From a random review:

Get new posts by email:

Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Navigate the site:
Click here for a complete list of books reviewed or select below:
Search the site:
The ratings:
5 stars  excellent
4 stars  very good
3 stars  good
2 stars  fair
1 stars  poor

Blog stats:

About the blogger:
Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)





Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


  Previous post:   Horowitz, Anthony: Stormbreaker  
  Next post:   Finder, Joseph: Vanished  


Ferguson, Craig: American On Purpose

  Amazon  

3 stars

In his memoir American On Purpose Craig Ferguson tells the story of his life from his childhood in Glasgow to his current job as host of The Late Late Show on CBS.  There are three strands to the story: Ferguson's hesitant, sometimes almost accidental forays into show business; his drug use and alcohol addiction and ultimate recovery from alcoholism; and, as the book's title suggests, his desire to live in and eventually to become a citizen of the United States. The book's focus is mostly on the first two of these, despite the book's title and the publisher's copy, which seems to be describing a different book: "In American on Purpose, Craig Ferguson talks a red, white, and blue streak about everything our Founding Fathers feared."

I had mixed feelings about the book. Certainly Ferguson is a likable guy--at least since he's been sober--and he never blames anyone but himself for his bad behavior, which is commendable. He's supportive of friends. He doesn't have any complaints about his parents. (Though he does have some harsh words for the Glaswegian school system of his youth, which sounds horrific.) The problem is that the book bogs down in details as Ferguson describes the people he worked with or got drunk with or otherwise socialized with along the way. Here he is, for example, describing the opening night of the American Modern Dance Theater's production of "Telemachus Clay," in which he appeared:

"The first night was fun, though. James and Susan came in from the burbs, Anne was there of course, and also Jamesy and his junkie wife, Lucy--who had taken to talking to me a little more since she realized I was in a play. Roswell and a couple of guys from the construction site showed up. So did the painter Steven Campbell from Glasgow, who was causing quite a stir in the New York art world at the time. Anne had been friendly with him and his wife, Carol, at art school but it was a tricky social situation. Steven loathed cocaine and had absolutely no time for Jamesy, another classmate at the Glasgow School of Art, whom Steven dismissed as a worthless trendy. It was an unfair assessment, and Steven could be a pretty opinionated guy."

This works as a point-by-point description of what was going on, but it makes for dull reading.  We never care about these minor characters, and they all blend together after a while. The book does pick up a bit after Ferguson gets sober and starts to appear on American television, and there are certainly some moving moments in the book. But it's not as interesting a read as it should have been given the author's personality and story and talent.

Comments

1.

See what you mean - sounds like it could have used a bit more of an edit, although the book as a whole does sound very interesting.

2.

I am by no means a critic of any sort, but, this is why I want to read Craig's book. You can read his bio on IMDB! When I find someone interesting enough to buy their book, I want to read their personal message, what was important enough for them to relate, not an editor's rendition. On his show, he seems so down to earth and real people. You KNOW he is a celebrity, but he doesn't act like it. I can't wait to read the book. Thanks.

3.

But all books are edited. So an edited rendition may simply be a version that has the boring or poorly written or repetitive stuff taken out. It's not the message that's problematic in this one. The message(s) are interesting. But sometimes it's bogged down in unnecessary information like that paragraph I quoted.

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In