April's Reviews > Between the Bridge and the River

Between the Bridge and the River by Craig Ferguson
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Feb 19, 12

Read in January, 2012

I love watching Craig Ferguson's late night talk show, so I was already inclined to like this book. I expected it to have the same kind of fun, silly, bawdy humor he has on TV, and I wasn't disappointed. This novel is, like him, fun, silly, and bawdy — slightly perverted, but only in a way that makes it hilarious.

He maintains the suspense by introducing this very wide set of characters from all over and switching from one group to another, so that you know somehow they will all meet up or have something to do with the others eventually — you just don't know how, and you keep reading until you find out. In the meantime, here are their quirks, their philosophies, their background, their journey in life, and almost every detail is presented in a way that's both sad and humorous, but not too sad, just sad enough to make you laugh.

His insider views are even funnier — probably mostly because so much of it is true to life: how TV evangelism works, how celebrity and the entertainment business works, how addictions and epiphanies are, how religious conversions happen, etc., etc. It's also because of how he views these things and then presents them in this book. People magazine becomes Peephole magazine, for instance, really playing on how media likes to take a peep at celebrities' most private lives. This is just a single example of his many brilliant insights in the book. The fact that the book makes you laugh out loud is just a bonus.

For me, there is also a feel in this book that reminds me so much of Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins. I'm really not quite sure why as it's been a while since I've read that book, but it definitely has the same feel — the way it's plotted, the way the characters are described in detail, the way that these characters live. There is also an irreverent feel — well, a superficially irreverent feel, to be more precise, because even so, there's a love for the characters as well. The best I can say to describe it is that it's a lot like Craig Ferguson himself when he's with a guest; he just has fun, treats them all the same, with love and joy and laughter, no matter who they are. He makes fun, but you never feel like he's putting anyone down.

So if you like Craig Ferguson, or if you liked reading Jitterbug Perfume, you'll probably really like this book. I did, certainly.

Probably the only downside of the book for me was that the ending seemed a little abrupt. The entire journey, however, was just fun, fun, fun.
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