Those of you who read my blog must know how much I love to read a good memoir!
I’ve been wanting to read Craig Fergusen’s American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot for about a year or so. Every since I stumbled on to his weird yet charming late night talk show, I’ve been a fan of his, and I was chomping at the bit (as the old timey folks say) to find out what type of writer he was.
I am so relieved to be able to tell you that he is a good writer, rather than just yet another celebrity writer who gets paid millions of dollars to talk to a ghost writer about their stupid, shallow life.
First, before I begin my review, I must say that I am THRILLED that this was the first book I’ve been able to read straight through (in two sittings during a 36-hour period) since LAST SUMMER, due to my magical Myasthenia Gravis medication. I’ve been having severe trouble reading due to major eye muscle weakness, which caused a host of problems including double vision. Plus, I went 9 months before admitting to my eye doctor that I needed bifocals. You would too if you had to buy four pairs of glasses (that cost an average of $700, thanks to severe myopia) in the past 2 years. Needless to say, it was a relief that the first book I could read didn’t suck!
On to the book–I love Craig Ferguson as an author, not only because he is weird and wonderful, and has lived a colored life, but because he knows how to write a sentence. He also gets kudos because he comes from Scotland, as my ancestors do, and I love learning about the country I’ve only visited once. All that said, I was a bit surprised by the tone of the book, which seemed quite sad. I wasn’t prepared for that, but once I read Ferguson’s entire book, I understood why it was depressing, as Ferguson was writing it during a time of great crisis in his life.
While I enjoyed American on Purpose, it wasn’t what I was expecting. It had great moments of comedy, but it was full of tragedy, too, so if you are expecting a book you can laugh at page after page, then this book (in my humble opinion) might not be the best choice for you. I will tell you that his story about the first time he got drunk, passed out, got arrested, got released, punched out a neighbor who was also a police officer, and then eventually pissed himself on the family couch at age 14 was absolutely hilarious. So don’t go thinking this book is a bummer, because it isn’t–it just isn’t one of those jaunty “I’m a celebrity with a funny alcoholic and drug abusing past.”
Purchase American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot at Amazon.com.
Visit his CBS website, The Late Late Show With Craig Fergusen.
Like The Late Late Show With Craig Fergusen on Facebook.
Follow @CraigyFerg on Twitter.