read. A rip-roaring memoir of addiction that is at once glamorous and nasty, gaspingly funny and thoroughly gutting. Cat Marnell may have murdered her life but certainly not her writing. These pages have a pulse.”
(Jessica Knoll, New York Times bestselling author of Luckiest Girl Alive)
"A lurid, drug-laced, tale of privilege, beauty and bad decisions. I found it completely unrelatable and very compelling." (The Rumpus)
"Delicious." (Daily Front Row)
"Reading it is a bit like being inside a TV film, the part when you realise the call is coming from inside the house. This is a book written, if not quite during the dark night of the soul, then perhaps around 6am, when the commuter trains have started...[Marnell] is not OK and she is not in control, and reading her book is disturbing and crucial, not just because of her lyrical honesty, but because while we relish the story of the trainwrecked woman, we rarely hear it narrated from the driver’s seat." (The Guardian)
"Humorous and horrifying." (The Globe and Mail)
About the Author
Cat Marnell is a Condé Nast drop-out and former beauty editor at Lucky and xoJane.com. She wrote the “Amphetamine Logic” column for Vice. How to Murder Your Life is her first book.
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Top customer reviews
Why do I like this book so much?
I suppose there are a few things. I really like the writing style. ALL THE USE OF CAPS!!!! AND ALL THE EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!! They make it fun to read. And I just like the author's conversational, witty tone. It makes the whole thing fun to read, you see.
I don't know how I actually feel about the author. I mean, clearly I send her all of the best wishes for herself. She would be (and it seems like she has been) the first to say that she has some major issues. I guess I kind of feel bad for her, even though if I knew her in real life I would probably be incredibly frustrated by her. It was nice to read a book from her perspective because it seems like she has at least some degree of insight into how her behavior and issues affects the people around her.
Anyway, the primary reason that I'm giving this book 5 stars and recommending it is because I just genuinely enjoyed it, and I think a lot of other people will really enjoy the ride of reading it, too.
You may want to avoid if you have issues with prescription pills, drugs, or eating disorders, and if reading about them could trigger you.
Cat's primarily targets her audience to those who may find overlaps in their lives with her situations, especially young women both ambitious and flirting with risky perimeters. Her writing style nails modern, feminine conversational voice while still remaining incredibly unique. The addiction tales get intense and spares no one's squeamishness. Also, no pat conclusion of done and over, now all will be safe and sound gets reached. "Progress, not perfection", as a 12 step slogan reminds the quick fix seekers.
Most recent customer reviews
I found this book to be point on -with the straps addiction clinches. Look forward to more books from Cat!