Title: American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot
Genre: Currently #27 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Humor & Entertainment, Humor, Political
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers
Publication Date: September 22, 2009
Title and Cover: American on Purpose–Craig Ferguson mixing metaphors
It’s true–I’ve had this one on my TBR for so long I don’t actually remember how I got it. It’s embarrassing, but suffice it to say, it must have been a (free?) BookBub offering, as I can’t usually be spending a lot on something I can’t eat or that keeps the electricity on.
And, just a head’s up, this is vintage Craig Ferguson. (You know Craig Ferguson, and what that means!) If you’ve ever had the misfortune of insomnia or are just a natural late night person, then unless you are 12, you no doubt watched Craig Ferguson on his late night show. (The show ended abruptly December 2014.)
He is Scottish
I’m still not sure why I watched his show, unless it’s the old “train wreck” analogy, but I did–into and including the skeleton robot and Secretariat, the (two-man) horse. He had some of the arguably most memorable and unscripted, off-the-cuff interviews on late (late) night television. And it was no secret he came up the long, hard way. The man loved his booze and drugs. It almost killed him. Fortunately, he was also far luckier than most. And apparently there was a star somewhere that guided his steps.
“I sometimes wonder if fear isn’t just God’s way of saying, ‘Pay attention, this could be fun.'”
So, I grabbed this book when I had the opportunity. It’s a no-holds-barred, down and dirty memoir. Born of middle-class, hard-working Scottish parents, he was the third of four children (two girls, two boys). He was bitten by the America bug early after receiving a large colorful poster from NASA, which he proudly displayed on the wall of the bedroom he shared with an older brother, and the drive to come to America was born and never left.
Raised in the “second-worst” city in the UK (Cumbernauld), the schools provided a scrappy, terrifying education–right up until he quit at age 16. He’s had ample opportunity now to reflect on how he’s gotten here–circumspect and thoughtful, he decries himself as often as he praises those friends he credits with saving the natural, comedic talent he is known for. The book is filled with clever and witty sayings (“Punk rock said: ‘No crime if there ain’t no law.'”), self-deprecating stories, from his early beginnings in the spotlight as a drummer through his late, late TV talk show. He discusses the depth of his alcohol consumption along with the full array of drugs in which he experimented from Scotland and England to New York City and eventually into Los Angeles.
Filled with cynical thoughts, humorous bits of memories, setbacks and triumphs, the book is biting and deeply personal and finally comes off as a refreshing tale of salvation. My problem, as always, is in the language. Be aware this one is heavily peppered with F-bombs. Still, I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to download, read and review, and would heartily recommend this book to any who think they’ve sunk too low to save. Not true.
“Between safety and adventure, I choose adventure.”
Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five of Five Stars
The Author: (From Amazon Author page–obviously an old bio) 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.
“I will always be Scottish in my heart, but my soul is American, which means…Scottish by birth, but American on purpose.”
©2018 V Williams (Pic attribution: NY Post)