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Publisher's Summary

From Cat Marnell, "New York's enfant terrible" (The Telegraph), a candid and darkly humorous memoir of prescription drug addiction and self-sabotage, set in the glamorous world of fashion magazines and downtown nightclubs.

At 26 Cat Marnell was an associate beauty editor at Lucky, one of the top fashion magazines in America - and that's all most people knew about her. But she hid a secret life. She was a prescription drug addict. She was also a "doctor shopper" who manipulated Upper East Side psychiatrists for pills, pills, and more pills; a lonely bulimic who spent hundreds of dollars a week on binge foods; a promiscuous party girl who danced barefoot on banquets; a weepy and hallucination-prone insomniac who would take anything - anything - to sleep.

This is a tale of self-loathing, self-sabotage, and, yes, self-tanner. It begins at a posh New England prep school - and with a prescription for attention deficit disorder medication Ritalin. It continues to New York, where we follow Marnell's amphetamine-fueled rise from intern to editor through the beauty departments of NYLON, Teen Vogue, Glamour, and Lucky. We see her fight between ambition and addiction and how, inevitably, her disease threatens everything she worked so hard to achieve.

From the Conde Nast building (where she rides the elevator alongside Anna Wintour) to seedy nightclubs, from doctors' offices and mental hospitals, Marnell shows - like no one else can - what it is like to live in the wild, chaotic, often sinister world of a young female addict who can't say no.

Combining lightning-rod subject matter and bold literary aspirations, How to Murder Your Life is mesmerizing, revelatory, and necessary.

©2017 Cat Marnell (P)2017 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

nice book

Every time she does her screaming voice I want to stab myself in the ears with a butter knife. Otherwise pretty good.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Laura
  • New York
  • 02-08-17

Swag.

A fan of Marnell's work for some time, I was eager for the arrival of this book! I couldn't decided if I should get the hard copy or go audio book, as sometimes audio book is easier for commuting and working. Once I found out that she is the narrator, I decided on starting here. I plan on reading the prose in print, as well. She's a great writer and crafts her story with great talent. It flows well, her prose are witty and delicate and casual, and at times, flippant- when appropriate. She is a GREAT narrator (which is key for audio book). Her words are in her own voice and her intonation and cadence keep you listening. I wish there was more to listen to!! Looking forward to reading it and ingesting her copy on paper. A great insight on a very particular New York scene. Knowing many of the characters personally (though I don't know cat), her descriptions are spot on. She slices up so many layers but brings it all together in the end. I love when a story has layers, don't you? New York is a lonely place.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Honest

I have a difficult time supporting this memoir both financially and with a positive review. I just feel like I'm contributing to the author's ability to live a completely entitled and irresponsible life.

BUT...this book is honest. It was my window into incomprehensible self-destruction. Thank you, Cat, for teaching me about a world I never want to visit.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Pretty good story, Annoying reading of it

Would you consider the audio edition of How to Murder Your Life to be better than the print version?

I didn't read the print version

Who was your favorite character and why?

It's a memoir, so Cat

How did the narrator detract from the book?

There was a lot of screeching and yelling (and puking) sound effects that I found really annoying and detracted from the story. Perhaps they would have worked in print but in audio, they just made me want to shut it off.

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed the reading aside from the screeching, but the screeching was so annoying that it brought the rating down from what would have been probably a 4 or so.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Regret Purchasing/Listening

Cat claims to self loath like others nauseatingly declare they've been humbled. Why did I listen and join the legions of enablers? To confirm that she is neither talented nor charming. Without derivative self destructiveness she'd be basic. The draw is the perverse opportunity to rubberneck a slo-mo crash. But readers/listeners get such a partial view that the mechanics of the crash are unsatisfactorily obscured. This book is a stand in for the memoirs we crave: Lilo, Brit, Heath, Brad. In Cat's case addiction and ambition aren't really at odds. How to Murder Your Life is an accomplishment achieved not despite but because of drug use.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

dramatic yet still underwhelming

this is the dramatic, whiny writing of a spoiled rich girl, complaining about being rich, successful and famous. I grit my teeth listening to legally blonde on drugs, I don't recommend any one else wasting their time with this.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

incredibly engaging

despite a litany of bad decisions and choices, I still found myself rooting for the author to pull through. there were moments that were so upsetting I wanted to jump into a time machine and just shake her. cat marnell is a truly gifted writer who painstakingly drags you through her addiction, her mindset at the time, while still managing to be witty, colorful, self aware, and cuts savagely to the truth.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The shriek needs to be removed

Overall I was entertained by the book as a whole. I could really do without the constant shrieking and yelling that continuously occurred when a mouse or rat was mentioned.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

BUY THIS and read now so we can talk about it.

Vulnerable, fearless and a moving read. I stayed up two nights in a row rearing through it.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Garbage

I couldn't finish. The constant shrieking was ear piercing and the stories of 'I got wasted in NYC and acted like a horrible person' became redundant and boring. The author has no depth, doesn't learn anything and seems to make the point of the whole memoir: 'I'm as shallow and annoying as I look.' I'm embarrassed that I bought this and wish I could remove it entirely from my library.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful