Author: Kathy Griffin
Genre/Themes: humorous memoir
Published: Sept. 9, 2009 by Ballantine
From the tongue-in-cheek title to the celebrity-filled index, this book was a hoot. Griffin manages to write a memoir that is at once touching, informative, freaky and above all FUNNY.
Book Description (partial, from Publisher): 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.)Review:
I like to consider myself a "fan" of comedian Kathy Griffin. Her reality show, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, is full of kooky situations where Griffin's personality is deliciously larger than life. On one particular episode, she announced to the world that she was planning on writing a tell-all book about her life. She informed her pal Rosie O'Donnell of this development, exclaiming, "Guess what my book's going to be called? Official Book Club Selection!" in an uh-huh-you-heard-me-right manner before Rosie gave her a you-go-girl! high-five. At that moment, I knew I had to have this book in my life. ^_^
If you know anything about Kathy Griffin, you'll know that she's all about the snarky humor. Most of her stand-up work is centered around a loose, conversational type routine that is blessedly free of the "set-up/punchline" framework common to many other comics. She really seems to enjoy "dishing" on celebrities, including her awkward (or wonderful) interactions with the many personalities populating Hollywood. Her book has some of that same humor, and even includes a handy index at the end allowing for easy reference to the myriad stars she mentions. She clearly doesn't mind telling some tales out of school…about herself as well as others.
However, the book is not set up to duplicate her particular brand of stage comedy. Indeed, her humor translates quite well to the page, and avoids gratuitous punchline-after-punchline. But she also provides a genuine and seemingly heartfelt description of her upbringing, family, career struggles and personal dramas. While it's clear that Kathy deals with a lot by using humor (a trait that she apparently got from her parents), she's not exempt from frustration and heartbreak, and that comes across in this memoir. She seemed to have a good balance in which the reader is entertained but also gets a glimpse of the real Kathy.
It's made obvious through this book that Griffin absolutely adores her parents. I think that this more than anything else really grabbed me about her; one is so used to seeing the Firebrand Kathy who's always pushing buttons. It was touching to see how, in her own way, she's all about family first.
I'm of the opinion that this book would appeal to many, including those who are not very familiar with Griffin's work. Her dedicated fans will totally be able to envision her dishing her story and enjoy her irreverence. And the uninitiated would get a slightly smoother dose of Kathy Griffin. The only prerequisite is that you have to love the Funny. ^_^
Rating: 4 of 5 stars