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Between the Bridge and the River

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,131 Ratings  ·  508 Reviews
Bawdy, joyous, messy, hysterically funny, and guaranteed to offendregardless of religion, race, national origin, sexual orientation, or professionBetween the Bridge and the River is the debut novel by Craig Ferguson, host of CBS's The Late Late Show. Two childhood friends from Scotland and two illegitimate half-brothers from the American South suffer and enjoy all manner o ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published July 1st 2010 by Chronicle Books (CA) (first published March 23rd 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Zain
Jun 10, 2007 Zain rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who like semi-surreal fiction with a deep plot
Absolutely fantastic. Probably my favorite work of fiction. Sprawling, hilarious, touching, insightful, profane, and overall meaningful. Interesting how several different storylines end up being brought together into a cohesive whole. Clearly influenced by author's experiences with controlled substances. I believe this is a love it or hate it kind of book, and, full disclosure, I am a big fan of the author's TV show and standup comedy.
will
Mar 27, 2008 will rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition


Between the River and the Bridge by Craig Ferguson

Am I glad I read this book? Yes.
Am I disappointed that I used up my time reading this book when I could have been reading something else? No.
Will I ever read this book again? No.
Will I recommend this book to anyone else? No.
Did I enjoy this book? Yes.
Did I love this book? No.

I can't quite put my finger on what is wrong with this book. It has the potential to be a great book. Craig Ferguson is a very funny man and his book contains some very funny
...more
Saint Razorblade
Easily one of my favourite books. I'm an avid fan of Mr. Ferguson, and I was quite impressed with his first novel. It's a wildly fun romp that doesn't forget its place as a moral messenger to the masses. Mr. Ferguson's literary debut cements him in place as the smartest man on television- one of those rare people who can balance comedy and a raw sense of reality in a way that really hits home. I can't wait for his next endeavour!

Is there anything this man can't do?
Lindsaynev
Dec 28, 2007 Lindsaynev rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
this is my favorite book. really. THE favorite. the best way i know how to describe it is that it has the character variety, old-timey sweetness and journey-theme of "o, brother where art thou?" and the raw and sometimes-grotesquely humorous parable quality of "pulp fiction." yes, it's rated R for sex, violence and a lot of language... but it's also well-written, endearing and deeply poignant to all walks of life. LOVE.
Libby
Sep 18, 2008 Libby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Admittedly, I didn't have high expectations for this book. It's written by a late night talk show host, for crying out loud! But shockingly enough, I loved it. Now, having said that (and given it four stars), let me say that doesn't necessarily mean I recommend this book for everybody. There's definite language and sexual situations involved that will prevent 90% of everyday readers from enjoying it.

If, however, you can look past that, it really is a great read. Ferguson does a fabulous job of
...more
Steve
Apr 13, 2008 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oddball Scotsman Craig Ferguson is already up there with Letterman and O'Brien as a late-night talk show host, but he's an even better author than TV personality.

This is brilliant. The writing is terrific, fun, insightful, and hilarious. The story and the characters are pretty fantastic too. There are a lot of meaningful points Ferguson makes, but the whole thing's pretty zany. In rare moments, the story is nicely realistic, but it tends to blend the wildly unlikely with the entertainingly impos
...more
Colin
Jan 20, 2008 Colin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not entirely sure how to encapsulate this book. It's an interesting mix of not-entirely-linear narrative, casual asides, the occasional whiff of 12-step thinking, and a message that's hard to argue with: help others.

