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Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin

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Official Book Club Selection is Kathy Griffin unplugged, uncensored, and unafraid to dish about what really happens on the road, away from the cameras, and at the star party after the show. (It's also her big chance to score that coveted book club endorsement she's always wanted. Are you there, Oprah? It's me, Kathy.)

Kathy Griffin has won Emmys for her reality show Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, been nominated for a Grammy, worked and walked every red carpet known to man, and rung in the New Year with Anderson Cooper. But the legions of fans who pack Kathy's sold-out comedy shows have heard only part of her remarkable story. Writing with her trademark wit, the feisty comic settles a few old scores, celebrates the friends and mentors who helped her claw her way to the top, and shares insider gossip about celebrity behavior–the good, the bad, and the very ugly. She recounts the crazy ups and downs of her own career and introduces us to some of the supertalented people she encountered before they got famous (or, in some cases, after fame went to their heads). Word to the wise: If you've ever crossed Kathy Griffin at some point in your life, check the index for your name.

Along the way, Kathy reveals intimate details about her life before and after she made the big time. She opens up about everything from growing up with a dysfunctional family in suburban Illinois to bombing as a young comedian in L.A., from her well-publicized plastic surgery disasters to her highly publicized divorce, and more. Only in this book will you learn how the dinner table is the best training ground for a career in stand-up, how speaking your mind can bite you on the ass and buy you a house, and which people in Kathy's life have taught her the most valuable lessons–both inside and outside the entertainment industry. And as if all that wasn't enough, there are also dozens of exclusive and somewhat embarrassing photos from Kathy's own collection–featuring the diva of the D List herself, with her old nose as well as her new one, plus celebrity friends, foes, frenemies, and hangers-on for you to gawk at.

Refreshingly candid, unflinchingly honest, and full of hilarious "Did she really say that?" moments, Official Book Club Selection will make you laugh until you cry, or just puke up a little bit.

348 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2009

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About the author

Kathy Griffin

9 books226 followers
Kathleen Mary "Kathy" Griffin is an American actress, stand-up comedian, media personality, and LGBT rights advocate. A self-proclaimed "D-list celebrity", Griffin first gained recognition for appearances on two episodes of Seinfeld, and then for her supporting role on the NBC sitcom Suddenly Susan. Her Bravo reality show Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List (2005–2010) became a ratings hit for the network and earned her two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Reality Program. She has also worked as a voice artist and red carpet commentator, in addition to several other career pursuits. In 2008 she was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,477 reviews
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews155k followers
December 10, 2020
Kathy Griffin: Controversy Queen

Okay, okay. Controversy aside, this was a fun read. I don't know much about her other than this book, and that anti-Trump publicity stunt. My mom said she's a rabble-rouser and a mess-maker - that she's burned more bridges than she can count.

She started her memoir stretching as far back as her parent's childhood - they each had over ten siblings and her grandfather referred to himself as "The Governor." Her family was strongly Irish-Catholic, which meant strict adherence to the faith and family values. She recalled her time at the Catholic school:
At St. Bernardine’s the nuns never liked me. Especially Sister Mary Bitch-and-a-Half. I think that was her biblical name.
Kathy Griffin talks at length all that she did to get on top of the D-list acting world and all that she continuously does to stay there. She light-heartedly refers to herself as being on the "D-List" which famous enough to be recognized but not famous enough for the other famous folks.

Her frank attitude was mostly charming and funny but there were a few parts that had me cringing. Such as her continuous need to feud with other stars, that one horrible college campus tour or the botched plastic surgery. Yikes.

Audiobook Comments
She read her own book and was great at comedic timing! Love it when the author reads their own book!

YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads
Profile Image for Choko.
1,203 reviews2,583 followers
August 24, 2016
*** 4.35 ***

Let me start with this - I love Kathy Griffin. She is crass, gossipy, would do anything for attention and publicity, except of course, sensor herself, she is a name dropper, and I suspect she could be quite tiring if you had to live with her - that voice and constant need for talking would drive me crazy, I am sure. Also, her celebrity obsession is way annoying and taking her in small portions is the best way to appreciate her flavor of crazy!

I know that all of those OTT qualities of hers might not endear her to many, but I wish they would look pass the flashy and outrageous facade and let themselves listen to the truly enchanting and vulnerable person she is, underneath this armor of strength, I -don't-give-a-fig attitude and never ending desire to do what she feels is right, her work ethic and absolute devotion to the people she loves... She is one of those "scrappy" ladies who no matter how many times get knocked-down, would get up, brush herself off, learn couple of more life lessons she would eventually incorporate into her comic routines, and get even better and stronger in the aftermath...

About the celebrity gossip - c'mon, who does not gossip about them? We all do it, because they are forced upon us from every TV show, movie, paper or magazine out there!!! If they have any complaints, there is a solution - change jobs, stop doing everything you can to promote yourselves, and take some heat, if you are wanting to get some love from all the rest of us...

Kathy G. has had a very exciting life, if not always easy nor light on the struggles. She has paid her dues and has earned her place among the best comedians working. Her stand-up is fresh, always current and her tendency to associate herself with the gay community makes her one of my personal favorites:):):) Totally subjective, I know, and I am not sorry about it:) Her outrageous stage persona has evolved from quirky girl next door to blingged-out drag queen is only a part of her transformation throughout her carer. Her tendency for full disclosure, even when the rest of us might not be fully on board, is her personal comedic signature and it was the main object of the book.

We get to know a lot about her family life, her stage career and even the most unsuccessful part of her life - her love life... Yea, you guys should definitely read it, if you want to be at once traumatized and hurting from laughter...

