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Monday, October 19, 2009

American on Purpose - Book Review

I just finished reading Craig Ferguson’s memoir American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot. It was truly fantastic.

I’ve loved Craig for years. His Late Late Show is the only late night talk show that I watch on a regular basis. What I love about his talk show is that he doesn’t do a standard monologue of lame jokes. He just stands in front of the camera and talks with honesty and warmth about anything and everything or sometimes nothing. Sure he has writers and they obviously do write some jokes, but you can tell that it’s completely spontaneous as to whether Craig actually tells the jokes or not. He can go off on crazy tangents, but he’s so good off the cuff that you’ll find yourself cracking up at next to nothing. He’s just naturally funny.

What I loved about his memoir was that he writes exactly how he talks: with humor, with honesty, and with warmth. Craig has lived a hell of a life, growing up in one of the worst cities in Scotland, being tormented by teachers and fellow students, swept up by the punk movement, drumming in different punk bands leading to drugs and alcoholism, eventually sobering up, finding a career in comedy, marrying three very different women and finally achieving his lifelong dream of becoming an American. He writes very openly about all of this, admitting when he was a sh*t, apologizing to those he hurt along the way, giving a big f*ck you to those that screwed him over, thankful for those who stuck by him, while being very funny and affectionate throughout.

The book is also short and sweet. There is no filler, no over dramatic bullsh*t, no long windedness. He knew what he wanted to say and he said it. I appreciate that. It’s a touching, funny, honest, warm, and compelling memoir. Oh and make sure that you read it with a Scottish accent.

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