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High on Arrival: A Memoir | [Mackenzie Phillips]

High on Arrival: A Memoir

Not long before her 50birthday, Mackenzie Phillips walked into Los Angeles International Airport. She was on her way to a reunion of One Day at a Time, the hugely popular 70s sitcom on which she once starred as the loveable rebel Julie Cooper. Within minutes, Mackenzie was in handcuffs, arrested for possession of cocaine and heroin. But the star who turned up High on Arrival has finally come back down to earth - to stay.
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Publisher's Summary

Not long before her 50th birthday, Mackenzie Phillips walked into Los Angeles International Airport. She was on her way to a reunion of One Day at a Time, the hugely popular 70s sitcom on which she once starred as the lovable rebel Julie Cooper. Within minutes, Mackenzie was in handcuffs, arrested for possession of cocaine and heroin.

Born into rock and roll royalty, Mackenzie grew up in an all-access kingdom of hippie freedom and heroin cool. It was a kingdom over which her father, the legendary John Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas, presided, often in absentia, a spellbinding, visionary phantom.

When Mackenzie was a teenager, Hollywood and the world took notice of the charming, talented, precocious child actor after her star-making turn in American Graffiti. As a young woman, she joined the nonstop party in the hedonistic pleasure dome her father created for himself and his fellow revelers, and a rapt TV audience watched as Julie Cooper wasted away before their eyes.

By the time Mackenzie discovered how deep and dark her father's trip was going, it was too late. And as an adult, she has paid dearly for a lifetime of excess, working tirelessly to reconcile a wonderful, terrible past in which she succumbed to the power of addiction and the pull of her magnetic father.

As her astounding, outrageous, and often tender life story unfolds, Phillips overcomes seemingly impossible obstacles again and again, and journeys toward redemption and peace. By exposing the shadows and secrets of the past to the light of day, the star who turned up High on Arrival has finally come back down to earth - to stay.

©2009 Shane's Mom, Inc; (P)2009 Simon & Schuster

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (80 )
5 star
 (32)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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4.3 (32 )
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3 star
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Story
4.4 (32 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Missye Gettysburg, PA, United States 10-11-09
    Missye Gettysburg, PA, United States 10-11-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Raw and Honest"

    Women like Mackenzie, Tatum, Valerie and Maureen I'd always wanted as friends, maybe because each have a single struggle tantamount in their lives I've struggled with all four of: drugs, weight issues, special needs, abandonment and parental issues. I'm not famous enough to do my own memoir, but came away with from each knowing that, if they hold hope for themselves, I can for me, too.

    Mac's life didn't make me cry more so than it made me think of how my own family wouldn't talk about the taboos they know about, but won't discuss. Although I don't have holes in my memories like Mac does and have dark secrets like she divulges here--my dad was a bigot to whites and being born with albinism, talk about God slapping a does of reality upside his head with that idiocy of his--I'm glad she talked about it and opened herself to the dark side of it all. I think she did it for her son's welfare more so than for her own, and she desperately, imploringly didn't want him to travel the road she had to to get here. I think it's a disgrace her stepmoms Michelle and Genevieve think Mackenzie's lying to promote a book; no one makes up something like this for the sake of selling a book. And in her drug-soaked mind, who's to say these things didn't happen? And if they say it didn't happen, why are they the only two saying so? Where're the others? IOW, this is either a lie worthy of an Oscar-winning performance. . .or she's telling the truth.

    Four stars b/c of the abridgment constraints, but overall, a solid read and backstory the E! True Hollywood Story doesn't fill in or give justice.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rick New Rochelle, NY, USA 10-01-09
    Rick New Rochelle, NY, USA 10-01-09 Member Since 2008
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    "Chilling and True"

    Forget the controversy surrounding the tale's authenticity--it's irrelevant. This is a very powerful story containing great lessons about tragedy and redemption. Phillips has survived so many trials that would have incapacitated so many other people, and beat the odds to tell her story. I'm glad she found the words and the strength to give it voice.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jamie Nanaimo, BC, Canada 06-21-12
    Jamie Nanaimo, BC, Canada 06-21-12 Member Since 2011
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    "High on Arrival"

    I have read a lot of memoirs. This was kind of a disappointment. Her story, which I cannot believe actually happened to anyone, was incredible. However, I was grossed out by a particular piece of information, which I thought was too much to share. I just couldn't rap my head around it. Then the end seemed to drag on. Not the best, would not recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Toronto, Ontario, Canada 01-25-12
    John Toronto, Ontario, Canada 01-25-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "tough listen"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Just about finished but a little nauseating. I find most biographies that feature rampant drug use tedious and boring. This one is really no different.


    What was most disappointing about Mackenzie Phillips’s story?

    One dimensional...very little about others.


    What three words best describe Mackenzie Phillips’s performance?

    Very good reader.


    Could you see High on Arrival being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    eileen WATERBURY, CT, United States 11-11-11
    eileen WATERBURY, CT, United States 11-11-11
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    "Honest, straight forward, no holds barred!"

    Mackenzie really lets you in to her world - her crazy, scary, unconventional life full of drugs, abuse, failure, self doubt and finally (and hopefully still) sobriety. I liked that she recorded her own book and her voice made it more of an honest listen. I am amazed that she is still standing and I am thankful for my boring upbringing - seeing that, as a young girl I would dream of living her life as a starlet in Hollywood. It is a bitter tale, melancholy and very sad at times but it illustrates what a strong, courageous will can do to rise above and move forward to live a happy life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christina Tarrytown, NY, United States 11-10-10
    Christina Tarrytown, NY, United States 11-10-10
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    1
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    "Brutal Honesty"

    Mackenzie has written and shared with us a no nonsense, brutally honest account of some very disturbing and painful experiences. She doesn't waste time defending herself and just bares her soul completely. Throughout her life, she absorbs these shocking yet tragic events in the way that children who have grown used to abuse, learn to do. I have a great deal of respect for Mackenzie for telling the truth in spite of her critics and those within her own family who would attack her. I wish she had written this book while her father was still alive as I wish he had been held accountable for for causing so much suffering and pain.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan San Francisco, CA, United States 09-30-10
    Susan San Francisco, CA, United States 09-30-10 Member Since 2010
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    "drug addicts' lives are boring"

    I know---what did I expect? this is the most boring book I have ever read (heard.) Just an endless repetition of buying/using/buying/using/stealing/using/lost opptys/misery/buying/using/apallingbehavior/using/ etc.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Esmeralda Lopez 12-28-09 Member Since 2013
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    "self absorbed"

    No redeeming quality to this book. Although the author attempts to display a righteous tone, she inadvertently glorifies the decadent behavior that was rampant in her life. It wasn't helpful at all and came across as an egocentric attempt to tell others how priveleged and unique her life has been. Don't waste your money!

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    11-19-09
    11-19-09 Member Since 2009
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    "Eye Opening"

    I always liked Mackenzie on One Day at a Time. I had heard that she had difficulties in her life, but she is one lucky lady in that she is still ALIVE!! My hat goes off to her and I hope that her MONSTER will not raise its ugly head again in her life. The book is very sobering and is eye opening for those who have not been involved or around severe drug use. Her show's name is now her mantra.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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