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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

4.4 (2109 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jeni 05-06-12
    Jeni 05-06-12 Member Since 2012

    I'm an avid reader/listener who loves a good yarn, a voice full of character, and a little something to think about. I hate it when a great story is ruined by unnecessary or extreme violence/profanity.

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    "Humor, Heart, and Charm - this autobio has it all!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I have and will continue to recommend this book. Craig Ferguson is charming and funny...very funny...but also unexpectedly sincere, intimate, and uplifting.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janey Willows, CA, United States 04-22-12
    Janey Willows, CA, United States 04-22-12

    n6neb

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    "Craig Ferguson does a great story of his life."
    If you could sum up American on Purpose in three words, what would they be?

    Tough life transformed.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of American on Purpose?

    When he turns his life around.


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

    He brings the person who experienced the story with all the emotion that goes with it.


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

    Craig if very funny and I really enjoy his comedy. It made me think about all I have to be thankful for and thankful for a life worth living (his and mine).


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacob albuquerque, NM, United States 04-04-12
    Jacob albuquerque, NM, United States 04-04-12 Member Since 2001
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    "comedians tell the best stories"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    this is a good book for anyone who likes to read about comedians and how they got to where they are.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of American on Purpose?

    the fact that the author read it


    What about Craig Ferguson’s performance did you like?

    the honest persona that was given


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    would've liked to if I have time


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katrina Munich, Germany 03-19-12
    Katrina Munich, Germany 03-19-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Ferguson seems charming, but this is too long."
    What else would you have wanted to know about Craig Ferguson’s life?

    I wanted more about the practicalities of hosting a late night show, and less about his childhood and drunken antics.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    katrina NEWBURGH, NY, United States 03-19-12
    katrina NEWBURGH, NY, United States 03-19-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Ferguson seems charming, but this is too long."
    What else would you have wanted to know about Craig Ferguson???s life?

    I wanted more about the practicalities of hosting a late night show, and less about his childhood and drunken antics.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gregory 03-13-12
    Gregory 03-13-12
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    "Great Story!"
    Would you listen to American on Purpose again? Why?

    Craig's story is very inspiring. The title says it all! Really enjoyed Craig's journey.


    What about Craig Ferguson’s performance did you like?

    Inspired.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ingrid 02-14-12
    Ingrid 02-14-12
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    "There's something good under that kilt!"
    What made the experience of listening to American on Purpose the most enjoyable?

    Ferguson himself was the perfect choice for narrator. He exudes charm, humor and, most importantly, humanity. Never backing away from admitting his mistakes, and never blaming others, he's easy to like and easy to listen to.


    What did you like best about this story?

    This is the classic, beloved


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

    Ferguson embraces both his Scottish background and his American citizenship with goodwill, grace and gratitude, doing so in such an open and self effacing manner you never doubt the truth and depth of his feelings.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann 02-13-12
    Ann 02-13-12 Member Since 2012

    Anaphilina

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    "A cautionary tale of of an America-loving-Scot"
    What made the experience of listening to American on Purpose the most enjoyable?

    I have always thought of Craig as a funny entertainer with a generic drug and alcohol-riddled past. Hearing about his journey of moving past that pain was really interesting. I expected it to be more funny and less serious, but I have a new appreciation for the person and not just the entertainer.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Condensed the


    Which character – as performed by Craig Ferguson – was your favorite?

    His impersonations of less-than-suave American entertainers is great.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When his mother was ill and he was trying to determine if he should stay in the States and work or return home.


    Any additional comments?

    Overall, a very interesting story about a now-American entertainer. His unique seems of patriotism is really moving for a born and bred American.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ramona SAN DIEGO, CA, United States 02-08-12
    Ramona SAN DIEGO, CA, United States 02-08-12

    I'm a social worker who needed a big-time stress reducer and Diana Gabaldon provided it in spades. Davina Porter is the perfect Claire.

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    "He had me at, "F- it""
    Where does American on Purpose rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Second to Davina Porter's Outlander series book recordings. That's high praise.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The gritty honesty of a kid from Glasgow. This Scot lives the American 'gags to riches' story.


    Have you listened to any of Craig Ferguson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, I listen on my commute to and from work. I need distraction and stress reduction. I work with homeless veterans (getting them into rehab) and so Craig's story was not too different from what I hear every day at work. Just a much happier result.....and I would listen to him read the phone book with that accent.


    Any additional comments?

    That accent! I went to Scotland for a few days last month to hear that accent because of reading and listening to the Diana Gabaldon books (Davina Porter does a great job reading those books). I did not get enough of the sound of the Scots so downloaded Ferguson's wee book. Love, love, loved the story, his telling of it, and of course.....that accent.
    You don't want to know how many times I have listened to Bill Forsythe movies, Local Hero, Gregory's Girl, etc. Good on you Craig for sharing your story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adrian Peterson 01-30-12
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    "Craig Ferguson"

    Craig Ferguson is a stand-up comic who moves seamlessly between political critique and bawdy, senseless humor. This will give you an idea of where his humor comes from and the source of his "It's a Great Day for America!" slogan. The end of the book is worth reading, as it will stir the patriot in everyone. Growing up outside of the U.S. is one thing that can help you clearly see the beauty and opportunity our country presents.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Scott
    Glasgow
    2/6/10
    Overall
    "A very surprising book"

    I was not sure what to expect from this book since I had not seen Craig on UK TV for a while. I thought this book was very funny and honest, definitely the best book I've listened to so far.

    It was great to hear all his stories in and around Glasgow close to where I was born and live. I think this made the book even more enjoyable.

    Craig is probably the only person who should read this book and does a great job at doing so.

    I would highly recommend this book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Ben
    DubaiUnited Arab Emirates
    5/8/10
    Overall
    "an excellent story"

    A great story with many of life's lessons proven and dis-proven. A view of a parallel life in time and ultimate triumph and success over personal adversity.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • alexander
    1/30/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too many americanisms"
    Any additional comments?

    I chose this based on the reviews having not really seen Craig since he left the Scottish /British comedy scene many years ago. I thought it may be an enjoyable story about how he progressed towards presenting a popular chat show in America.

    I have listened to around 3-4 biogs a week for the last while and this was the first that i found extremely dull and could have switched off easily.

    POSITIVES: Craigs voice is well suited to audio books, his turn of phrase and comic timing work well reading his own story, i did laugh a few times.

    He clearly has and is working hard on his alcoholism which is a big part of his story, he clearly advocates the common system for abstention and this shines through.


    NEGATIVES: The need to explain things to the american listeners in terms they understand is frustrating, ie bucks, recess. Just decide who your audience is and we can work it out, I never read an americans biog where they feel the need to explain how much 50 dollars is in pounds for example. Its highly annoying.

    His story is pretty unintresting im sad to say, this guy is largely an unsuccessful drummer, comedian, actor and really has a bit of fortune in landing a job as a talk show host. After listening to him trundle through his comic career philandering and blowing cash on drink and drugs its hard to take him serious when we are told how hard a worker he is when he walks out on his first major tv role because the writers arent taking his input.

    Ultimately i felt this guy hadnt told the whole story, he gave up drink, dont know about the drugs, touched on smoking! I was left feeling i didnt really know much about him and to be honest im pretty happy with that!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pei-Lun
    NOTTINGHAM, United Kingdom
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "honest, moving, and funny"

    I tried a few audiobooks and this one is without doubt my favourite. When one of Craig's former bandmates went on Craig's show and mentioned the book, he said that Craig's honesty about his own life was incredibly touching and brave. That's exactly it. His narration simply makes the story more personal and genuine. There's a reason why this book is nominated for a Grammy. Highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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