The most barbed satire of the book is directed at the entertainment industry, which makes sense given that Ferguson was on the Drew Carey show and now has his own evening interview show. Yet in some regards it's less entertaining because there's genuine anger behind it, as oppos
...more
Absinthe
Mar 28, 2015 Absinthe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Between the Bridge and the River is one of those books that ten years from now I will remember with a slight smile, contemplating the profundity of life's little moments. I've always thought Ferguson was a great comedian, but he is an even better author. The way that the lives in this book intertwine with others is beautiful. This book with confuse you, it will make you laugh, it will make you laugh, and probably cringe a bit as well. It is an amazing book, one that I happened to pick up by chan ...more
Ange
Mar 21, 2012 Ange rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Between the Bridge and the River is a brilliant exploration of the collective unconsciousness! Craig Ferguson is not only an entertaining talk show host, musician and non-fiction writer: he could easily have a huge career as a full-time novelist! I loved the imagination behind this one, with cameos by the poet Virgil, the horror writer, H.P. Lovecraft, psychologist Carl Jung and others. An intellectual's picnic! I would have deducted half a point for a few nit-picky things here and there, but I ...more
Jon
May 28, 2009 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The official blurb (click on the title above) is pretty accurate. Ferguson is amazingly multi-talented: musician, actor, writer, standup comedian, talk-show host. He's written and acted in three movies, including Saving Grace and I'll Be There. He's presented his own series on Scottish archaeology, titled Dirt Detective. This novel reminds me a lot of those by Carl Hiaasen. It is astonishingly crass and vulgar in spots, wittily cynical, sometimes deep, sometimes shallow, sometimes apparently ran ...more
Jill
Oct 09, 2007 Jill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like Craig Ferguson (host of the Late Late Show), you'll like this book. He is a smart guy with a quirky sense of language and timing. The book didn't blow me away, but it was an entertaining read, and provided some interesting commentary on Hollywood and TV evangelism.
Josh
Jul 30, 2009 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strange story, highly enjoyable book, I couldn't put it down until I finished. Ferguson's writing reminds me something of Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide... books and Kurt Vonnegut. The story has a spiritual theme that is amusing and nice, not too heavy. A lot allegory in the story in the form of dreams, and one is not forced to the conclusion that the dreams are visions or just dreams. I would recommend this book to anyone, as long as they would not be offended by the portions of the books th ...more
KT
Mar 12, 2009 KT rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book and was sorry for it to end. I'll miss the characters. It was a little hard to get going since there are multiple story lines going at once. But once I got into it, I couldn't put it down because I was so anxious to find out what would happen. I was a little surprised at the depth to Mr. Ferguson. Somewhat unexpected. However, since I have become a fan, I have made a point of reading much about him and watching various films and such and have discovered that I like him ...more
gina~*
May 04, 2009 gina~* rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone not easily offended
I LOVED THIS BOOK! I never read books like this. At first I didn't think I would be able to get into it. So after about 30 pages I set it down, misplaced it, then found it again and started reading. I fell in love with it. I hope this book bounces around my circle of friends like a beachball at a Nickelback concert... I thought it very insightful and "my heart broke with every breath" during some parts. As much as I love watching him every night before bed I think he is wasting his time on tv, h ...more
Kathy
May 25, 2009 Kathy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have to confess that I did not finish this book. A third of the way in, I realized I sort of hated all the characters and didn't care what happened to them. And it turns out that if you mention bl*w j*bs on every other page, eventually even bl*w j*bs begin to lose their charm. Who knew, right?

It was entertaining in parts, but life is too short to read a book you don't love.
Emily
Jul 29, 2011 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A hilarious religious novel. At first I thought it was a collection of short stories because the first three chapters didn't seem to have anything to do with each other, but it turned out that the threads connected along the way. Fraser and George grew up together. Fraser becomes a Televangelist in Scotland. George becomes a Good Guy who gets cancer and realizes that's really pretty much all he is. The other main thread follows Saul and Leon, brothers who grew up in an orphanage, run away and en ...more
Kim
Aug 31, 2012 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary, mmxii

I have to admit. I was hesitant. I found this on one of the circle twirly tables in the library that sucks you in with its passive aggressive suggestions. It was shiny. It had a neat cover. It was new, no binding creases or sticky residue. Okay.

Craig Ferguson? Isn’t he that pervy boss from that Drew Carey show from the 90s? He has a talk show now right? I’m old and haven’t watched late night since Letterman was funny. Ever more hesitant.

Okay, now this is downright just… is he making fun of me?
...more
Tony
Nov 07, 2011 Tony rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Comedy is probably the hardest genre to pull off, both in fiction and film -- every one's funny bone is set at a slightly different angle, and it's hard to pull off something that's consistently smart and funny. As a result, I'm always feeling slightly starved for comic fiction, and so I picked this up to try and fill the void. Ferguson has always struck me as smarter and funnier than most of his late night talkshow brethren, so I figured it was worth a shot.

And indeed, the one-liners come fast
...more
Sarah
Jan 03, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Sometimes I start composing my Goodreads reviews in my head as I'm reading. In this case, I started off thinking that Ferguson's experience as a drummer and a comic are evident in his writing. The first chapter is delightfully rhythmic; it almost begs to be read aloud. His characterizations of young George and Fraser are brisk, efficient and spot-on. There was definite 5-star potential here.

After a couple of chapters, though, I realized that this was reminding me more and more of A Confederacy o
...more
Ariel Sara
I listened to this book, and unfortunately, Craig Ferguson's quick paced and lyrical reading of it is probably all that got me through. I love weird (I'm a huge fan of Christopher Moore, Tom Robbins, Kurt Vonnegut, and Neil Gaiman), and I don't mind non-linear, or even segues, but this book was just too much of everything. It meandered through all of it's story lines, and in the end I suppose you feel where they were all leading to, but the end doesn't really justify the means. And many of the s ...more
Jerry Hilts
I went into this book with fairly low expectations. A good friend, whose opinion I trust, gave it a pretty poor review. Others noted the book's religiosity, AA tropes, and Jungisms: all things for which I generally have little patience. I'm pleased to say, that Ferguson's warm-hearted, humorous tale was fantastic. Its all-too-human characters are even more lovable for their flaws.
Chris
Jan 02, 2016 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the ending to the book. I thought it summarized everything well.

