Neil Collins's Reviews > American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot

American on Purpose by Craig Ferguson
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's review
Oct 18, 2009

it was amazing

“It’s a great day for America everybody!” in a thick Scottish borough is how TV’s Craig Ferguson begins his monologue each weeknight. As host of The Late Late Show, Craig follows David Letterman, spinning his unique and very different style of late night comedy. Fans of the show are well aware that the Glasgow native is now a naturalized American, and a recovering alcoholic, but few have known the whole story.

American On Purpose is a fascinating memoir, a cautionary tale, and a damned funny adventure into the world that formed what is possibly one of the most clever wits on television today. Without reveling in the past Ferguson manages to highlight just enough of the debauchery to let us see how it took hold of him. He opens his failings and weaknesses to examination without ever glorifying mistakes; humanizing himself and calling it what it is.

With amazing humor and clarity, the story carries the reader along as each story unfolds. Ferguson is a master story teller, and has well succeeded taking those stories to the page. At times, I could almost hear his borough as the vivid pictures came to life and the killer ducks chased through the park.

While it’s true that I’m a sucker for anyone who finds the strength to admit they need help, and the courage to walk out their recovery; I also have little stomach for those who use it like a badge of achievement in Hollywood. Craig never does, but rather has the honesty and humility to do it day by day and let himself become a reminder that it can be done. American On Purpose makes that crystal clear, while still entertaining the reader.

I highly recommend this book to any and all, especially if you are or care about someone struggling with addiction. Even if not, it’s a great read. My copy was signed in person and will be one of my treasured possessions.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
October 17, 2009 – Finished Reading
October 18, 2009 – Shelved

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