NONFICTION

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

Blue Rider:$SPACE$Penguin. May 2019. 288p. ISBN 9780525533917. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780525533931. TV
COPY ISBN
Former Late Late Show host Ferguson (American on Purpose) crafts a memoir from a series of autobiographical essays. He takes us on an elephant ride in Sri Lanka; embarks on an ill-fated, alcohol-laden fishing trip in New York; celebrates his son's bar mitzvah in Japan; and more. While each piece stands alone, the first and last entries are bookends to a collection of common threads: Ferguson's Scottish upbringing, career choices, family, and struggles with alcoholism. The author demonstrates his unique perspective with well-honed phrases and a liberal use of profanity. He provides cutting insights into fame and show business and into his personal life—one grotesque essay about a life-changing zit illustrates his willingness to bare his soul, blemishes and all.
VERDICT Humorous and heartfelt (often on the same page), Ferguson is a great storyteller, whose signature irreverence and comedic timing translate perfectly to print. His fans, as well as anyone interested in comedy, will be rewarded.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.

Get access to 8000+ annual reviews of books, ebooks, and more

As low as $13.50/month