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American On Purpose [Hardcover]

Craig Ferguson
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 22 2009
In his memoir American on Purpose, Craig Ferguson, host of The Late, Late Show, traces his journey from working-class Glasgow to the comedic limelight of Hollywood and American citizenship. Moving and achingly funny, American on Purpose moves from Ferguson’s early life as an alcoholic to his stint on The Drew Carey Show to his decision to become a U.S. citizen in its unique and honest look at his version of the American dream.

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“A fine writer, witty, reflective, and candid.... Ferguson is a kinetic cutup teeming with foolishness, brilliance, defiance, and heart. All this is captured in his book as an entertaining connect-the-dots journey.” (Associated Press)

“Hilariously vivid.” (People)

“Funny and poignant and inspirational and brilliant. Nowhere in his story of emigration and redemption does Craig Ferguson realize that as lucky as he thinks he is to be ‘American on Purpose,’ we are luckier still to have him.” (Keith Olbermann)

“With American on Purpose, Craig Ferguson somehow manages to avoid the pitfalls of self-indulgence and self-importance that plague most (okay, all) Hollywood autobiographies. He has, instead, written a book that is hilarious and irrepressibly daft, yet also kind, poignant, and undeniably wise. It was a joy to read.” (Dennis Lehane, author of The Given Day)

“A great read . . . almost as good as my memoir.” (Carrie Fisher, author of Wishful Drinking)

“Ferguson has given us a biographical treatment that is both brutally honest and inspirational…American on Purpose is a book that should be read.” (Chicago Sun-Times)

“Hilarious and revealing...witty and emotional.” (The Daily Beast)

From the Back Cover

In American on Purpose, Craig Ferguson delivers a moving and achingly funny memoir of living the American dream as he journeys from the mean streets of Glasgow, Scotland, to the comedic promised land of Hollywood. Along the way he stumbles through several attempts to make his mark—as a punk rock musician, a construction worker, a bouncer, and, tragically, a modern dancer.

To numb the pain of failure, Ferguson found comfort in drugs and alcohol, addictions that eventually led to an aborted suicide attempt. (He forgot to do it when someone offered him a glass of sherry.) But his story has a happy ending: in 1993, the washed-up Ferguson washed up in the United States. Finally sober, Ferguson landed a breakthrough part on the hit sitcom The Drew Carey Show, a success that eventually led to his role as the host of CBS's The Late Late Show. By far Ferguson's greatest triumph was his decision to become a U.S. citizen, a milestone he achieved in early 2008, just before his command performance for the president at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner. In American on Purpose, Craig Ferguson talks a red, white, and blue streak about everything our Founding Fathers feared.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars mindblowing and honest. Jan. 3 2010
absolutely incredible. Craig has been through so much in his life it's almost hard to believe. This book has a lot to say, and if you listen it's got a lot to teach. I love Craig's work, and always have I think he is a delightful personality with a story to tell. I pride Craig on his honesty, and this book doesn't dissapoint. He tells everything as brutally honest as it is, and that is what makes it so special for me. There's a lot of strategically placed humour which brightens up even the darkest of tunnels, but it doesn't sugar coat anything. There inevitably are people who right now suffer from some of what Craig has gone through, and I truly believe that this book has a special healing power. It's a success story and I found that optimism never falters within it. Craig Ferguson has made a name for himself in comedy, and has proved himself time and again as a outstanding actor, comedian, and writer (not to mention incredibly sexy =]) it's hard to even imagine the kind of strength he has to have found a way out of such a vicious circle alive...and not return.

I genuinly love you, Craig and can't belive the journey you took to arrive here, and thank god everything worked out so you COULD be here today. Your comedy has helped me through a lot, and this book may help me through even more.

Love from Canada =)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ferguson is as good on paper as he is on TV June 22 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I picked up this book because I had recently watched a live taping of one of Ferguson's shows which I loved. I also know he is in recovery and respect him greatly. A great read for anyone.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ferguson delivers! Sept. 26 2009
By Emma B.
Given his talent at telling a great story (both in his stand-up, on TV, and in his novel), I had huge expectations for Craig Ferguson's memoir...and I'm extremely happy to say that it completely lived up to it. While there is the occasional story you might've heard before if you're a fan, 99% of the book contains new, funny, touching and brutally honest stories from his childhood in Glasgow to his current life in Hollywood - the very best kind of autobiography, I'd say. I started and finished it in the same day - it's interesting, hilarious and immensely readable.

If you're looking for a behind-the-scenes Hollywood tale, this isn't for you. If you're looking for a fascinating and well-written look at an intelligent, funny and flawed human being, then it's a must-read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars American On Purpose Jan. 17 2010
Excellent job Craig. Being that I haven't finished a book in 20 years you can imagine my boyfriend's surprise that I had a book my Christmas list. Hearing celebrities read exerpts from Craig's book on the "Late Late Show" made me want to read it even more. It is excellent! Funny, painful, honest. The book follows Craig's life as a sometimes tormented kid in school, growing up with the "inner demons" that almost did him in. Thankfully his made it though that dark period of his life and was able to put pen to paper to share it with us. I highly recommend this book.
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