... “To this day, the behavior of straight men is something I’ve never been able to wrap my head around. Have you ever met one? They’re really weird. Sometimes they want to have sex without A Chorus Line playing in the background. Yuck. How is that even possible?”...

Once again, this book will do best with Kathy's fans, but I think if you are looking for an entertaining, a bit disturbing, and somewhat biographical book, this one is it! I engulfed it in one sitting, that is how much I enjoyed it!

I wish you all Happy Reading and never stop finding reasons to laugh, y'all!!!
Profile Image for Fabian.
947 reviews1,565 followers
August 2, 2017
Official Book Club Selection is an Easy Candidate for Best Comedic Autobiography of all time... of ever. And I mean the Best. EVER...!

It was a thrill to be a ragin' Kathymaniac for the duration of a frank, audacious, thoroughly rewarding read. She really outdoes herself, this perhaps being her life's masterpiece. Seriously, she shittalks and then takes a couple of really bad hits to the face. She talks about a terrible skeleton in her family's closet with incredible detail & pathos. She makes a reader giggle in her 300+ (this is my guesstimation) anecdotes involving huge figures of the culture that POPS. She admits to the horrors of plastic surgery, to who the biggest assholes in Hollywood are and pretty much tells it how it is. She's our Quintessential HomeGirl.

Her message: two words: WORK ETHIC! "Official" is a superior example of how magical and unforgettable a Memoir By A Comedian can truly be.

UPDATE: Am I the only person on earth who loves the decapitated prez pic more and more as I see it?
Profile Image for Jackie "the Librarian".
870 reviews261 followers
February 13, 2010
I know, not everyone likes Kathy Griffin. She has a potty mouth, she gossips about celebrities, she's an attention slut, yes, it's all true.

But she's also outrageously funny, and her most revealing stories are not about the celebrities (please, as if they aren't completely full of themselves), but about herself. Her years as a not so successful comedian, her struggles with food and awful plastic surgery experience, and her horrible love life. If she's holding anything back, I really, really don't need to know it, thanks.

So, this book is not a collection of punchlines, any more than Kathy's act is. It's her life story, growing up in Chicago among hard-drinking, hard-swearing Catholics (the nuns were the worst!), her life-long dream of being an entertainer, moving out to L.A. (with her parents!), and her years in the Groundlings and the comedy circuit before making it semi-big with "Suddenly Susan" and now her own show, "My Life on the D-List."

Along the way, you get anecdotes about Kathy getting blacklisted from talk shows, learn that Steve Martin gave her the cold shoulder but that Jerry Seinfeld gets the joke, and that so does Paris Hilton. Everything is thoroughly indexed, and I think my favorite thing about this book is that the index has commentary. I READ THE INDEX, that's how funny it was. :)

Recommended to fans, and to anyone interested in a how to go about getting a career as a comedian.
Profile Image for Ashley Enrici.
64 reviews
December 27, 2010
I admit it, I am biased. I loved this book because I get Kathy Griffin's humor and furthermore deeply admire her as an atypical female celebrity. I have loved her in person and in everything I've seen her in. My feelings were only intensified by this book and how she refuses to apologize for herself, shares her insecurities, trials and tribulations. Beyond that though, I loved this book because it is a true story about a strong female who has insecurities like the rest of us and she hasn't based her life around finding a man to make her happy. Kathy Griffin is very real, as she demonstrates in this book, and her honesty about her life, plastic surgery, eating & body image issues, and all the other stories made me love her even more. The book was so good I could barely put it down. I could see how some people who don't appreciate her humor might not love this book as much as those of us that do, but I would highly recommend this to anyone who is even a small fan of hers. Reading this book made me very proud to be a woman in this time and place where we have so many different options open to us. Kathy is bold and brazen and has made a career for herself as a female comedian, something that's not that easy to do. She's wonderful and even though her comedy offends some, her achievements and the example she sets as a strong independent woman are something that can be appreciated by anyone.
Profile Image for lov2laf.
714 reviews1,045 followers
July 26, 2019
I have to give her credit. Kathy Griffin is a great storyteller.

I'm a fan of Kathy but I asked myself, "Do I really want to hear her autobiography?" About three seconds in, the answer was, "Yes!"

Kathy takes us through her journey to the top of the D-list. What made it interesting and why it landed with me is that the stories come across as completely authentic. And, as always, Kathy's delivery is intimate and conversational.

If you're curious what it takes to make it in Hollywood or want to hear about the big stars before they had any fame (Lisa Kudrow, Sarah Silverman, Phil Hartman, Janeane Garofalo, Quentin Tarantino, to name a few) this tale is completely worth it. I was completely entertained and also educated in the process.

Do note, this was published in 2009. The events of the last decade could probably make their own 2nd edition of an autobiography. If she makes one, I'll definitely read it.
Profile Image for Alisha.
204 reviews97 followers
March 3, 2011
Quick Take: From the tongue-in-cheek title to the celebrity-filled index, this book was a hoot. Griffin manages to write a memoir that is at once touching, informative, freaky and above all FUNNY.

I like to consider myself a "fan" of comedian Kathy Griffin. Her reality show, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, is full of kooky situations where Griffin's personality is deliciously larger than life. On one particular episode, she announced to the world that she was planning on writing a tell-all book about her life. She informed her pal Rosie O'Donnell of this development, exclaiming, "Guess what my book's going to be called? Official Book Club Selection!" in an uh-huh-you-heard-me-right manner before Rosie gave her a you-go-girl! high-five. At that moment, I knew I knew I had to have this book in my life. ^_^

If you know anything about Kathy Griffin, you'll know that she's all about the snarky humor. Most of her stand-up work is centered around a loose, conversational type routine that is blessedly free of the "set-up/punchline" framework common to many other comics. She really seems to enjoy "dishing" on celebrities, including her awkward (or wonderful) interactions with the many personalities populating Hollywood. Her book has some of that same humor, and even includes a handy index at the end allowing for easy reference to the myriad stars she mentions. She clearly doesn't mind telling some tales out of school…about herself as well as others.

However, the book is not set up to duplicate her particular brand of stage comedy. Indeed, her humor translates quite well to the page, and avoids gratuitous punchline-after-punchline. But she also provides a genuine and seemingly heartfelt description of her upbringing, family, career struggles and personal dramas. While it's clear that Kathy deals with a lot by using humor (a trait that she apparently got from her parents), she's not exempt from frustration and heartbreak, and that comes across in this memoir. She seemed to have a good balance in which the reader is entertained but also gets a glimpse of the real Kathy.

It's made obvious through this book that Griffin absolutely adores her parents. I think that this more than anything else really grabbed me about her; one is so used to seeing the Firebrand Kathy who's always pushing buttons. It was touching to see how, in her own way, she's all about family first.

I'm of the opinion that this book would appeal to many, including those who are not very familiar with Griffin's work. Her dedicated fans will totally be able to envision her dishing her story and enjoy her irreverence. And the uninitiated would get a slightly smoother dose of Kathy Griffin. The only prerequisite is that you have to love the Funny. ^_^
3 reviews
January 30, 2011
I read the first 100 pages waiting in line for her to sign my book. The line didn't look that long from the outside, but once I got inside and saw how it winded around each and every shelf...I thought, "Good for her! And how long could this possibly take?" Well, it took long enough for me to read about 100 pages (and by no means am I a speed-reader)...but the more I read, the more I liked her. It was definitely a quick, easy read, but not because it's all completely fluff. She bluntly tackles some serious topics (i.e. her eating issues, her sexually-disturbed brother, her lipo nightmare, her issues with men including the husband who stole from her) & some of her old-school celebrity stories (the ones about Brooke Shields in particular) go a tad deeper than some of the more hilarious run-ins with low-rent stars like Lindsay Lohan that she focuses on in her stand-up. More than anything, though, she wins major points with me for being so loyal to her parents (who always returned in kind) and for having such a dedicated work ethic. A lot of folks would probably have thrown in the towel a LOT sooner than she did, so it's hard not to admire the fact that she kept trying even when the odds seemed pretty hopeless. By the time it was my turn to get my book signed, you could tell she was tired (I think she'd been signing for several hours at that point), but she was cool. She shook my hand (she has surprisingly tiny, borderline frail hands), took a picture, and called me out for not having the dust jacket: "Are you ashamed to being reading my book publicly? Because if you are, I completely understand." I said, "No, not at all. I left it safe at home in the interest of keeping it pretty." I don't think she believed me (not sure I believed myself truthfully), but she laughed. So, all in all, I'd say it was worth the wait...and the book was worth checking out.
Profile Image for Corrine.
244 reviews26 followers
October 2, 2009
I am a huge Kathy Griffin fan and since I'm going to see her 10/10 at the Chicago Theater, I knew that I had better read this before going to the show. I agree with a lot of other reviews I've seen that this was a pretty good book, but was bogged down by the chapter of emails between Kathy & Woz (Steve Wozniak of Apple Computer fame) and by the material rehashed from her Grammy-nominated comedy album For Your Consideration. Otherwise, it's a quick look at Kathy's home life growing up, how she was influenced by her parents, how she started in show business, and why she's the hardest working woman in comedy still to this day.

I know a lot of people were disappointed she didn't do more gossiping about celebrities, but I wasn't. I preferred seeing the connections she made to some big names in comedy (Phil Hartman, Jack Black, Conan O'Brien, Janeane Garafalo, Margaret Cho, etc.) and how she persevered to make it where she is today.

Although some of the chapters are a bit off in timing (she talks about her husband being on "My Life on the D-List", but it wasn't until the next chapter that she even talked about getting married) it was a fun mix of having an intimate conversation with Kathy about her life and listening to her set. B+
Profile Image for Shadowdenizen.
829 reviews36 followers
January 9, 2017
I love Kathy Griffin. I get why people might not like her, and I won't argue any of those points.

But for me, I appreciate her crude, no-bullshit, tell-it-like-it-is attitude, and most importantly, she just makes me laugh.

And so it's a no-brainer that I would love this book!
Profile Image for Lena.
Author 1 book341 followers
March 24, 2010
Comedian Kathy Griffin has become famous over the last few years for not being famous. In this fascinating and very funny memoir, she talks about the journey she took from being a loud-mouthed, gossipy kid in suburban Chicago to the Emmy-award winning and controversial (albeit low-level) Hollywood figure she is today.

The book is written in the personal storytelling style Kathy has perfected in her stand-up shows, and gives the reader an intimate first row seat as she dishes on everything from her own past to her run-ins with various celebrities she's gone after in her act. The book is overflowing with her trademark brand of smart and shocking humor, and is full of great stories on everything from Jerry Seinfeld's utterly hysterical response to the time she trashed him on HBO to her days "dating" Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (her email correspondence with Woz, in which he reveals that even being a billionaire can't always get you your favorite prime number hotel room, is particularly priceless).

