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  • Self-Tanner for the Soul

  • How I Ran Away to Europe and Found My Inner Glow (When Life Got Dark)
  • By: Cat Marnell
  • Narrated by: Cat Marnell
  • Length: 6 hrs
  • Original Recording Audiobook
  • Categories: Biographies & Memoirs
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (313 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

From Cat Marnell, author of the New York Times best-selling memoir How to Murder Your Life, an irresistibly candid and magical travelogue of soul-seeking and self-healing

The spring of 2017 should have been the greatest time of Cat Marnell’s life. She was 34 and living the New York glamour life downtown, with a thriving career and a best-selling memoir. Instead, it was one of the worst. She’d gone through a protracted and traumatic breakup, nearly run out of money, and, during a month-long binge, "done something horrible" to herself that she couldn’t undo.

Her troubles mounting, Marnell makes a radically simple choice: She decides to leave her problems behind. She puts her belongings into storage and uses the last of her book advance to buy a one-way plane ticket to Europe. For the next four months, Marnell is a woman on the move. With nothing but a suitcase (Sammy) and a bag of wigs to her name, and no agenda other than to follow her heart (and maybe the Libertines' Pete Doherty), Marnell embarks on a profound personal journey, from late-night "Wizard Walks" in mysterious cities to almost drowning in a river - all while learning to face down her demons.

Whimsical, infectious, and utterly life-affirming, Self-Tanner for the Soul reminds us all of the life-changing magic of running away.

©2019 Cat Marnell (P)2019 Audible Originals, LLC.

Our favorite moments from Self-Tanner for the Soul

Day 3, June 15, 2017: Ericeira, Portugal
  • Day 3, June 15, 2017: Ericeira, Portugal
"You wouldn’t believe where I am right now. It’s so dope."
-0.00
Day 7, June 19, 2017: Berlin, Germany
  • Day 7, June 19, 2017: Berlin, Germany
"But it’s completely over. I could never go back to him."
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Day 117, Oct. 6, 2017: Reykjavík, Iceland
  • Day 117, Oct. 6, 2017: Reykjavík, Iceland
"Running away to Europe changed me."
-0.00
  • Day 3, June 15, 2017: Ericeira, Portugal
  • "You wouldn’t believe where I am right now. It’s so dope."
  • Day 7, June 19, 2017: Berlin, Germany
  • "But it’s completely over. I could never go back to him."
  • Day 117, Oct. 6, 2017: Reykjavík, Iceland
  • "Running away to Europe changed me."

Publisher's Summary

From Cat Marnell, author of the New York Times best-selling memoir How to Murder Your Life, an irresistibly candid and magical travelogue of soul-seeking and self-healing

The spring of 2017 should have been the greatest time of Cat Marnell’s life. She was 34 and living the New York glamour life downtown, with a thriving career and a best-selling memoir. Instead, it was one of the worst. She’d gone through a protracted and traumatic breakup, nearly run out of money, and, during a month-long binge, "done something horrible" to herself that she couldn’t undo.

Her troubles mounting, Marnell makes a radically simple choice: She decides to leave her problems behind. She puts her belongings into storage and uses the last of her book advance to buy a one-way plane ticket to Europe. For the next four months, Marnell is a woman on the move. With nothing but a suitcase (Sammy) and a bag of wigs to her name, and no agenda other than to follow her heart (and maybe the Libertines' Pete Doherty), Marnell embarks on a profound personal journey, from late-night "Wizard Walks" in mysterious cities to almost drowning in a river - all while learning to face down her demons.

Whimsical, infectious, and utterly life-affirming, Self-Tanner for the Soul reminds us all of the life-changing magic of running away.

©2019 Cat Marnell (P)2019 Audible Originals, LLC.

About the Creator and Performer

Cat Marnell is a writer and former beauty editor at Lucky magazine. She was a founding editor and beauty director of xoJane.com and wrote the "Amphetamine Logic" column for Vice. Her debut memoir How to Murder Your Life (2017, Simon & Schuster) was an instant New York Times bestseller. Previously a longtime New Yorker, she is now a citizen of the world. Self-Tanner for the Soul: How I Ran Away to Europe and Found My Inner Glow (When Life Got Dark) is her first Audible Original.

What listeners say about Self-Tanner for the Soul

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  • CC
  • 10-24-19

Substance free and self indulgent

There is no “inner glow” radiating from this story. Unless the inner glow she found was from raising her ego by listening to her read her own journal entires out loud.

This book actually made me sad. Marnell starts off reading it like a girl at my high school cafeteria table who is sharing super juicy gossip about on the nuns.
Her tone slows down slightly into a self absorbed “I can’t believe how funny and beautiful I think I am and everything is lovely and you are so very lucky I am even telling you these things”

What I learned, wigs are heavy. Addiction still keeps her going with amphetamines and booze. We don’t know why she is carrying so many wigs because she doesn’t feel like talking about it. Her hardest days were when she got into the water to float and her things got wet, when she packed her Adderall in check-on luggage and had mild withdrawal that she did not fully explain, and when she realized she was out of money, but lols, that fix is just a call away to her mom and manager because she has money floating around that she doesn’t know about because her book was an international success.
Het aloof demeanor left me sad. The woman is not in a good space and it seems under contract for this book. She phoned it in, there was no realness or raw honesty as in her previous book. This is a waste of $20 for what is nothing more than verbal Instagram.

Oh, and for those of you who are down or sad, or lives are falling apart travel! And those of you who cannot afford traveling the world for months, Marnell’s narrow minded and self indulgent advice is to simply work out and get your mind off things.

17 people found this helpful

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Just No

Sorry this is terrible, slow, monotonous and a huge disappointment to me personally. That said her first book was a true work of Art. So obviously she is a major talent. This one she phoned in.

6 people found this helpful

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it was just ok for me

Now dont get me wrong I love Cat, I have listened to How to Murder Your Life like 20 times! With that being said, I found this book to be boring as shit with the same thing being said over and over in every place. She walked around, went to a bar, ate some food, looked at the moon. Oh she missed a lot of busses, went to the same concerts over and over in different places and swam. She was able to experience things that not many will be able to do and yet her descriptions were not good at all, I didnt feel like I was there with her like I did in the first book. I'm not sure if it was because she was on drugs or because she wasnt on drugs but I found this book to be a lot of rambling repetition and most likely written only to fulfill a contract. It just didnt feel like her heart was in it. Even her speaking voice was flat. Sorry Cat, I still love you and will listen to the next book, but this one just didnt do it for me. Maybe I just had too high of hopes.

2 people found this helpful

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Not sure what the point is

I was gripped by Cat Marnell's first book, How to Murder Your Life, and have listened to it several times. Her life and her choices are really unbelievable, and listening to her talk about the jams she repeatedly gets herself into (and out of, by some miracle) is an adrenaline rush for those of us who would define "living on the edge" as hearing about how other people murder their life...safely...from the comfort of our sheltered homes. But this audiobook is not good because it doesn't bring the shock factor that we've come to expect from Marnell. There are no real stories, no arcs, no lessons learned (or not learned), it just feels like a lot of repetitive streams of consciousness that never quite go anywhere. Cat runs of out money, she stays in crappy hostels, she gets in a lot of cars with people who aren't really professional drivers, many gross, old (her words) European men oogle her and want to sleep with her -rinse, repeat. Oh, she also has an obsession with Pete Dougherty and starts the book off by following him around on several tour stops, which amounts to very little. And maybe the real problem with this story is...it's not a story. Cat's reputation and brand is shock factor, and without that this audiobook is rather forgettable.

5 people found this helpful

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The world’s only 13-year-old 35-year-old

I kind of liked How to Murder Your life for the shock factor but this is (don’t ask me how) even more insufferable and self-indulgent and even less interesting than the first one. Skip it. There’s no growth, surprises or anything actually juicy left from this grownup adolescent.

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It was fun... for a while.

I basically get a huge kick out of Cat Marnell and truly enjoyed her first book. This one -- which I would recommend to die-hard Cat Marnell fans only -- started out as an entertaining romp but got a little tiresome about halfway through. By the end of the book I was rolling my eyes and was wondering how/why she was even getting paid for this dialed-in, repetitive, diary-format narrative. She checks into a new city, goes out on a "wizard walk," gets loaded on wine, and misses her flights and buses -- lather, rinse, repeat. It becomes less and less "dope" and more and more.... well, dopey. If the nonstop wacky antics of a precocious teenager in her late 30s is your thing, you'll like this, but it gets seriously old seriously quickly, dude.

8 people found this helpful

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honest, real and entertaining

loved listening to cat marnells journey throughout Europe. makes me want to plan a trip! the honesty and vulnerability was admirable.

2 people found this helpful

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So obsessed with Cat Marnell

When I heard that Cat’s newest “book” was only available in audio form, I was a little annoyed. But there is literally no other way to tell this story! Cat reading her journal entries is absolutely perfect. She is so fascinating, charming, and brilliant-I felt like I was listening to a friend tell me about her adventures. I cannot wait to see or hear what she does next.

4 people found this helpful

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Simplistic travel log, opposite her last 5star book

An audio travel diary of beauty guru Cat Marnell’s escape to visit Europe after a drain-circler relationship and death spiral of pill addiction. The physical and mental stress is so bad it’s leaving legions on her skin and shedding her hair like a straight razor—never mind the success and spunky interviews for her NY Times bestseller, How to Murder Your Life.

Though that memoir was one of my all time favorites, this one is a severe letdown, more of a conversational list/snapshot of days she spent in each country than an actual book. There’s maybe ONE page dedicated to each city. No real prose, story, characters, or even much detail. Super simplistic summary rather than scenes. We maybe get 40 words about her addiction or breakup or those concerning rashes with Lupus-like symptoms that never get addressed.

Instead of interesting stories of days past when she’d smoke PCP with cabbies and collage her rat-ridden East Coast apartments, here she gets wine-wasted every night, misses planes and trains between shady hostels, and occasionally eats cake at 3AM with JJ Brine—the artist who introduced Amanda Bynes to Satanism. Too bad you’ll never hear a single conversation or much of anything besides bouts of casual bulimia, lots of leering and groping by men no matter their ethnic background, and constant anti-American glaring and shortchanging, shoddy transportation and lack of nightlife that makes me want to skip that continent entirely.

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Marnell's NC-17 Style More True

I, selfishly, prefer Cat's tales of bloody nose sucking, walking with glass embedded feet, & upstaging Cirque du Soleil, ala "How to Murder." Seems more true to who she is.

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  • Ms Woogle Beninguez
  • 10-26-19

Oooft

I liked cat’s last book, although do remember a sense of guilt in devouring it. A ticket to the car crash. I think I’ve changed: I found this audible original bratty, wearisome, utterly egocentric... and cloyingly insightless. Cat has no idea of the privilege she is swathed in. She doesn’t appear to have grown, matured, or developed in terms of writing style. I’m afraid I lost interest a little way in.

2 people found this helpful

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  • MJ R.
  • 07-29-20

It’s no “how to murder your life”

After her first book, I thought this was going to be similarly good. I was wrong.

This is self-loathing repetitive toxic drivel. Cat Marnell comes across as a spoilt rich brat who can’t get over herself and spends the entire time whining about either being tired or bored or just not feeling the vibe, like some entitled child, whilst travelling around some of the most beautiful places on Earth, which she doesn’t appreciate.

I don’t understand what the point of this book was. But it was a complete waste of time and money.

1 person found this helpful

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  • L M McIndoe
  • 10-21-19

I don’t really know what the point of this was

I really loved her first book and read it multiple times in quick succession. This was just...a ramble that didn’t go anywhere, didn’t draw any conclusions and didn’t really tell us anything about her life. It was mainly - I’m in this country, I’m tired, I missed a flight. Not really sure I understand why this was a project. Looking forward to her next book which might make more sense

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-08-21

Really enjoyed this unique audiobook

I loved how to murder your life, and also loved this! I am a female who does the solo travel thing too, so was good to get some advice from a fellow lady wanderer X

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  • Sarah
  • 07-27-20

I really wanted to like this

for once I agree with many of the reviews here. I love Cat Marnell's writing, how to murder your life and her columns are fantastic. this book however, is for me, neither one thing nor the other. it lacks description, sparkle, and soul. it reads lile a summative account of a travel schedule where Marnell alludes briefly to interesting points then fails to go on to write about them at all. it glosses over anything that might be interssting and details instead very boring, brief and repetitive accounts of moving from city to city. inane drivel, and not in the fabulous shiny way Marnell usually drivels inanely in her writing (drivel I usually love). such a shame. it gets 2 stars from me only for Marnell herself having been a part of it. i look forward to her next book.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-09-19

it felt like I was there

it was an interesting recount of a lost girl finding herself, whilst getting lost in Europe

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  • J Forrester
  • 11-22-19

Looooove it. More please from Cat Marnell!

The ultimate hot mess and a brilliant audiobook narrator. This made me want to pack my bags, ignore my problems and go travelling around Europe for several months.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-30-19

A let down

I really liked the first book - how to murder your life - but unfortunately this one didn’t resonate well with me. I was expecting some pretty interesting travel tales but most of it was very very dull. I’m glad Cat got her life together but I personally have more exciting travel stories I could share haha. Wouldn’t recommend unless perhaps you’ve never been abroad at all.

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  • Katie
  • 10-27-19

Only slightly less bonkers than her first book

If, like me, you loved How to Murder Your Life, you'll also race through this travel diary, which sees crazy Cat and her pillowcase full of wigs storming through Europe in search of twinkly lights, white wine and castles. It will make you equally excited and terrified about the prospect of travelling alone as a woman.

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  • shiv
  • 10-24-19

Good to hear Cats voice again!


It is good to hear Cats voice again! Its great to see that she is so much better!

This isn't a self help book or a travel guide. This more of a Wizard trying to remember how to be a Wizard! Lessons for all of us

Found the book to be quite sad, Cat seems so lonely at times. Don't let that put you off though! She is learning how to live with herself again! No real joy without sacrifice, and she is totally grateful for being alive and on this trip!

Highly recommend if you loved how to murder your life! You will defo enjoy hearing about Cat's adventure through Europe!

Wish there was more! Can't wait for her next book! Filled with joy knowing she's doing better in life!

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  • Veronika Leigh
  • 04-13-20

Privileged Trash

This is potentially the worst thing I have ever read / listened to. I’m not even sure what it’s supposed to be. Travel writing? You don’t learn ANYTHING about anywhere she’s been, except how “dope” Europe is. The writing is repetitive, her voice is annoying. There is nothing good here. I don’t know HOW I finished this, but I want my life back.

3 people found this helpful

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  • jade hopkins
  • 08-18-20

I could listen to cat Marnell talk about growing grass

I absolutely love anything Cat Marnell does, she is hilarious, cool and v bright. She writes with amazing observation and fun vibes .

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  • Jhullie
  • 04-27-20

Adventures of a free spirit

I didn’t know what to expect when I began this book but within the first few paragraphs I was mesmerized by Cat’s writing. She tells the tale of her travels through Europe with humour and fun which bring to life her adventures, these stretch from floating out to sea and wizard walks to losing her bank cards. I was disappointed to finish.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-25-19

10 outta 10!

From one beauty editor to another - this was total self tanner for the soul!!!! Brilliant x