Between the Bridge and the River

( 90 )

Overview

Bawdy, joyous, messy, hysterically funny, and guaranteed to offendregardless of religion, race, national origin, sexual orientation, or professionBetween the Bridge and the River is the debut novel by Craig Ferguson, host of CBS's The Late Late Show. Two childhood friends from Scotland and two illegitimate half-brothers from the American South suffer and enjoy all manner of bizarre experiences which, as it turns out, are somehow interconnectedand, surprisingly enough, meaningful. An eclectic cast of characters ...
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Between the Bridge and the River

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Overview

Bawdy, joyous, messy, hysterically funny, and guaranteed to offendregardless of religion, race, national origin, sexual orientation, or professionBetween the Bridge and the River is the debut novel by Craig Ferguson, host of CBS's The Late Late Show. Two childhood friends from Scotland and two illegitimate half-brothers from the American South suffer and enjoy all manner of bizarre experiences which, as it turns out, are somehow interconnectedand, surprisingly enough, meaningful. An eclectic cast of characters includes Carl Jung, Fatty Arbuckle, Virgil, Marat, Socrates, and Tony Randall. Love, greed, hope, revenge, organized religion, and Hollywood are alternately tickled and throttled. Impossible to summarize and impossible to stop reading, this is a romantic comic odyssey that actually deliversand rewards.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Profane on its surface, ethical at its core, and always fun . . ." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

" . . . a talk show host who can hold his own as a literary storyteller . . . [An] impressive debut novel . . ." The Los Angeles Times

"Witty, furiously paced, and frequently hysterical." People Magazine

" . . . particularly sharp and funny. . . a caustic yet ebullient picaresque that approaches the sacred by way of the profane." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

". . . filled with many surprises . . ." The New York Times

". . . [A] strange, funny, profane, surreal, and surprisingly moving first novel." Booklist

". . . fresh, ribald, incisive, and a fine read." The Baltimore Sun

". . . often says more about love and life in one paragraph than some books say in 100 pages. After reading it, you will know Craig Ferguson is not a talk-show host moonlighting as an author it might be the other way around." Mitch Albom

"An unequivocal whoop of enthusiasm . . . Buy this book. Read it. You'll thank me." Lawrence Block

Publishers Weekly
A gallery of grotesques slogs through the sewers of the entertainment industry toward redemption in this exhilarating debut novel from the host of The Late Late Show. Leading the pack are Fraser, a Scottish "phony TV evangelist... drunken, selfish media prick... gossip and sot" who has been disgraced in a sex scandal; his cancer-stricken boyhood pal, George; vapid sit-com star Leon; and Leon's 300-pound, sexually perverted Svengali brother, Saul. They make their separate but linked ways through a world populated by snake handlers, serial killers, dead-eyed whores and hack studio executives pushing formulaic action films, while they take hallucinatory side trips. The sprawling tale, with plenty of Scottish backstory, casts a jaundiced eye on media debaucheries and petty vanities, throwing in miscellaneous riffs on everything from Starbuck's to escort ads, but Ferguson is particularly sharp-and funny-on Hollywood proper. For every satire of organized religion or a Vegas that's "as glitzy as a trailer park at Christmas," however, he delivers an injunction to "help others" or an ode to Paris in springtime that somehow sounds fresh. The result is a tour de force of cynical humor and poignant reverie, a caustic yet ebullient picaresque that approaches the sacred by way of the profane. (Apr. 10) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In the American South, twins Saul and Leon are born, Leon blessed with a voice that entices alligators from the swamp. Meanwhile, in Scotland, George learns he has cancer and sets off to commit a protracted suicide. Then there's Fraser, a British televangelist revealed as a sex pervert, who escapes to a new life in the United States. And so it goes. These stories are picked up and dropped with the rapidity of a tennis ball in lively play, serving as a platform for launching pithy and whimsical satirical volleys at religion, the entertainment industry, and things in general. The U.S. mantra is "Sanitized for your convenience," covering everything from Playboy photos to Hooters, hookers, and toilet seats. There is an ugly British composer by the name of Anthony Boyd-Webster who caters to bourgeois tastes (any similarity to an actual composer is surely accidental). As host of CBS's The Late Late Show, Ferguson knows how to keep people awake, and he does just that with his lively first novel. Name recognition, plus jacket quotes from Mitch Albom and Lawrence Block, should ensure this one gets noticed. For all larger public libraries.-Bob Lunn, Kansas City P.L., MO Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Ferguson (host of CBS's The Late Late Show) takes us on a wild ride in his scintillating debut, a combination caper/morality tale with the barbed comic energy of a Carl Hiaasen novel. We begin in the author's native Scotland. Fraser and George are teenaged buddies, fishing in a canal, when George saves Fraser from the local bully. Fast-forward some 20 years. George is a criminal-defense lawyer with a wife (unloved) and a daughter (adored); he has just been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Without telling his family, he splits for London, contemplating suicide. Fraser, more of a reprobate, is a cynical evangelist on Scottish television who cannot keep his hands off the ladies. A sex scandal ends his gig at the same time he's invited to a convention of Christian broadcasters in the States. The invitation comes from Ferguson's two other leads, Leon and Saul, offspring of the same mother but different fathers (Sinatra and Peter Lawford, respectively). The well-hung Leon has his father's great voice; fat, physically repellent Saul has the brains, recognizing Leon as his meal ticket. After escaping the orphanage, they wind up in backwoods Florida, adopted by snake-handling Pentecostalists. Ferguson deftly juggles his three storylines. George, postponing suicide, travels to Paris and falls in love with gorgeous Claudette, the ultimate femme fatale (her six Great Loves have all died); she will help him find his "inner Frenchman." The hard-drinking, whoring Fraser will be mugged in Miami and have a near-death experience. Leon and Saul will make a bundle in Hollywood (Ferguson looks balefully at its shark-infested waters) before scoring big on the religious circuit. There will be happy endingsfor everybody except the hateful, manipulative Saul. Profane on its surface, ethical at its core and always fun, this debut marks the arrival of an important comic talent.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811858199
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
  • Publication date: 3/8/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 239,323
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Craig Ferguson
Craig Ferguson was born in Glasgow and moved to the United States in 1995. He worked his way through the entertainment industry as a drummer, comedian, actor, and director, and has written three motion pictures, The Big Tease, Saving Grace, and I'll Be There. He lives in Los Angeles.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 90 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(42)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(16)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(9)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 91 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2006

    Fantastic!

    Great Great book! I am a big fan of the Late late show and rarley miss an episode. If your a fan of his show and monoulouges you should defianetly read this book. The humour in the book, though very dark, is really funny. The story is very well crafted and constantly movs along. I also loved the main characters. When the book was over I felt like I really knew these characters and wanted to read more. The whole book including the ending is satisfying though and it all ties up very well. Even though it is good I can see that the book is not for everyone, there is a lot of cursing and sex and dirty humour like that but try not to let that turn you off if it usually does this book is definatly worth reading through and through. Peace.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2008

    Fun read from a Fun Guy

    Just finished reading the book, enjoyed the read and the story about Craig is a wonderful one and really fresh and needed considering the options of the clown that comes on after Jay Leno and is projected to take Jay Leno's position. Craig will take the number one spot soon.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 26, 2010

    amazing

    think craig ferguson is only a genius with puppets? Think again! This novel is an incredible combination of surreal humor, roadtrip adventure and genuine, unique emotion.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 17, 2010

    I could'nt put it down!

    I thouroughly enjoyed reading this book. Craig's writing style kept me hooked and I didn't want to put it down. It was gritty, honest and soul searching, with more than a few laughs to lighten the mood. Love his humor and candid observations. I highly recommend it!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    This is my favorite book.

    Thank you Craig!It inspires me to write, to think,and to be a good person while striving to be better.With pride I pass this book on to friends and family.This is a story of love, faith, hope, and redemption.I encourage everyone to buy two because you'll never want to lend out your copy.It is more than I expected and better than the world deserves, but desperately needs more of.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2006

    Excellent novel ...highly recommend it!!

    This book is without a doubt a book that once you start reading, you will not want to stop reading and laughing your brains out. Craig Ferguson definitely expressed himself well in this book and added a lot of comedy elements to it. Fraser is a piece of work!! George found love, Claudette but he is equally a piece of work!! The twins, Leon and Saul, Hmmmm!! Craig Ferguson is truly an outstanding writer (and also an excellent talk show host of the Late Late Show) and I cannot wait to get the next book...I know that it will be funnier than this one!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 13, 2011

    Brilliant

    a bunch of intertwined little stories, that make one big story, that makes you think.

    The writing was engaging and you fell in love with the characters no matter how unredeeming they seem.

    Please write more Mr. Ferguson

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2010

    shocking, honest, real

    craig ferguson's depth and his profound talent for writing outshines any novel i've read. the honesty behind what he says is something the world needs more of. he honestly questions life and the meaning of it, and i feel that's an important quality of a person that is often overlooked. his writing style is one that makes you step back and feel as if you are in the presence of a genius, which i said to myself several times as i read the book. between the bridge and the river is my favorite novel and will keep me interested no matter how many times i read it. it's not a comedy shtick and it's not a celebrity trying to write a book, it's a genuine person telling one hell of a tale.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Instant Favorite

    Instantly became my new favorite book and holds that place even still.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 13, 2009

    honest, smart, and very funny!

    I love Craig Ferguson. I only knew he was a great comedian, so I had no idea what I would get with this book. It surprised me, of coarse, to read this tale! Wow, Craig has a lot of insight to life, human behavior and people's motives for doing things. His writing is very fast paced, honest, hilarious, at times! His characters are tragic, touching, and real. It's hard to find a celebrity who is so honest about the realities of Hollywood, and they are so dead on to what WE know about it too! His politically incorrect dead honest truth of things is very refreshing. I want more!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 31, 2009

    Surprising

    I didn't make the "Oh, THAT Craig Ferguson" revelation until I got it home.
    A really interesting and original read. Funny at times, exciting, and touching without syrupy sentimentality.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2008

    Just someone who likes a good read now and then.

    I first wanted to read this book simply because Craig Ferguson had written it. Truthfully, I didn't really expect it to be that good, but it definately made me regret my expectations. It's such a funny, well written, well characterized novel that once you pick it up, it's like you're watching a movie with real characters set in front of you. I could almost imagine every scene in the book while I was reading it. It's absolutely amazingly written. Well done Craig Ferguson!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2007

    A reviewer

    I don't even know where to start. When i bought this book i was just looking for a quick read, and i guess this was the right choice in that sense. I enjoyed it so much i couldn't stop. It's not only funny, but there is such a depth to it. Though the words are crude at times, and make you feel embarressed for even reading it, once done you realize that it was only there to help get you to the greater meaning. I don't want to give too much away so i'll just say READ IT. It's amazing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2006

    best book ever

    As Craig Ferguson's biggest fan, I would have recommended this book without reading it just because I would never badmouth anything with his name on it. But it was truly the best $20 I've ever spent. I never read for fun because I am a lazy college student, but now I realize how much we can learn from them. It's also so funny. If you love his show, definately get this book and read it. I never wanted to put it down because I became so interested in the stories. There are also about 3 or so clever short stories that were very interesting as well. Craig is so knowledgeable and a very talented comedian and writer.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2006

    seriously considering this as my all-time favorite

    just beautiful. biting and bawdy but beautifully done. a rare and poignant mix of the painstakingly real and the gilded (and perhaps trippy!) fable. everyone should read this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2006

    If you love comedy you'll enjoy this book

    This is an excellent novel. When I was reading Between the Bridge and the River, people kept asking me why I was laughing so much. I just pointed to the front cover and said, ¿Get this book, it¿s very funny.¿ Two of the main characters, George and Fraser are Scottish like the author, Craig Ferguson. If you¿ve seen his comedy monologues on the Late Late Show you¿ll understand the Scottish comedic nature of this novel. The other two main characters are from the deep south. I found it to be very interesting to read about the U.S. culture from a Scottish tongue-in-cheek perspective. It¿s hard to read a book when you keep laughing. I had a lot of fun with it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2006

    laugh think and learn

    What a treat!! If you love Craig's monologue before his show as much as I do, you will love this book. As was said earlier, it was a pleasure to be able to laugh and at the same time be stimulated intellectually. Mr Ferguson isn't just another 'celebrity' writing a novel- he could be a celebrity based on his writing ability alone. Thank goodness we don't have to wait for the next book to enjoy his talents. A Rare Fan

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2006

    Can't wait for the next one!!!

    This is the 1st of a trilogy. I loved it. Cried and laughed so hard, it hurt... Oh, please, please, Craig...hurry and get the next one out!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2006

    Truth Really is Stranger than Fiction

    Between the Bridge and the River is a story of adventure and growth that contains profound truths tucked between observations of human nature that are always painfully funny and accurate. Reality offers no constraints to the story line and yet everything seems logical. Frequently I had to back up and re-read a passage, not believing the author had just said what I thought he said. Ferguson writes faster than I can read. It was refreshing to be challenged by a book that invited me to think.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2013

    This book was so much fun! I loved it. It was hard to put down.

    This book was so much fun! I loved it. It was hard to put down. I was very disappointed when it ended because I was not ready to say goodbye to these characters. I enjoyed it that much!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 91 Customer Reviews

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