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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

4.0 (98 )
5 star
 (41)
4 star
 (31)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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4.3 (49 )
5 star
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3 star
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Story
4.4 (48 )
5 star
 (28)
4 star
 (11)
3 star
 (7)
2 star
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1 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 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Samantha EUGENE, OR, United States 06-28-15
    Samantha EUGENE, OR, United States 06-28-15 Member Since 2012
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    "A Wild Ride and a Healing Adventure"

    This is a heart wrenching story and a good example of how someone would process the pains of a difficult life plagued with every kind of abuse imaginable. You can tell that this book is a labour for Mackenzie Phillips. I imagine it was difficult enough to write these truths and purge them from her being, and it was most likely extremely painful to be the one to then read her own story.
    Thank you for sharing your story, Mack! You are being strong and doing the work for many of us who have suffered and I will keep you in my thoughts. Sending good vibes!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracy 06-23-15
    Tracy 06-23-15 Member Since 2014

    Matching socks is for newbs.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Meh."
    Would you try another book from Mackenzie Phillips and/or Mackenzie Phillips?

    Probably not. She truly has a story to tell ... no doubt about that. But she seemed, I dunno ... self absorbed. Maybe that's simply unavoidable given the subject matter.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Mackenzie Phillips again?

    Nah. I feel like I know all I need to know about Mac at this point.


    What didn’t you like about Mackenzie Phillips’s performance?

    I had a little trouble with the raspy, smoker/coffee sounding voice.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It did have redeeming qualities. For one thing, this story clearly illustrates the severe pitfalls of doing drugs over a long period of time. It absolutely alters the brain and its function. Would this man have incested his daughter if his brain had been functioning properly? No. Drugs change the way people think and function. Perhaps this is a cautionary tale about one man who made drugs his way of life and of the consequences of that lifestyle, which were truly staggering in his case. Sadly, he never had the wherewithal to see just how staggering they were or how much he hurt his daughter. It's sad and sick.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KERRI HANEY 03-19-15
    KERRI HANEY 03-19-15
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    "good book"

    it was Smart, funny & witty. i finished it in 2 days. .... ... ..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrea Byron 01-20-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Good book"

    Good book. A lot of things I didn't know. She definitely had a hard life. She was an unsupervised child, that's for sure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jamie Nanaimo, BC, Canada 06-21-12
    Jamie Nanaimo, BC, Canada 06-21-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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 01-25-12
    John 01-25-12
    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
    ratings
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    4
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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
    ratings
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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

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