One thing I didn't like was Ferguson's tendency to explain the backstory to characters in the story that have nothing to do with the plot. I know it's his style, because above all, he's trying to make you laugh as well as enjoy the story told, but it gets a bit tiring to get through it, and because of that, I think it takes away a bit of the impact of the book.

Otherwise, I enjoyed the story very much.
Lori
Apr 23, 2008 Lori rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Humorous take on religion, tv evangelists, some pop-psych thrown in, and a whole lot of interconnected misfits. Everything comes to a head towards the end of the novel. And then, well.... we just sit in the grass at the side of the road and wait, I guess.

This was my 'breather book', a light, interesting read before I jumped headfirst into another long, heavy novel. Definitely the break I was looking for. For those who may not know Craig Ferguson is the funny scottish actor/late nite host, and I
...more
Cayr
Feb 06, 2008 Cayr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a bit of a surprise. Ferguson has a lot of characters, each involved in their own story, none of which are apparently related to one another. Then at the end, he ties it all neatly together. I totally admire an author who can do that. This was a delightful surprise to discover about my celebrity crush, Craig Ferguson. (I wish he was signed on to Goodreads so I could "friend" him. LOL)
Ray Campbell
Jul 15, 2014 Ray Campbell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
Our tale begins with 3 young boys in Scotland. Years later, one dies, one becomes a television star and one develops cancer. Meanwhile in the U.S., orphaned 2 brothers run away from a group home and are on their way to Hollywood. The adventures include journey's through Virgil's Purgatory, into the Diaspora, the soul, Atlanta and of course, Paris. When the whole story comes together, hilarity ensues.

The book is funny, witty, when constructed and shockingly, despite the sex, drugs and fundamenta
...more
Topher
May 29, 2014 Topher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I want to give this four and a half stars. The audiobook deserves five stars, because--just holy crap--Ferguson's narration is incredible. Totally enchanting. The book itself, though, I'd give a four because it spends a noticeable of its time emulating other writers, most clearly Kurt Vonnegut. When he does find his own voice among his influences, though, it shines quite memorably. I laughed my butt off, I was genuinely moved by certain points, and I hardly made it through a chapter without find ...more
Betsie Jones
Nov 22, 2014 Betsie Jones rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Fraser had a problem. His problem was that he wanted people who didn't know him to like him." Yup. Sounds familiar. Now please get out of my psyche, Ferg. I love ya, but it's already crowded.

Fraser started to remind me of Michael Valentine, the Man from Mars in "Stranger In A Strange Land" by Robert Heinlein. Having simple desires and needs, letting go of control, surrendering to the universal All. He just wanted to love and be loved. And George, Claudette, T-Bo, and even Leon really, all want
...more
Chris
Jan 31, 2015 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who enjoy witty funny things
Shelves: fiction, comedy
This a great book. Witty, light-hearted, and full of thinking moments. I went into this expecting a comedic romp. It is Craig Ferguson after all. But I get instead something was funny, but not in a "guy walks into a bar" way. This was very much Ferguson trying to tell a story worth telling, and somply choosing to tell it the way a funny guy would tell it.

Having said all that, this is not the great American novel. It is a great novel with solid entertainment value that I give top ratings because
...more
Margot
Sep 23, 2008 Margot rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Craig Ferguson's book is much more...allegorical, and much less...humorous, than I expected. An interesting intertwining of lives, manipulations, and human folly, interspersed with a few morality stories. And everyone gets their just due in the end. Or do they?
Carrie
Feb 26, 2009 Carrie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This might be a guy book, my husbands liked it. It has several story lines about totally different people. I kept waiting for their lives to interconnect significantly somehow and then the book would make sense, but that didn't happen. Confusing.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Craig Ferguson is a Scottish-American comedian, television host, actor, and writer. He is the current host of CBS's The Late Late Show, a role which earned him an Emmy nomination in 2006. He became an American citizen on February 1, 2008.
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“The Universe is very, very big.
It also loves a paradox. For example, it has some extremely strict rules.
Rule number one: Nothing lasts forever.
Not you or your family or your house or your planet or the sun. It is an absolute rule. Therefore when someone says that their love will never die, it means that their love is not real, for everything that is real dies.

Rule number two: Everything lasts forever.”
360 likes
“Allowances can always be made for your friends to disagree with you. Disagreement, vehement disagreement, is healthy. Debate is impossible without it. Evil does not question itself, only hope questions itself. Even the incorruptible are corruptible if they cannot accept the possibility of being mistaken. Infallibility is a sin in any man. All laws can be broken and are. Often. Like when a bumblebee flies or an ancient regime is toppled.” 23 likes
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