The book also has a serious side, however, as Kathy reveals her struggles with an unbalanced brother whom she suspected of pedophilia, the liposuction-gone-wrong that nearly killed her, what happened when she discovered her husband was stealing money from her, and how she coped with filming a 10-hour a day reality show as her father was dying.

Even these sections, however, are full of constant laugh out loud lines. More than a few find Kathy's humor over-the-top and offensive, but a chapter in which she candidly discusses what she learned about doing comedy for groups like AIDS patients and vets at Walter Reed, as well as where she sees the line between what's fair game and what isn't in the lives of the celebrities she skewers, offers a fascinating look at how she thinks and why she makes the choices that she does.

More than anything else, however, this book reveals just how insanely hard Kathy has worked to get her tiny piece of the celebrity pie. The chapters on her early years in LA and the long, grueling process she went through to discover her own comedy style and break out were among the most interesting to me in the book. I came away from it entertained, educated and with a new level of respect for this very smart and funny woman.
Profile Image for Jeff.
215 reviews94 followers
September 17, 2009
I totally didn't mean to read this book! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Kathy Griffin. Truly. I think she is hysterical and I love her stand-up. What I mean is that I bought the book as a gift for a friend and, before I wrapped it up, I decided to peruse the first few pages. Well, when I saw that it started with an open letter to Oprah, I knew I was in for a long night of reading -- reading AND laughing.

Kathy's book is a compulsively good read. It is equal parts Griffin schtick and true memoir. What impressed me most about "Selection" is that (1) you can hear Kathy's inimitable voice in every word; (2) she is surprisingly candid about her life; and, (3) she has worked so incredibly hard to get where she is today. Kathy is the opposite of an overnight sensation; she's someone who has worked for everything she'd gotten -- dues were paid, people were pissed off, but she was always true to herself and her dreams. I respect that immensely.

Believe it or not, this book would've been a five star read for me (and you guys can see I don't give 5 stars out easily!), except I found the chapter on her relationship with Steve Wozniak a little tedious. (Okay, more than a little tedious!) All in all, though, I loved the book, had a great time reading it, was surprised by her candor, and reveled in her wit.
Profile Image for Megan.
137 reviews
August 21, 2011
For what it is, this book is great! She really offers an interesting glimpse into her life--the chapter about her brother is shocking and really shows her heart and character. We also learn why she and her husband divorced (I always wondered the reasons, not sure if it was made public before this book). I really appreciate that it showed many sides of her. Although I think she's hilarious, I don't always agree with what she says; sometimes she takes things too far for me. But this book really shows her caring side and her huge heart. Yet it's not totally cheesy or anything--there is plently of celebrity gossip and what it's like in the world of comedy. I think she is so great about dishing about celebs because she is so specific. It's hard for the general public to imagine huge celebs as real people so I like that instead of being like "She's a bitch" or "She was really drunk" she tells hilariously detailed glimpses into their lives--like letters they've written her, or the time this actress (you have to read the book!) fell down. A great blend of Kathy's personal life and the hilarious celebrity anecdotes she's famous for. Keep doing what you're doing and being fearless Kathy!
Profile Image for Cathy .
1,944 reviews52 followers
January 4, 2010
I don't give many five star reviews, but I really thought this book was great. If I'd read it in print it may well have gotten only 4 stars, but as an audiobook it really stood out. Kathy's comedy style is telling stories, not jokes, and the book reflects that. She's a great storyteller. She shared many really intimate and touching moments from her life, her journey as performer, and some very enjoyable humor as well. All of it was enhanced by hearing the tone of voice and genuine emotion behind the stories. Things that may well have seemed harsh or glib in print, or to someone who is less familiar with Kathy's sense of humor, were either deeply moving or hilarious verbally. It just added so many nuances to every tale, I would highly recommend getting this book as an audio book. Also, even though she was kidding around on her show and on the talk show circuit so much that it may have seemed that this book is just a piece of fluff designed to further her career as just another form of publicity, it is actually a really terrific memoir with depth as well as humor.
Profile Image for Katie.
275 reviews2 followers
May 2, 2010
This book was going at a four until the emails back and forth with Woz, which were boring.

As an aside, I've read about 10 memoirs/autobiographies/biographies by comedians, and it's endlessly interesting to me. In that respect, I really liked hearing about why her style of comedy was different and difficult to catch on while she was up and coming, especially considering that her style is why I like her. She balanced the funny (Mariska Hargitay getting dropped in Groundlings classes) with the not-so-funny (her brother Kenny) pretty well. I also have a lot more respect for her, on how she truly is one of the few people out there now who actually got where she is due to her own intiative over years. I loved the comparison to Hilary Swank (roughly, "If I could live in a van for a year and then have an Oscar by 25, I'd do that over how I had to do it any day." Amen.).

Just a fun, breezy read, slightly deeper in spots than I thought it would be, but then it be hard to go back to the colloquial celebrity stories.
Profile Image for Dawn.
239 reviews
October 22, 2015
Audiobook read by the author, Kathy Griffin.

A fun, well-written memoir by comedian and 'D-List' celebrity, Kathy Griffin. This book gives insight into her early years, her family, her failed marriage and, mostly, how she struggled and, finally, how she gained recognition in the tough, superficial, and fleeting world of Hollywood. I recommend this to all Kathy Griffin fans.

P.S. If you read this, I highly recommend the audiobook. As Kathy reads her book, you feel as though she's right next to you, your best friend telling you stories of her life. It's almost as if she's ad-libbing this story, not reading from a book. It was great! 4.5/5 stars.
913 reviews401 followers
April 23, 2010
Between not having a TV and living in the middle east, my knowledge of current pop culture is pretty limited and I had never actually heard of Kathy Griffin. But I noticed that people seemed to like her book on goodreads and I figured hey, most of the memoirs I read are written by people I’ve never heard of so why not this one? I also went through a phase in high school where I really enjoyed celebrity biographies even if I wasn’t particularly interested in the celebrity – I was curious about the psychology that went into making someone famous.

I listened to this on audio, read by Kathy herself which actually feels like a more authentic experience than reading it visually would have been. I’m not sure how I feel about Kathy as a comedienne (judging from her book reading, anyway, which is my only experience with her). For a while, she reminded me of someone I once knew who seemed to find herself pretty funny but somehow never fully convinced me that she actually was. This person would monopolize conversations and was actually pretty draining to be with, despite her occasionally successful wit. Maybe it’s an occupational hazard of listening to someone read their own book out loud, but all those feelings of being overwhelmed by continual waves of self-absorbed, sometimes forced wisecracking and wanting to get away came back to me as I listened to Kathy.

As I listened on, though, Kathy started to grow on me or at least, annoy me a little less. It helped that there were things I admired about her. Kathy poignantly described her difficult relationship with her derelict older brother and her strong stance concerning his apparent pedophilia even as her family insisted on denial. I was also touched by her honest descriptions of her deeply felt reaction to a co-worker’s suicide, and of her marriage’s sad demise. Kathy’s strong work ethic and determination, her willingness to weather setbacks and continually go out on a limb and try new things in an effort to get places in her career, were inspiring. I think I actually liked Kathy best when she was describing these more serious topics. It was at these points that I felt like she wasn’t trying to make me laugh; she was just being herself and speaking from the heart, and it penetrated.

It was interesting to read about Kathy’s singlemindedness when it came to achieving her goals – for many years her tunnel vision precluded any serious long-term relationships, for example. She did manage countless tawdry interludes with sleazy guys, which got to be a little TMI. And speaking of TMI, I have a great deal of respect for her family if they’re still talking to her. Her parents actually came across as pretty nice people in this book with whom she has a strong relationship (a refreshing change from lots of other memoirs I could mention), but respect for her family’s boundaries was not a prominent feature of her writing which I guess is consistent with Kathy���s tell-all style throughout.

I do admit to taking guilty pleasure in her celebrity gossip, since she often talked about people whom even I had heard of. I learned that Steve Martin is a jerk, that Jerry Seinfeld is capable of being a jerk but can also be a good sport when he’s called on it, that Howard Stern is actually a nice guy with a surprising soft side, and lots of other interesting information. And I learned a lot – an awful lot – about the hazards of liposuction.

I also thought a lot about the narcissistic exhibitionism that goes into making a career of telling people everything about your life. Is it contemptible, or is it admirable? If I found Kathy funnier, would I be less put off by her self-absorption? It reminded me of the polarized reactions to “Eat Pray Love,” which I happened to like even as many other reviewers complained about Gilbert’s grating love affair with herself. Kathy herself seemed to have mixed feelings about her exhibitionism. She admitted that her decision to reveal some highly personal and damaging information about her ex-husband was motivated largely by her ego, and that she is ambivalent about whether her decision was correct. The fact that Kathy's narcissism was somewhat tempered by a capacity for self-criticism made it, arguably, a bit more tolerable.

Overall, while I didn’t love this book, I’m not sorry I read it. I imagine that people who actually know who Kathy Griffin is will enjoy it more than I did, but it wasn't bad.
Profile Image for Lara.
71 reviews
June 19, 2010
Disclaimer: If you don't like Kathy Griffin, you aren't going to like this book. It doesn't matter how many stars I give it or what I say about it, although, how flattering if it would! If you are reading this and don't know who she is, I will just say she's hysterically crass (that's Rated-R) and most celebrities fear her. Or should.

I saw Kathy Griffin perform on tour this past January and her show, a 2-hour rant against celebrities and their crazy antics, had the audience roaring from start to finish. My sides were actually hurting so much that I counted the outing as my ab workout for the day. I definitely had a blast at her show; yet I am not a big celebrity memoir person. I did not rush out to buy the book that Kathy herself said she named OFFICIAL BOOK CLUB SELECTION in hopes that consumers would think Oprah had chosen it. Imagine my delight, however, when my gal pal Cynthia loaned me her copy and said, "You will cruise through this. I bet you can knock it out in four hours." Confession time: I don't read as fast as Cynthia thinks I do, but it was definitely a cruiser and I cleared it within the week.

OFFICIAL BOOK CLUB SELECTION chronicles Griffin's upbringing as the youngest of four children to John and Mary Griffin of Oak Park, Illinois. A self-proclaimed "... kid who needed to talk. All the time.", Griffin loved television and storytelling more than anything else (maybe not as much as cake, but they surely ran a close second). After high school she decided to take her gift of gab and love of Hollywood to the City of Angels with dreams of breaking into the biz.

Griffin does a great job detailing the road to stardom - it's full of hard work, paying dues (unless you are John Corbett or Heidi Montag, one of whom she loves and the other she loathes), lots of rejection and definite double standards. She maintains a highly conversational tone and I felt as if I was following her around to auditions and growing up with her as she struggled to find her niche. As a member of the Groundlings (picture LA's version of Second City) she worked day in and day out attempting to perfect her craft but had her share of failures, like when she blew the audition with Lorne Michaels to secure a spot on Saturday Night Live (Groundlings member Julia Sweeney nabbed it).

