Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin by Kathy Griffin

Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin by Kathy Griffin
"Official Book Club Selection is Kathy Griffin unplugged, uncensored, and unafraid to dish about what really happens on the road, away from the cameras, and at the star party after the show. (It’s also her big chance to score that coveted book club endorsement she’s always wanted. Are you there, Oprah? It’s me, Kathy.)

Kathy Griffin has won Emmys for her reality show Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, been nominated for a Grammy, worked and walked every red carpet known to man, and rung in the New Year with Anderson Cooper. But the legions of fans who pack Kathy’s sold-out comedy shows have heard only part of her remarkable story. Writing with her trademark wit, the feisty comic settles a few old scores, celebrates the friends and mentors who helped her claw her way to the top, and shares insider gossip about celebrity behavior—the good, the bad, and the very ugly. She recounts the crazy ups and downs of her own career and introduces us to some of the supertalented people she encountered before they got famous (or, in some cases, after fame went to their heads). Word to the wise: If you’ve ever crossed Kathy Griffin at some point in your life, check the index for your name.

Along the way, Kathy reveals intimate details about her life before and after she made the big time. She opens up about everything from growing up with a dysfunctional family in suburban Illinois to bombing as a young comedian in L.A., from her well-publicized plastic surgery disasters to her highly publicized divorce, and more. Only in this book will you learn how the dinner table is the best training ground for a career in stand-up, how speaking your mind can bite you on the ass and buy you a house, and which people in Kathy’s life have taught her the most valuable lessons—both inside and outside the entertainment industry.

Refreshingly candid, unflinchingly honest, and full of hilarious “Did she really say that?” moments, Official Book Club Selection will make you laugh until you cry, or just puke up a little bit."- Summary from Amazon

Just a quick warning before we get started. This book is definitely for older teens and above. Kathy swears quite a lot in it (just like she does in real life) and there are some pretty heavy and graphic subject matters talked about in the book. So don't expect this to be a kid-friendly biography (which I would be surprised if anyone did think or expect this from Kathy).

Kathy Griffin's memoir is everything you'd expect it to be- irreverent, brash, hilarious, lots of gossip- and more. Aside from all the hilarious moments of her life, there have been some big down spots and Kathy goes there, telling us all about her abusive pedophile brother, her botched plastic surgeries, and her failed marriage. She's had a roller coaster ride of a life, which makes the book extremely hard to put down. I read it in a matter of days and had problems moving on from reading it and doing other things, one of which was reading other review books! Her conversational tone is prevalent throughout the book, which keeps the reader turning the pages; it really is just like sitting down and chatting with a friend. It doesn't read like other autobiographies and is probably the most fun and dishy bios I've ever read, and I've read quite a few other comedians' biographies.

One complaint I have is that, in some places, there isn't a lot of detail, particularly toward the beginning of the book. Not much time is spent on her early life and it feels like over half of the book mainly deals with the past two decades, like her time on Suddenly Susan and the D-List reality show. I did definitely find out a lot of things about Kathy that I did not know, and this offers a first-hand look into her life, but it just felt like her childhood was not focused on as much, and like it didn't even matter. She may have had her own reasons for not wanting to spend as much time on her childhood as her later years, but I would've liked to see more stories from that time. Another place where there was some parts lacking was near the end- she didn't talk at all about being on Celebrity Mole or Dilbert, not even a brief mention, because I really would've liked to hear her thoughts on both, especially the work she did on Dilbert and what it was like working there.

Overall, it is a very enjoyable book, though I would definitely recommend getting it from the library first and seeing how you like it before buying it (unless of course you really love Kathy and buy everything she puts out, much like me, at least when I have money, lol). I really wish I had the audio version, just because I want to hear Kathy reading it. But be forewarned, if you do decide to get it, you're getting an abridged version of the memoir. Kathy doesn't read the entire thing unfortunately. Also, as this is supposed to emulate an Official Book Club Selection, included at the end is a lengthy interview with Kathy as well as a reading group discussion guide, so you can discuss the book with your friends or book club members. Both of course are absolutely hilarious.


  1. I love love love Kathy Griffin and would read anything she writes. Great review!

  2. I absolutely love Kathy Griffin! She's hilarious. I miss getting my weekly laugh now that the D-List is over.