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American On Purpose - The Improbable Adventures of An Unlikely Patriot by Craig Ferguson Books in Review
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American On Purpose - The Improbable Adventures of An Unlikely Patriot
by Craig Ferguson
ISBN 978-0-06-17154-7
Published September 2009 - Hardcover - 268 pages - $25.99

Admittedly, I don't know Craig Ferguson or his show very well, but I have seen snippets here and there.  I recall chuckling a bit so I thought his book might give me a few laughs.  It did.  From many accounts, growing up in Scotland as early ago as the sixties, wasn't easy, and Craig Ferguson, host of The Late Late Show confirms this.  Not only were living conditions not that great, but there was also the family dynamic to consider along with the rigid schooling, his dreams as a boy, his friends, and so on.  Ferguson has come a long way since those days: married three times, is a recovering alcoholic and drug user, has a successful television show in America, mingles with the hoity toity, and lives a pretty good life out in Los Angeles.  It's how one gets from Glasgow to Los Angeles.  It's interesting.  And it's what counts.  About his alcoholism, I thought this was interesting: "Understand this, if nothing else.  It's not about how much you drink.  It's not about the alcohol really at all.  It's about what the alcohol does to the alcoholic.  That's why I would never advocate temperance for those who don't need it or prohibition for those who don't want it."  About acid he wrote: "Acid gave me a clinical, unblinking look at madness, and I discovered I wasn't brave enough to be insane."  Thought-provoking.  There is much to be learned from this man's life and he spells it out pretty clearly in his book.  His early foray into showbiz was as a drummer for a local band, but they spent so much time drinking and taking drugs that they weren't going anywhere in particular.  Still, it was his beginning as a drummer up on a stage performing that was the start of his career which later led to acting in movies and television, becoming a screenwriter, and an author.  His next move was a stab performing comedy that came with often scary results if not a few laughs.  If his book is lighthearted and reflective, his alcoholism and drug use (and his relationships) were alarming.  But the good news is that he's been sober for seventeen years and counting.  Congrats.  Oh, and I do remember him vaguely from Saturday Live in London back in the '80s.  I loved the "MacWaltons" anecdote.  You'll enjoy the Scottish humor and his ability to laugh at himself and where he came from.  Och, an ah red this wi' a Sco's ahksent.
Conclusion - Humorously written and quite revealing in its openness.  I know exactly how Craig feels about living in America.

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