While the book is certainly funny, Griffin does a good job covering the not so funny stuff: a brother with many secrets, her volatile friendship with Andy Dick, and her failed marriage. I admit that prior to reading OFFICIAL BOOK CLUB SELECTION, I thought anyone was fair game for her, yet she does have boundaries. Also revelatory, she hasn't pissed off everyone in Hollywood (and there's even a key group of folks with whom she strives to stay in the best of graces). I thought she handled the serious sections well and they exposed a side of Kathy Griffin outside of the brash and off-color that most don't ever get to see.

But let's face it. Griffin's job is to find the funny and make people laugh at almost anyone's expense. And, laugh I did. The most, in fact, during the last two pages of the book. It was her hilariously written Reading Group Guide Questions that had me bump my final rating up a star. Yes, the questions are that funny.
Profile Image for Ismail Elshareef.
173 reviews16 followers
February 19, 2017
I know it's shocking, but our favorite A-list diva lets her hair down with this tell-all memoir (gays, pay attention.) She starts off with a personal letter to Oprah, which of course is very moving, telling her to brace herself for the tsunami that is this book. That's right, she's not holding anything back, and that's saying something.

Kathy opens up with candid talk about her family, especially her brother Kenny. It takes a lot of guts to talk publicly about a family member who's a pedophile, so I give Kath props for sharing this painful story with us and for always finding that evasive silver lining. She talks about being a female comic in Hollywood and about what happened behind-the-scenes on the set of Suddenly Susan. Her marriage and the real scoop on what happened there is discussed at length as she starts to talk about her Emmy-winning Reality Show, "My Life on the D-List." She talks about her run-ins with the rich and famous and by that I mean Steven Spielberg, and her new BFFs--food and Paris Hilton.

Diva is a masterful storyteller. Seriously, she's the best! The book is hilarious and the audio version, though abridged, is even funnier because it's narrated by diva herself!

Get both the book and the audio version. You'll be laughing all the way into next year and maybe longer.
98 reviews1 follower
December 1, 2009
I think Kathy Griffin is hilarious and this book did not disappoint. She writes exactly like she talks and I could picture her on stage or on her reality show sharing these stories. What struck me most was how hard she worked to get where she is. Seriously, not to be cliche, but she had to change her plan of attack many times on the way to stardom. In the beginning she wanted to act and then tried improv. She didn't think stand-up was the way to go and when she finally decided to give it a try, it was still a very hard road. She really wasn't funny until she started making fun of celebrities. It took a long time and many rejections until she found her niche. I loved reading about her relationship with her parents and was shocked learning about one of her brothers. I have always had a theory about celebrities and what it must take to be on. These people have personalities that do not allow them to give up on their dreams. Kathy never took "NO" for an answer and it finally paid off. Even if she is just on the D-list. And I don't care what you think of her, the Emmy acceptance speech she gave was hilarious!
Profile Image for Shanmcg.
11 reviews1 follower
September 16, 2012
Before reading this book I thought Kathy Griffin was a mouthy, rude, attention seeking Hollywood cast-off. I cringed when I saw her on talkshows with each insult she hurled and I couldn't stomach Suddenly Susan. I had no interest in reading (or listening in my case) to her book but after an enjoyable run with all three of Chelsea Handler's audiobooks, not to mention Tina Fey's Bossypants, I was itching for a comedy audiobook to help pass the long drives to and from work. What a surprise! Kathy Griffin is a kind, sweet and misunderstood woman who I grew to love emmensley. I have even been to one of her standup shows. This book is honest and hilarious, and if you take away anything from it it will be a new respect for how hard Kathy has worked to get where she is. I have since listened to the audiobook once again and purchased the book to get all the photos you miss out on with the audio version. If you are an audiobook fan I highly recommend this one as Kathy's deliver of it makes you feel like you as sitting in her living room.
Profile Image for Diane.
750 reviews57 followers
October 13, 2009
People either really like Kathy Griffin, or they really don't. I'm in the really-like-her camp. (Although I will admit she does cross the line at times with her comedy.) I started watching her "Life on the D-List" show on Bravo TV from day one, and was impressed with her work ethic. No one works harder than Kathy to get her name out there.

A stand-up comic who performs all across the country, she is best known for her costarring role in Brooke Shields 90s sitcom "Suddenly Susan", but my sons knew her from her hilarious guest turns as a standup comedian who causes trouble when she puts Jerry Seinfeld in her act on "Seinfeld".

Kathy has won two Emmys for her Bravo TV show and was nominated for a Grammy for her comedy CD, "For Your Consideration". Next she tackles the publishing world with "Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin", which debuted at number #1 on the NY Times Non-fiction bestseller list.

I saw Kathy at a book signing at Barnes & Noble in Tribeca on the day of the book's release. I had to get there at 9am to get a wristband to get back in for the 7pm signing. I returned to the store at 5pm and there were already well over 50 people in line with wristbands, and easily another 50 in a stand-by line. Over 300 people showed by 7pm.

The only other person I had to get a wristband for ten hours early was Liza Minnelli- I'd say Kathy is in A-list company now! She arrived on time to hoots and howls from the audience. She looked fabulous in a jeweled-toned dress, and regaled the audience with stories about doing "The Today Show" with Kathie Lee Gifford that morning.

There wasn't time for a reading or questions because there were so many people there and Kathy wanted to sign everyone's books, which disappointed me. I would have loved to hear her read from the book!

The book is very good- not your standard haha book written by a comedian to make a quick buck. Griffin has obviously given this endeavor much thought for a long time. There is a lot of funny in here, lots of celebrity dish, and some heartache as well.

