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American on Purpose Audiobook

American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2009 Craig Ferguson; (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Amy BROOKSVILLE, ME, United States 10-02-12
    Amy BROOKSVILLE, ME, United States 10-02-12
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    "Craig is a gentleman and a firecracker"

    He's wonderfully straightforward and very funny, doesn't shy away from his past darkness and pettiness, and inspires me with much he's taken responsibility for his life. Plus between his great delivery and the brogue he's a pleasure to listen to. And he makes this cynical reader feel practically patriotic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Margaret Toronto, Ontario, Canada 10-01-12
    Margaret Toronto, Ontario, Canada 10-01-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Very entertaining"
    Any additional comments?

    Although I am not a fan of the raunchy aspects of Ferguson's late night TV show, I really enjoy his books. They are well-written and well-read. Ferguson sugar-coats nothing and there are lessons to be learned from his experiences. This is the second of his books I have listened to and enjoyed both.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    MidwestGeek 10-01-12
    MidwestGeek 10-01-12

    Love a good mystery, but don't care much for pure thrillers.

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    "Self-indulgent and not funny. Good performance."

    I don't watch late night TV and am not a fan of Craig Ferguson; however, I had seen him in "Saving Grace" and something else. I was tempted to give the book a try because I like comedy, and this was advertised as a "funny memoir." I found it interesting at times, but neither funny nor entirely believable. It is hard to believe how productive he was, given the extent of his alcoholism and drug addiction. Like many other Hollywood stars, he comes across as a narcissistic bastard. I don't even find his crude humor all that funny, although I might have back when I was in high school. I will give him credit for his performance; he is a good narrator.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hyacinthe 10-01-12
    Hyacinthe 10-01-12 Member Since 2014

    Prolific reader, writer of short stories, novels and non-fiction.

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    "Entertaining, poignant tale of a life journey"
    Where does American on Purpose rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In the comedy-memoir genre, it ranks up there with Bossypants for me.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Craig Ferguson? Why or why not?

    Yes, I'd listen to Craig again. His story is authentic and there's wry humour and honesty, without a hint of pathos or arrogance. The love of his family - and the women in his life - shines through. This is a man who has learned from his life choices and I was glad to hear that, in the end, he triumphed.


    What about Craig Ferguson’s performance did you like?

    He has a great voice and good pacing, when he tried other accents, they were believable. HIs choice of words was authentic. There was a clear arc in the telling - starting off young and exuberant and ending up older and wiser, despite being battered along the way. He has a deft hand - didn't overplay the drunkenness, drugs or his sorrow at what had gone wrong. He's consistently likable, grateful and positive.


    Any additional comments?

    Very enjoyable. I'm going to PVR or YouTube-search his shows, so that I can see him in action.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brett Lewisville, TX, United States 09-28-12
    Brett Lewisville, TX, United States 09-28-12
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    "Who Better to Read Craig Ferguson than CraigyFerg"
    If you could sum up American on Purpose in three words, what would they be?

    Heartfelt, witty and surprising.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Since there is really only one character, that would be Craig Ferguson


    What does Craig Ferguson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    You can feel the emotions as he reads the story.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Craig's timing is impeccable.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are a fan of Craig Ferguson, or merely coming to America stories, you owe it to yourself to read this book. Even better, get the audiobook version, and allow Craig to read it for you. His voice would have been in your head anyways.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    A. Harris santa ana, ca 09-24-12
    A. Harris santa ana, ca 09-24-12

    ajh

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    "I love Craig!"
    If you could sum up American on Purpose in three words, what would they be?

    Interesting, inspiring, honest


    What about Craig Ferguson’s performance did you like?

    I love how he is so comfortable with himself.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    From the Bar to a Star


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Carson, CA, United States 09-24-12
    Jason Carson, CA, United States 09-24-12 Member Since 2006

    Books are like air: I need them to live.

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    "Required reading if you claim to be American"

    This is quite easily one of the best bits of writing I've encountered in the past 10 years. I've been a Ferguson fan for a long time now and had heard mention of his book and finally set out to see what everybody was raving about.

    My only regret is not jumping on this sooner.

    His story is entertaining as well as enlightening. His experiences are both tragic and inspiring. The fact that he's been able to overcome so much and have such a fiercely positive take on what he's learned and why he values having become and being an American is moving.

    He mostly sticks to his life story which is riveting. But towards the end he gives a short personal take on what becoming an American meant to him and what he believes continues to make America the "greatest idea for a country that anybody has come up with so far." Coming just before the end of the book his speech is both unexpected and powerful. It isn't condescending or elitist in the tiniest bit. In fact it is something that I think all Americans should have to read.

    I've already told just about everybody I know that if you only read/listen to 1 book in the next 12 months make it "American on Purpose" or you will truly be doing yourself a disservice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Andrea L. Whitcomb 09-24-12 Member Since 2012

    Stunning

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    "sensitive farty boy grows into American On Purpose"

    This is a true adventure about a sensitive, farty boy who grows into a sensitive farty man. It's an open, honest, heartwarming, witty, entertaining, unabashed autobiography. This may sound trite but these are accurate descriptions. If you love Craig you will love his story and become an even bigger fan of the man. He doesn't glorify his alcoholism or his drunken antics: he is straightforward, matter-of-fact, and naturally good humored about his trials. Craig Ferguson is an adventurer and I was delighted that he shared the journey.
    The last chapter will make you swell with pride to not only be an American, (if that applies), but proud to be a human who has survived your own adventure. If you are also a sensitive, farty person, this final chapter will bring tears to your eyes.
    Bravo Craig! and thanks

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Betsy brooklyn, NY 09-23-12
    Betsy brooklyn, NY 09-23-12 Member Since 2016

    I no longer live in Worcester. I now live in Brooklyn, NY.

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    "I was already a fan!"

    Well worth the time to listen to this. Not overdone......good to get the background of this talented, funny man.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    MALT LITTLETON, CO, United States 09-18-12
    MALT LITTLETON, CO, United States 09-18-12
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    "A character out of Dostoyevsky himself"
    What did you love best about American on Purpose?

    This was very raw, truthful and I enjoyed his stories of his early life and the years in New York and in London as a drummer. His life seemed tragic, and sometimes sad, but this made me care about him even more. My only issue with him was that he kept stating, "Separation of church and state comes from the Constitution". That's not true, and many celebrities and politicians say this, but the separation of church and state comes from a ruling by a judge, it is nowhere in the Constitution. Other than that, who wouldn't love him?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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