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American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot | [Craig Ferguson]

American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot

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.
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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 (1876 )
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  •  
    Vada East Wenatchee, WA, United States 01-23-12
    Vada East Wenatchee, WA, United States 01-23-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Insight into Boyhood in Postwar Scotland"
    Would you listen to American on Purpose again? Why?

    I seldom listen to a book a second time, but I might listen to this one again, just to hear the accent again.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked both the story and the narrater. It was a multi-layered exposition of his life and loves, and his very human struggle to overcome his alcohol addiction. He also managed to control his fascination with the Rock and Roll lifestyle and grow up--at least a little.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Craig's voice is easy to listen to. His accent is pleasant and understandable. I have no negative feelings at all.


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

    I had no extreme reaction to Craig's book. I did laugh out loud several times. He is, after all, a very funny man!! I was touched by the sentiments he expressed about this country and his joy in being able to raise his child here, where he will have a less constricted life than in the


    Any additional comments?

    no

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Valerie Addison, TX, United States 01-23-12
    Valerie Addison, TX, United States 01-23-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Complete Delight"
    What made the experience of listening to American on Purpose the most enjoyable?

    Ferguson's self deprecating humor & excellent story telling make American on Purpose enjoyable from beginning to end


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lyn Alban 01-23-12
    Lyn Alban 01-23-12

    Morgan Buff

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    "Thoroughly enjoyed this book!"

    This story really brings home how lucky/blessed we are to be Americans and points out all the things we take for granted - sometimes to the point of abusing them. In addition to having a very interesting life that holds your attention, Craig's heartfelt reading of his life's story adds to the intensity of his desire to get to America and his gratitude at becoming a citizen.

    One generally doesn't think of Scotland as a place to want to get away from, but then one realizes the vast difference our freedom of religion gives to who you know, like, love and associate with.

    I had not known before that he was a alcohol/drug addict. He tells the story of his addictions, rehab and recovery with an openness and honesty that is at times brutal. He doesn't soften any aspect of his struggle with his demons.

    I rate this book very highly for its content and message. And listening to Craig for 7 and a half hours isn't hard to take either!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean APO AE, AE, United States 01-23-12
    Jean APO AE, AE, United States 01-23-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Loved this book!"
    Would you listen to American on Purpose again? Why?

    Craig Ferguson is funny and fun loving and I love listening to his brogue. His story is quirky and interesting all the way through with never a never a dull moment. His reasonng for becoming an American is inspriational.


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

    One of the most memorable moments int he book is his description of and reflection on the event he was asked to MC with the U.S.President in attendance and he is a brand new American.


    What about Craig Ferguson’s performance did you like?

    The lively, cheery lilt of his voice is mesmerizing.


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

    The rough stuff he went through in childhood is particularly moving to me.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rod Beeton, On 01-23-12
    Rod Beeton, On 01-23-12 Listener Since 2008

    jacko

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    "Great biography"
    If you could sum up American on Purpose in three words, what would they be?

    Shocking, Funny, Informative


    Any additional comments?

    I like Craig on his show, but since I have read his book, I RESPECT him a lot more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Josh Albany, IN, United States 01-20-12
    Josh Albany, IN, United States 01-20-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Scotland, America, and Alcoholism Through New Eyes"

    It's been quite a while since I listened to this last, but it still sticks in my mind to this day. Hearing Craig Ferguson's story from childhood up through at least the first part of his time at The Late Late Show is completely enthralling. He's truly had an interesting life, and he doesn't hide a thing within this memoir of his. Both the good and the bad exist in his life, and the story of both ends of the spectrum are told. If you have someone that is an alcoholic, absolutely have them listen to this. That is the most compelling part of his story hands down. This, even while being the story of his life, is a love letter to both his home country of Scotland and the United States. It really gives you a chance to see the US through a new set of eyes that makes the world not seem quite as bad as it seems to be sometimes.

    This would all be well and good, but it ends up getting straight fives in the ratings thanks to Ferguson reading the book himself. He knows the story by heart, and puts everything he has into them. Honestly, his storytelling is one of his strongest points, and it would have been sorely missing had someone else read this.

    All in all, I recommend this as one of my favorite books, and one of the few memoirs that I really genuinely love. If you can get this, listen to it. If you can't listen to it, get the book, watch some of his show or stand up, and imagine his voice as you read. You won't be disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jesmh4 North Little Rock, AR, United States 01-17-12
    Jesmh4 North Little Rock, AR, United States 01-17-12 Member Since 2015

    Jes

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    "Loved it."

    I found this book funny, compelling, brutally honest and beautifully written. I loved listening to Ferguson tell stories about his life. It was so much better than I expected. Loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marilu 12-12-11
    Marilu 12-12-11
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    "Cheering for Craig Ferguson"

    Funny. Great voice to listen to. Glad to get to know Craig Ferguson better. The type of person you feel good cheering for.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caroline Sydney, Australia 12-04-11
    Caroline Sydney, Australia 12-04-11
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    "Highly Entertaining"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Great story delivered in a highly addictive entertaining method.


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

    Its great to hear the expression, emphasis and pronunciation in Craig's Glaswegian accent.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    janet Murray, UT, United States 11-09-11
    janet Murray, UT, United States 11-09-11

    JASS

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    "Fantastic read!"

    Craig explains his early life in such a loving way that we immediately want to be part of his Scottish family. Through all his trials, addictions, and romances, he manages to move forward professionally and make accomplishments that other addicts could never muster. It is obvious that his humor, personality and good looks got him where he is today. It seems that through his alcoholic fog, he always knew what he wanted in life, and he succeeded.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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