Griffin is brutally honest about things her family probably wishes she weren't. She is the baby of a large Irish-Catholic family from a Chicago suburb. Her parents liked to drink, and Griffin herself is a tee totaler today probably because of that.

She writes candidly about her brother Kenny, a man with a drinking and drug problem. Kathy says that he was a pedophile, preying on young girls, and this revelation has caused hard feelings with her family who wished she hadn't written about it. Her point is that many families have difficulties like this, and maybe her honesty will help others deal with their family issues. That chapter is moving and honest, and at times, hard to read. It doesn't seem done for sensationalism, but simply as a part of her life that greatly affected her.

She has met many celebrities in her career, and she is honest about them as well. Steve Martin comes off a real-life jerk as they shared a talk show couch. A comedy stunt Kathy pulled interviewing celebrities on the red carpet at the Academy Awards angers Steven Spielberg, and Star Jones and Thomas Haden Church probably won't be happy to see their names in the book either.

On the other hand, it's nice to know that George Clooney is the sweetheart we all believe he is. He was kind to Kathy's parents when she did a small guest spot on ER-he even took a photo with them.

But the funniest celebrity jibe is taken at Oprah. Griffin consistently pokes fun at the all-powerful Oprah and it is a hilarious running joke in the book. The title of the book is even an Oprah-esque joke about Oprah's Book Club.

Griffin also writes openly about the difficulty of being a female comic in a man's world, the disappointment of her failed marriage and even shares horrible photos of her botched liposuction surgery.

Kathy Griffin has been around a long time in show business, and she is a testament that hard work and perseverance eventually pays off. The love she has for her parents shines through as well, as she credits them with her sense of humor, although her mother is often mortified by her daughter's actions and has been since Kathy used to go to the neighbor's house as a child to share with them family secrets.

"Official Book Club Selection" is a well written look at Griffin's life, filled with humor, honesty and the outrageousness we expect from one of the hardest working people in show business.
Profile Image for Erin.
617 reviews18 followers
November 22, 2009
I listened to this on audio, and I think hearing it in her voice versus reading it made it that much better (and I'm not usually an audiobook fan). Very conversational and surprisingly charming. I expected it to be more laugh-out-loud funny, and while I laughed at points, I more just listened as if she were talking to a friend about her life. And she's had a really interesting life! And I think this book makes her much more sympathetic (although I don't believe she tries for that) than she comes across. Her persona is that she'll make fun of just about anyone, and she's mean, but I actually think she just expects people to lighten up and take a joke, and she enjoys poking fun at inflated celebrity egos. I don't know that I've ever seen an episode of "My Life on the D List", but I think she's pretty funny. And I really enjoyed the sections where she's mimicking Jerry Seinfeld, and her friendship with Brooke Shields, which started on "Suddenly Susan."

And she kept me company while I was cleaning out my desk, so I appreciated that!
Profile Image for Deborah Edwards.
155 reviews85 followers
March 1, 2010
Love her or hate her, Kathy Griffin makes no apologies for who she is. She is as candid when describing her triumphs as she is when describing the hard times and heartaches she has handled along the way. Already a fan, this book gave me new insights into the machinations of Hollywood and its players, as well as a new respect for this woman who rolled with the punches and finally found a way to successfully market her unique persona and talent. As fearless as Andy Kaufman, but with a work ethic that would impress the toughest CEO, a foundation in family values that would stifle the many groups who rail against her, and a sweet side that even she might not want to admit, Kathy Griffin made me laugh out loud on many occasions, gasp at her honesty on other occasions, and come away from this book wishing I could spend just one day hanging around with her.
Profile Image for Gina.
Author 1 book14 followers
August 12, 2012
I've read so many comedian memoirs, especially lately -- Steve Martin, Tina Fey, Sarah Silverman -- and hands down, this is one of the best. It's filled with funny stories, sad stories, serious stories - IN SHORT, STORIES, really good ones! And not all of the stories are about celebrities. Some of the strongest chapters in this book are about Griffin's family, including tough stuff about her late brother Kenny, a crack addict and rumored pedophile, but also warm anecdotes from her parents 60+ year marriage. Griffin also gets into her own failed marriage to a man who embezzled money from her. But, don't fret, there's also a shit ton of funny stuff about her days on the 1990s alt-comedy circuit with Janeane Garafalo, Andy Dick, and Margaret Cho. Also: creepy pics from Griffin's short-lived fling with JACK BLACK (!)
Profile Image for Amanda McGill.
1,200 reviews51 followers
March 16, 2016
I enjoyed Kathy Griffin's memoir much more than I thought I would. I was in the mood for a funny book and she delivered!

I was pleasantly surprised that this novel was mostly about Kathy and stories about herself growing up and entering into Hollywood. I learned so much about her and there was a lot of difficult context that I'm surprised she went so far into (eg. Her brother, plastic surgeries and divorce).

I loved all of the pictures that corresponded with each chapter. Also I laughed out loud with her book club discussion questions and the index!

The only reason I'm not giving this novel 4 stars is because I really don't have any desire to watch any of her shows. I didn't feel too much of a connection with her that made me want to know everything about her. I will think of this novel the next time I see her on tv though.
Profile Image for Geert Renders.
49 reviews16 followers
July 15, 2014
If you love Kathy Griffin, you will love this book. A nice combination of funny moments and serious moments from her life.
Profile Image for Talulah Mankiller.
63 reviews44 followers
April 23, 2010
Griffin’s memoir, which describes her childhood and her career thus far.

