I had such hopes for this one. I have a noted love of Craig Ferguson. I read and enjoyed his autobiography American On Purpose during my first Cannonball Read. Ferguson in this debut is the version creepy but lovable, which is a combination that worked very well for me in his stint as host of The Late Late Show and works less well in this book. I’m still struggling to wrap my head around what I read and what the heck he was after, and I have two weeks to get those thoughts more formulated for honest discussion with my fellow cannonballers but for now I’m left a bit at loose ends.
We have, at the core of the book, two pairs of men traversing life, the globe, and the metaphysical in search of… something. Around that core we also have a truly problematic book to read today. The worst parts of Ferguson’s shtick (of which I can admit to, while I loved his late night show and his comedy specials) stand out in stark relief against the more nuanced aspects of his writing. He lays in repetitive phrasing in a way to form the Greek chorus in the background which I found highly enjoyable, but also appears to have not managed to write a single woman with agency in his entire book.
Ferguson is on the record as saying that the book would likely be uncomfortable to read as it was uncomfortable to write, and that its pushing against mores, institutions, and values would be divisive. They were, but not in the intelligent manner I think Ferguson was really after. The title refers for one last chance at redemption, I think Ferguson’s redemption happened after this book not during it.