Guts: The Endless Follies and Tiny Triumphs of a Giant Disaster

Guts: The Endless Follies and Tiny Triumphs of a Giant Disaster

4.5 47
by Kristen Johnston
     
 

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The two-time Emmy Award winner presents a harrowing, hysterical, and beautifully written memoir as frank and revealing as Augusten Burroughs—with the humor and wit of David Sedaris.

“It felt like I was speeding on the Autobahn toward hell, trapped inside a DeLorean with no brakes. And even if I could somehow stop, I’d still be

Overview

The two-time Emmy Award winner presents a harrowing, hysterical, and beautifully written memoir as frank and revealing as Augusten Burroughs—with the humor and wit of David Sedaris.

“It felt like I was speeding on the Autobahn toward hell, trapped inside a DeLorean with no brakes. And even if I could somehow stop, I’d still be screwed, because there’s no way I’d ever be able to figure out how to open those insane, cocaine-designed doors.”

The two-time Emmy Award-winning actress has written her first book, a surprisingly raw and triumphant memoir that is outrageous, moving, sweet, tragic, and heartbreakingly honest. GUTS is a true triumph—a memoir that manages to be as frank and revealing as Augusten Burroughs, yet as hilarious and witty as David Sedaris.

With GUTS, Johnston takes us on a journey so truthful and relatable, so remarkably fresh, it promises to stay with the reader for a long, long time.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A stage actress whose most famous role was as Sally Solomon in TV’s 3rd Rock from the Sun, Johnston offers a brash, loud, expletive-peppered, unapologetic account of her manic drug-and-alcohol-infused career. Hailing from a wealthy suburb of Milwaukee, Wis., and growing to be six feet tall by the time she was 12, Johnston felt like a “freak” at her Catholic grade school, learning early on that being funny was the way to deflect nasty criticism by other kids. She took naturally to the stage, studying theater at NYU under the benevolent influence of a certain gay stage actor she refers to only as “David” (many of the details are pretty sketchy, as Johnston skates from one subject to the next). Fame suddenly struck with 3rd Rock, starring John Lithgow, along with heavy painkillers and alcohol abuse, and yo-yoing weight gain; in 2006, while doing a play in London, acute peritonitis caused extended hospitalization, surgery, and deep self-examination. In her sarcastic, self-deprecating manner (“I’m a lying, pill-popping lush” is a typical self-appraisal), Johnston re-creates her desperate hospital episode and subsequent rehab in Arizona. Coming clean, she says in her unsubtle, genuine memoir, hasn’t lifted her sense of being a freak, but it has liberated her from a lot of shame and self-destruction. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Johnston, best known for her role as Sally on the 1990s TV show 3rd Rock from the Sun, hasn't written just another celebrity memoir about drug and alcohol addiction. This is a horror story, and the title tells it all. Johnston recounts growing up the object of bullying because of her height and awkwardness, but the real story is of the two months she spent hospitalized in London for a medical emergency best described by one of her doctors: "Not one of us had ever come across anything as shocking as the condition your intestines were in, at least in someone alive. Truly, it was as if a bomb had gone off." As Johnston describes it, "My intestines ripped open." But since she candidly blames this condition on her drug use, her memoir is hardly a pity party. Johnston's dry, self-deprecating, and brutal sense of humor shines through, though some readers may find that her wise-cracking grows tedious. VERDICT In this memoir, Johnston strives to draw awareness to the importance of being proud of one's sobriety. For celebrity watchers and anyone struggling to overcome the shame of addiction.—Rosellen Brewer, Sno-Isle Libs., Marysville, WA
Kirkus Reviews
Johnston, the comic actress best known for her role on 3rd Rock from the Sun, recounts the catastrophic medical crisis—and the alcohol and pill addiction that precipitated it—that led her to reevaluate her life and begin recovery. The author's voluble, bawdy prose style is immensely likable, and her rigorous honesty in recounting her lowest moments is admirable. Still, readers may question the need for another celebrity addiction memoir. Johnston herself repeatedly raises the question, lampooning the narcissistic impulse that plays a part in writing such a book, and the implied answer is that her good humor and lack of vanity encourages reader identification and distinguishes her offering from similar but more self-important works. She makes a strong case; her reminiscences of an alienated adolescence (Johnston reached her striking height of six feet early) and frustrating professional experiences are never less than amusingly candid and fleetly paced, ensuring the narrative of her nearly fatal descent into abject addiction and hard-won recovery never becomes a chore to get through, and her "best girlfriend telling it like it is" demeanor makes her struggle eminently relatable. Her descriptions of the trauma done to her digestive tract and the minimal comforts of her London hospital stay are vividly and memorably rendered, grounding her ostensibly frivolous tone in authentic pain and horror—there is surprising emotional resonance under all the jokey self-deprecation. Another celebrity drug memoir—but an honest, brave and funny one.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781451635065
Publisher:
Gallery Books
Publication date:
01/22/2013
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
167,708
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)