I hate to say it, but I liked this. Griffin is HUGELY problematic as both a writer and a comedian, but goddamn is she funny. And weirdly inspiring. She skipped college and lived with her parents until she was 28, all in an effort to make it as an entertainer—although which kind of entertainer took her forever to figure out! Dude, Kathy Griffin went to the Lee Strasberg Institute.



Okay, please stop laughing, you’re going to choke.

Anyway, so she tried being a “serious actress,” then moved on to the Groundlings because she realized that she was better at comedy, and then moved on to standup because she realized she was better at being herself than at being anyone else. This whole process took her WELL OVER a decade. In fact, I think it took her almost twenty years to land a sitcom. TWENTY YEARS. FOR SUDDENLY SUSAN, OF ALL THINGS.

Now that’s dedication!

Reading Griffin’s memoir was inspiring for me, because I’ve been kind of down on myself for not really knowing what I want to do other than “write funny stuff”—and here’s a person who took twenty years to refine “entertainer” to “entertainer who makes people snorfle by talking shit about celebrities.”

I think there may be hope for me yet!

Seriously, though, Griffin just kept working her ass off and it finally paid off, and I do admire her for that. A lot of other people just would have quit and gone and been a bank teller or something. She wanted it, and she didn’t stop until she got it. That’s nothing to sniff at. Oh, and did I mention that she can write, too? Either that, or she had the most seamless ghostwriter in existence. Regardless of how it came about, the style is fabulous.

Ahem. Now that I’ve been nice, let me cut both her Achilles tendons and kneecap her WITH THE POWER OF MY THOUGHTS. It’s what I do.

Like I said in the beginning, Griffin is funny, but she’s also hugely problematic. Sometimes, she’s just willfully blind—like when she mentions that one of her most popular characters at the Groundlings was a black woman talking at one of the Rambo movies. Apparently, Griffin based the character on an actual woman she met at a screening of the movie in Chicago; Griffin genuinely thought that the woman’s reactions to Rambo were funnier and smarter than Rambo itself. Reading that, though, I was just like, “Oh, honey—that’s not why they’re laughing at this character, and we both fucking know it.” Griffin may have thought that the woman was smart and funny, but an audience laughing at a while lady doing an impression of a black lady? Yeah, they’re laughing because they think black people are ridiculous, not for any other reason. Griffin’s sharp enough to pick up on something like that; she just didn’t want to cop to it. And that’s just pathetic. I mean, I know she was desperate for a laugh because she wasn’t doing very well in the Groundlings, but COME ON. It was decades ago, Griffin. You can admit you were an asshole now.

In addition, Griffin claims to be some sort of gay icon, which I frankly do not get. I mean, far be it from me to tell anyone whom they can idealize or whatnot, but seriously—Griffin refers to them as “the gays.” I can’t remember if she ever calls them “her gays” a la Tori Spelling, but I’m thinking she probably does. What is UP with that? I mean, I don’t have very many gay friends (I don’t have very many friends IN GENERAL, so it’s not like I have a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy or anything, it just happened), so I don’t have much personal experience, but seriously. I don’t go up to those friends I do have and go, “Remember that time where you were a homosexual?” or “Remember that time you were Asian?” Who DOES that, aside from Stephen Colbert? And if an entertainer did that to a group of people you were a member of, why would you make it a point to be a fan? Casual fandom I would understand, but being like, “YOU’RE MY FAVORITE”?

Basically, I think I’m asking if she’s just totally talking out of her ass and there are like, two whole gay people in any given audience of hers, or if she’s telling the truth and the gay community looks up to her as unto a god. I can’t help it, I’m curious.

Recommended for: You’ve got to have balls of steel and be ready for some SERIOUSLY UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS to read this, but then, if you know anything about Kathy Griffin, you already knew that. Also, get ready to know more about Andy Dick than you ever wanted to. She keeps it down to one story, but BELIEVE ME, that one story is more than enough!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Lindsay .
932 reviews35 followers
April 8, 2016
I like the title and wonder how many book clubs will actually pick this book. Honestly, I wouldn't. I've seen her stand up shows on the Bravo channel and they cracked me up, so I thought that I would like her book. If she's funny on TV, shouldn't her book be funny too? Apparently not. She did try to make it humorous, but, to me, it just wasn't. The main reason why I wanted to read this is because I wanted to hear to go off on celebs like she does in her shows, and while she did mention them, she didn't say anything that exciting about them except that apparently Lisa Kudrow (the chick who played Pheobe on Friends) had a nose and boob job before she got famous and that Steve Martin is an ass. Other than that, its just about her life, starting from childhood to now. Her parents are pretty interesting people. Maybe they should write a book. I understand that she was trying to make a name for herself in the biz, but really, saying bad things about people (she spread a rumor that Dakota Fanning, who was 10 at the time, had gone to rehab). That's a bit harsh. I think that her marrying a guy who took all her money might have been karma for that horrible joke. I guess my feelings for her haven't really changed. If I catch one of her stand up shows on TV, I'll watch. But will pass on her reality show and any other books she writes.
Profile Image for veloci.reader.
553 reviews14 followers
September 20, 2009
If you like Kathy Griffin’s stand up comedy or her TV show, you’ll like this book. It tells the story behind events in Kathy’s professional and private life in the same chatty style she uses in her stand up. As you would expect, there’s plenty of celebrity gossip but there’s also enough depth in her personally stories to keep the book from being shallow. I found most of it very hard to put down but I could have done without the chapter that was entirely made up of e-mails between her and Steve Wozniak.
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