Riding the Elephant: A Memoir of Altercations, Humiliations, Hallucinations, and Observations

Riding the Elephant: A Memoir of Altercations, Humiliations, Hallucinations, and Observations

From the comedian, actor, and former host of The Late Late Show comes an irreverent, lyrical memoir in essays featuring his signature wit.Craig Ferguson has defied the odds his entire life. He has failed when he should have succeeded and succeeded when he should have failed. The fact that he is neither dead nor in a locked facility (at the time of printing) is something of...

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Title:Riding the Elephant: A Memoir of Altercations, Humiliations, Hallucinations, and Observations
Author:Craig Ferguson
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Riding the Elephant: A Memoir of Altercations, Humiliations, Hallucinations, and Observations Reviews

  • Karen

    Oh, this is such a good book. I listened to the audiobook (narrated by the author). When I finished, I restarted it to listen some more.

    I first learned about Craig Ferguson from his late night show. He was funny, and I was impressed when he refused to lampoon Britney Spears following her mental health crisis.

    Then, I read American on Purpose. I loved that book, too.

    Riding the Elephant is darker than American on Purpose. Still, Ferguson's life and candor are interesting.

    Highly recommended.

  • Jake

    “Couldn’t put it down” is a statement often associated with thrillers and mysteries. These genres come packed with suspense. Yet, memoirs and essay collections can also be hard to put down, even when they contain very little suspense. Such is Craig Ferguson’s new monologue-style book of essays,

    . I didn’t read it in one sitting; my schedule didn’t allow that. But each time I sat down to read a couple mo

    “Couldn’t put it down” is a statement often associated with thrillers and mysteries. These genres come packed with suspense. Yet, memoirs and essay collections can also be hard to put down, even when they contain very little suspense. Such is Craig Ferguson’s new monologue-style book of essays,

    . I didn’t read it in one sitting; my schedule didn’t allow that. But each time I sat down to read a couple more chapters, I found myself wanting to spend all the time I could with the book.

    If, like me, you’ve already read Mr. Ferguson’s autobiography,

    , then bear in mind

    is not a sequel to that book. It covers some of the same ground, but in a profoundly different way. This book is not a single narrative, nor a chronological one. It is more of a reflective work rather than a narrative. Each chapter is essentially a monologue mingling memory and rumination. There are new anecdotes enriched by years of hindsight.

    Like many people, I came to know Craig through his decade as host of <.i>The Late Late Show on CBS. Craig’s relaxed, improvisational approach to the show was refreshing and his perspective delightful. I was disappointed when he gave it up. And honestly, I haven’t followed his career closely since he abandoned the show, and by extension me. Intentionally, this book revisits his monologue style from that show. I laughed out loud often. Yet the book is far more than comedy. Honestly, considering all the perspective and gratitude he seems to have acquired, I think this book is the most brilliantly enjoyable Craig has ever been.

    This book reminded me of

    , Carrie Fisher’s last book. I devoured that one, and for the same reason I relished

    . I felt like I was spending time with the author, like it was him and me sitting on a bench somewhere sipping our favorite beverages and conversing without feeling rushed. If you’ve considered yourself a true fan of Craig at any point in his career, Riding the Elephant is a must read. It will be time well spent.

  • Joanie

    You'd be hard-pressed to call Craig Ferguson a coward after reading this book. It's his version of a diary, but unlike a teen girl's diary, his is unflinchingly honest and possess at least 34% fewer unicorns, which is odd since he's Scottish and unicorns are apparently from Scotland, but rarely from Cumbernauld.

    Look, you can read books from celebrities, or about celebrities, but there's only one with a Scottish accent, sharp wit, and who is tall enough to stand behind everyone else and still abl

    You'd be hard-pressed to call Craig Ferguson a coward after reading this book. It's his version of a diary, but unlike a teen girl's diary, his is unflinchingly honest and possess at least 34% fewer unicorns, which is odd since he's Scottish and unicorns are apparently from Scotland, but rarely from Cumbernauld.

    Look, you can read books from celebrities, or about celebrities, but there's only one with a Scottish accent, sharp wit, and who is tall enough to stand behind everyone else and still able to see the parade of absurdities in this world and who could narrate it as superbly as Craig.

    Basically, what I'm trying to say is: read this book. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll probably want to call your best friend and talk about everything you just read.

  • Nancy

    I loved Craig Ferguson's late night show. I enjoyed his radio show whenever I could. Even when I wasn't a big reader, I read and enjoyed his autobiography. And I enjoyed this book as well. This feels more introspective than

    , and there is plenty here to dig into and think about, from dealing with your past, fears about your present, and uncertainty about the future. It might not sound it, but I feel like it's ultimately a hopeful book, one where we can learn from each other an

    I loved Craig Ferguson's late night show. I enjoyed his radio show whenever I could. Even when I wasn't a big reader, I read and enjoyed his autobiography. And I enjoyed this book as well. This feels more introspective than

    , and there is plenty here to dig into and think about, from dealing with your past, fears about your present, and uncertainty about the future. It might not sound it, but I feel like it's ultimately a hopeful book, one where we can learn from each other and learn how to handle what life throws our way. (Also, the chapter on Margaret in particular was lovely.)

    The one thing that I found frustrating is that it seems like Ferguson has never met a fat person he doesn't feel compelled to tell us about their fatness. Fat people are porcine and have fat fingers, and they're the ones who make toilet seats warm, never their thin counterparts. Fatness is presented as something bad. Whenever mentions of fatness happened (which wasn't a lot but enough to notice), it felt like a short slap that briefly took me out of whatever was being said. Though I could get myself back into the story being told, these quick hits against fatness were disappointing.

  • Adriana

    I enjoy Ferguson's style and listening to him tell his story was entertaining and a little bit uplifting.

  • Jessi

    I received a copy of this book through a Goodreads Giveaway.

    Craig Ferguson's memoir is full of laughs, reflections, and sage advice. I enjoyed that the memoir was in the form of essays. He was open about his struggle with drugs and alcohol, and the impact it had on his life. I learned how a pile of dog poop can change your entire year. I can never look at NFL mascot matchups quite the same ever again.

    I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys snarky, honest memoirs.

  • Lindsay

    I won this book in a GoodReads giveaway. I enjoyed watching Craig's late night show years ago, so I was interested in reading this book. Craig's brand of humor shines in this book with a thoughtful look at various events in his life that have had an impact on him. It's the perfect read for any fan or anyone looking for a unique yet humorous nonfiction read.

  • Char

    The only reason I was interested in reading this was because I read a short story by Craig Ferguson, (though I can't remember which collection it was in), and I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed this audiobook as well.

    Craig Ferguson is a Scottish-American and he is hilarious. He's honest about his addictions and alcoholism, about his marriages and about his career. At times I nearly lost it, listening to him talk about the huge zit that appeared on his nose, just before the big school dance. He talke

    The only reason I was interested in reading this was because I read a short story by Craig Ferguson, (though I can't remember which collection it was in), and I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed this audiobook as well.

    Craig Ferguson is a Scottish-American and he is hilarious. He's honest about his addictions and alcoholism, about his marriages and about his career. At times I nearly lost it, listening to him talk about the huge zit that appeared on his nose, just before the big school dance. He talked about stepping in dog poop. He talked about sports teams...(yeah, the Packers v. Broncos bit just

    me.)

    Overall, this book was fun and now I would like to read or listen to more of his work.

    Recommended!

    *I downloaded this book from my local library. Libraries RULE!*

  • Kate Woods Walker

    I had this on pre-order since the day I heard of it. Beautiful prose, interesting scenes, just a smidge of showbiz. I hope now to see the remaining two volumes of his Between the Bridge and the River. We miss you, Craig!

  • Jennifer

    this review is for the audiobook edition, narrated by the author, craig ferguson.

    yep, it was okay. i find ferguson, generally, pretty clever and entertaining. and he can certainly throw together a sentence that smacks! but i never really clicked with this one - apart from quite enjoying listening to his scottishness.

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