Saturday, March 28, 2020

Book: Riding the Elephant by Craig Ferguson

Ferguson, Craig. 2019. Riding the Elephant: A Memoir of Altercations, Humiliations, Hallucinations & Observations.New York: Blue Rider Press.

Craig was (without quuestion) my favorite relatively recent late night talk show host. None of the cuurrent crowd even comes close. So I miss him and his antics and the fake horse and the talking skeleton and the fact that his politics were not completely and utterly obvious (and, by extension, not completely and utterly tiresome). Plus we are very close to the same age, which I think matters a bit too.

So I was bought his new memoir - really more of a collection of sketches from his past than a proper narrative memoir but probably that's better anyway - the first time I saw it in a bookstore. I was not disappointed. Craig is a great teller of stories. I particularly enjoyed the stories about his relatively humble upbringing in Scotland and the chapter on the "four queens".His history of addiction (mainly alcohol) and subsequent recovery via AA is in the background here, rather than in the foreground as in his earlier memoir, but one sees the AA emphases on critical self-reflection and on making amends throughout the text.

I was a bit disappointed to learn that he has become a vegan, or so he claims. It seems both too trendy for someone who generally poses as a genial cynic and outsider and also a bit of an addiction in its own way.

In any case, despite the vegan blot, if you miss Craig's more thoughtful monologues even half as much as I do, you'll quite enjoy the book.

Amazon book page
Barnes and Noble book page
Bricks-and-mortar bookstore where I actually purchased the book (as I recall).

N.B. I am not actually spending every waking minute reading enjoyable books - rather I am catching up on posting about books read over the past 18 months or so.

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