Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Book Review: American on Purpose

Title American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot
Author Craig Ferguson
Rating ****
Tags non-fiction, memoirs, autobiography, comedians, craig ferguson 

I have to admit that after years of watching Craig Ferguson's talk show, he's come to feel like a friend... but I promise not to stalk him. I read his novel, Between the Bridge and the River, and enjoyed it, so have been anticipating this book. I enjoyed the book, though after listening to so many of his stories on the Late Late Show there isn't a lot of the book that is surprising. It is nice, though, to have it laid out as a coherent narrative rather than a story here and there.

Craig grew up near Glasgow, dropped out of school at 16 because he hated it in school so much - apparently it was a violent place not conducive to learning, though he has been an avid reader all his life. He spent a few years at this and that, and found what he wanted to do in comedy, after a while playing the drums in a few bands. However, he had also found the bottle and that it numbed his terrors.

Ferguson had wanted to live in America since his first trip to New York when he was 13. He made it, and here he went to rehab His life improved a lot after that. He got a job as a regular on the Drew Carey show, made a few movies, then got the job as host of the Late Late Show.

It is easy, after the painful years we've had in the U.S., to forget why people from other places aspire to come here:

"For me, becoming an American was not a geographical or even political decision. It was a philosophical and emotional one, based on a belief in reason and fairness of opportunity." (p. 268).

A friend of mine loves a saying, "God make me as good a person as my dog believes I am". So my new prayer is "God make this as good a country as our immigrants believe it is".

Publication Harper (2009), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 288 pages
Publication date 2009
ISBN 0061719544 / 9780061719547

Posted via web from reannon's posterous

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