I freely confess that am an unabashed fan of the stand-up comic Kathy Griffin. I watch My Life on the D-List whenever I get the opportunity (damn you, Charter Communications! Bravo should be a core channel!) and I have seen her perform live at Foxwoods and Boston's Symphony Hall. I enjoy her profanity-laden style of storytelling, even though sometimes I am not so familiar with the pop culture events that she references. Written in a conversational style, Griffin's memoir traces her life from her early days as a binge-eating kid with dreams of showbiz stardom through her many "dues-paying" years in LA to her eventual (semi-) stardom, with pit stops to discuss her abusive brother, unfortunate taste in men, and plastic surgery. Peppered with humorous anecdotes about stars and life in Hollywood, and marked by some curious omissions (Celebrity Mole, anyone?--never mentioned), Griffin's memoir nevertheless portrays a surprisingly human woman who is realistic about the casualties of her career-driven life and who genuinely, touchingly, loves her parents.
Grade: B (B+ for the audio version)
I started by reading a paper copy of Official Book Club Selection, but ultimately switched to the audio version (read by Griffin herself), which was much more satisfying than trying to imagine her distinctive voice. However, I've just learned that the audio copy is abridged(???), which seems very un-Kathy-like. It certainly wasn't edited for language, I can tell you that much.
One of the best parts of the book--off the cuff celebrity skewerings--will also be its ultimate downfall as the references quickly become dated. However, this is all the more reason for Griffin to write a subsequent memoir, this time including even more delicious gossip and entertaining stories about her rise to (semi-) fame.
Dead Mother: N