My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Craig Ferguson is one of my favorite late night hosts without question, and I’ve had “American on Purpose” on my to-read list for a longer time than not (so much that it’s probably criminal considering how long it’s been now). When I realized this was available as an audiobook from my local library and narrated by Ferguson himself, I jumped at the chance to read it, probably even moreso just to have him narrate his life to me in his adorable accent. (No shame, really!)
I’ve followed him for a number of years on late night TV, and although my schedule has changed so much to where I can’t always stay up to watch The Late Late Show in full, I still try to keep my weary eyes open long enough to catch his monologues, which never fail to get a least a smile or a good hearty laugh, or somewhere in the spectrum between.
Ferguson navigates his life from a young boy through his various careers and relationships to his current work as a late night host with a refreshing voice and ease. He peppers his stories with a good dose of humor, but also with a narrative that allowed me to get to know the people in his life and how they interacted and influenced his journey. It hasn’t been an easy road for him to be sure, especially with his aspirations to come to America as an immigrant and reach his dreams. As I listened to some of his experiences between struggles with alcoholism, trying to make his loved ones happy, and ultimately seeking his own happy place despite his struggles mentally to find it, I really appreciated his honesty and his words of remorse and perseverance on the road to recovery. Ferguson has an open gratitude about the space he’s in now – crediting the people standing behind him, the experiences he’s had, and even thanking America for his respective successes, while still retaining his gratitude for his homeland of Scotland. “Scottish by birth, American on Purpose” sums it up quite nicely, really.
I really enjoyed this on many levels and would recommend it, certainly because Ferguson has a lovable, potent, and sincere voice through this entire narrative. It’s engaging, funny, and certainly left an indelible impression on me.