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Publisher's Summary

A beloved actor and famous man-on-the-scene, Alan Cumming takes the reader on a wild journey of pithy and cheeky fun, presenting his real-life stories of debauchery during late night Hollywood parties, behind-the-scenes anecdotes, and hilarious yet poignant memories of his life, family, and friends. If you were to put David Sedaris and Glenn O'Brien in a blender and add a dash of New York and Hollywood gossip, you would wind up with Alan Cumming. Described by Time magazine as "one of the most fun people in show business," Cumming is a genuine triple-threat as a successful stage, television, and film star whose real-life vivacity, sophisticated wit, and charm tend to match that of his onstage personalities. In his third book, You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams, he has composed a collection of true-life adventures - or rather, misadventures - that is sure to make the reader laugh out loud. This volume recounts the hysterical and sometimes embarrassing encounters that only Cumming could experience, from awkwardly entertaining Elizabeth Taylor at Carrie Fisher's birthday party to being on a movie set with Helen Mirren and being mocked for wearing Croc sandals to making a friend's day by chasing down Oprah at a glitzy gala for a prized photograph with her. These forty-five stories are humorous novellas, each featuring memorable photographs - many simply snapshots taken by Cumming - that document or illustrate the tale told.

©2016 Rizzoli International Publications, Inc. Text © 2016 by Alan Cumming. Photographs © 2016 Alan Cumming. (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"Alan Cumming's narration of his own collection of reminiscences bursts out of one's speakers with passion and verve.... Cumming's wit, good humor, and attention to just the right details in his writing and performance are more than enough on their own to keep listeners riveted." ( AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • 3 Stars
    118
  • 2 Stars
    39
  • 1 Stars
    25

Performance

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    34
  • 2 Stars
    13
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    9

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 Stars
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  • 3 Stars
    118
  • 2 Stars
    35
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dr. Louie
  • Palm Beach, Florida United States
  • 12-14-16

A Stained Glass Window

First, I must admittedly state that I dearly love Alan Cumming and all his performances. As such a huge fan, I want to say that I believe this book is like breaking apart a large stained glass window. As you pick up each tiny glass fragment, you look at that one part of Alan's life. Fascinating. Since I am not the original glass artist, once I have reassembled all the pieces, the result does not look like Alan's entire life, but it is a very interesting look at this part. I'm sure I'll return many times to listen to a handful at a time of these chapters and I hope you do as well. This book is a beautiful, colorful stained glass window and with Alan producing the illumination (after all, he's a star) you'll enjoy the moments of pleasure, if not total reverence (like me) of basking in his light. Pick up the pieces and get started enjoying!

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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

Quick bawdy laugh

I found this book to be a fun romp thru a few of Alan Cummings most cherished and funny life stories. Very quick and easy to read.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rae
  • Pacific Northwest
  • 12-30-17

Thoroughly enjoyed

I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with Alan Cumming through this book. It was well written and the narration couldn't have been done by anyone but the author. I highly recommend.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

We would be friends

Would you consider the audio edition of You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams to be better than the print version?

Audio versions work better for me because I am so active. I have also found that listening to the subject of the book tell their own stories brings a different tone & style than you could ever get from print. Also, print tends to put me to sleep once I stop moving.

What other book might you compare You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams to and why?

I think I would compare it to Yes, Please; Bossypants, most of Nora Ephron's books. Very light hearted and really funny while telling real life events.

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

Audio brings tone and emotion in ways print cannot.

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

When he told the story of driving cross-country with his dog I almost wet myself. I have done this many times with my 110# dog and could relate to all of it. Hilarious. The story about Elizabeth Taylor was another special cry/laugh. You can't make up real life.

Any additional comments?

This is my 2nd Alan Cumming book. I hope he writes many, many more.

21 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Susan
  • Winnipeg, MB, Canada
  • 11-22-16

Love Alan Cumming!!!

I love listening to Alan Cumming read. Not all authors can or should read their own material. Alan can. This book you could really get Alan's fun side. I listened to his previous book which I totally loved. This book was definitively lighter. Keep on writing Alan!!!

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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

Meh

Love Alan Cumming, but there was nothing about this book that stands out. I would not recommend to a friend. So my final response is Meh.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lindsay
  • Denver, CO, United States
  • 05-10-18

Alan Cumming is a gem.

Alan Cumming is a gem and who provides the most lovely narration. Even though this book wasn't as deep as "Not my father's son", it was still a lovely read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Extremely funny in spots but mostly pretty boring

The narration is fantastic. It is precise and compelling. You could almost listen to the author reading the telephone book. Here and there the book is falling-down funny.

For me the problem was its content, almost entirely about the author’s relationships with dogs, other gay men, and movie stars. For many people I’m sure those things are fascinating, but not for me. I eventually found myself bored and skipping forward. I don't think the book wasn’t worth the credit I spent on it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Hilarious

Thank you for sharing! Hilarious, surreal & yet somehow relatable stories & anecdotes about life as an actor. Fun!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

💜

l loved it
and I love me. cunning
funny and entertaining..... it made me laugh and smile and think

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Jay
  • 01-22-17

Didn't work as an audio book

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

If they were getting the physical book then yes!

Has You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams put you off other books in this genre?

yes

Have you listened to any of Alan Cumming’s other performances? How does this one compare?

yes, no good as audio book as you need to see photos at same time

Was You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams worth the listening time?

no

Any additional comments?

"my story in pictures" says it all, need to see pdf at same time

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jamie Proctor
  • 12-06-16

Reason Enough... ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I've found myself being draw into the bright light of 'Alan Cummings the Star' over recent years and now enjoy sifting through the archives of his life's work. This book is a 'Googlebox' insight into a world filled with other people's dreams, cradled with his anecdotal tales of the humdrum that's as unique as he is.
A joy! Thank you. Jamie Proctor

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Maid Marian
  • 10-20-16

Oh dear

What did you like about this audiobook?

Very little.

How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

Not one jot.

Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

No.

What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?

The performance was fine but the 'story' or rather the snippets of Alan's life weren't really that interesting. Yes, I understand he's a 'party animal' (his words) but it all got a bit boring after a while.

Do you have any additional comments?

His other book 'Not my father's son' is the best Audible book in my collection. Very well written and narrated by Alan himself. A terrible story, in its way, of his childhood, but the writing is more mature, showing what he's capable of.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful