Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Her Guts, No Glory (Book Review: Guts, Kristen Johnson)

Kristen Johnson's memoir, "Guts: The Endless Follies and Tiny Triumphs of a Giant Disaster" has been recommended by so many people that I felt compelled to check it out. I don't consider myself a fan of hers, if only because I don't know if I have seen a lot of her work. I was never a watcher of "3rd Rock From the Sun," so there goes that . I think I might have seen her on stage, and I quick check on ibdb shows that she was part of the 2008 cast of "The Women" which I disliked, and now I vaguely remember her in that production. So I went into the book not knowing much except for the fact that she went through addiction, an experience not entirely uncommon for celebrities and celebrity memoirs. Well, I didn't know that the book was specifically about her addiction. It was well-written - you can hear her voice in the writing - but kind of thin. Maybe I wanted more from her because I didn't know much about her. There were a chapter or two from her childhood and high school years, but she skipped through her whole 3rd Rock years - she only quoted  John Lithgow in passing, and didn't even once mention Jane Curtin or Joseph Gordon Leavitt. I know that maybe that was not the point of her memoir, but for better or worse, I expected. I sympathize and empathize with what she went through, and commend her for her recovery, but was the whole experience really worth a book? As far as addiction memoirs go, it was a whole lot less interesting than Bill Cleggs, for example. This felt more like a vanity project than anything else, and as I thought about it more - some of the people who were raving about the book, like Andy Cohen, were her friends. 


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