Read an Excerpt

Guts

one

I SEE NOTHING, I HEAR NOTHING

Meet the Author

Kristen Johnston is a two-time Emmy Award-winning stage, film, and television actress, most famous for her role as Sally Solomon in the television series 3rd Rock from the Sun. She also starred in numerous TV shows, films, and plays.

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Guts: The Endless Follies and Tiny Triumphs of a Giant Disaster 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kristen's writing is not only funny, she has a way of making you feel everything she's gone through. I felt like I was there. I loved this book and hope she writes more. She's hysterical and painfully honest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have absolutely no idea how I came across this book. I usually dont even read memoirs. But by some weird twist of fate, I noticed this book and decided to buy it.... And it was the most inspirational book Ive read in the last few years.....and I read A LOT! Kristen Johnston is a hilarious writer, so the book reads more like a really good story than the common celebrity biography type books. But what really got to me was how seriously honest it was and personal, and revealing, and surprising. I was both laughing and breaking a sweat simultaneously, because there are parts that are so open and honest that Im not used to hearing people talk about them. But she kept it funny as well. I love the way she writes because I rarely ever come across something that is both serious and hilarious at the exact same time....and motivational/inspirational. Im probably making a mess out if this review, because I cant properly explain how much I loved this book. So to sum it up Ill just say: READ IT! Its good! And to Kristen Johnston, if you ever browse the B&N reviews: Thank you! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I aboslutely LOVE Kristen Johnston. This book made me laugh out loud and feel horrified and sad for her at the same. The book made me want to be her friend. I tweeted her when i finished the book to tell her just how much i loved it. She actually replied. If you have ever been addicted to something or if you just appreciate some good laughs get this book. You will NOT regret it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank you Kristen for writing this. It's not just another book about celebrity addiction, it's real and honest to the (funny) bone and I think it should be required reading in High Schools. We are all freaks trying to escape on our own coconut boat and it's all good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kristen is open and brutally honest about her substance abuse dependency and how it ruined her health and career. Her experience is written with the sense of humor and absolutely no BS, she tells it like it happened. I hope Kristen finds the daily strength she needs to maintain her life as it is now, and hope that she realizes that anyone who reads her book will be looking forward to another publication from her in the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read it in one day So fantastic
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book only because the author was so brutally funny and open about her addiction and rehab. You have to read the book if you want or need a laugh. Warning: she uses vulgar language so if this bothers you, then do not buy this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read. She doesnt sugarcoat things, yet still hilarious
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I lived this book you can tell it was written by her. Iy tellsher storyof addiction but at the same time is so funny.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't really read books. I have to read a few for school and such and just can't get through them. I try and read classics and celebrity reads too but I get bored easily. Now this book, I just couldn't put it down. I sometimes struggle with some of the issues discussed in this book and felt it so relate-able. Kristen is an amazing story teller and you will not be able to put the book down. It is sad and funny and just shocking. All I can say is, read it. I don't read much but I am so glad I finished this. Amazing amazing amazing. Must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Brilliant, heartbreaking, honest, hilarious. If you've ever loved and had you heart repeatedly broken by an addict, you will not be able to put this book down. It was as if she was quoting from my journal at times. An amazing voice; I hope she writes more!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good fast read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Raw, honest, humorous, & courageous This book is honest, funny, and shows what addiction can really do. Everyone who reads this should be able to identify with some part of it. We are all flawed in some way; we all have our own vices to help us deal with whatever is going on in our lives. If we all took down the façade that everything is perfectly ok and be real about what is going on, be real about the challenges we have overcome, and be truly authentic that would be so amazing and powerful. I love Kristen’s honesty in this book. It is an inspiring to see someone be that bold and honest about what really happened. It’s beautiful when people are 100% true, honest, and real. I have been blessed to have been sober going on a little over 2 years. I used to be ashamed that I am an alcoholic. I wanted to be normal! Seriously, who is normal and who defines what is and who is? I refuse to let what other people may be thinking/their preconceived ideas about addiction stop me from being proud of my recovery and sharing my story. I know a new freedom and serenity today that I have never felt. Life still happens and things still go on, but I can accept them today and not hide behind drugs and alcohol. I was a functioning alcoholic and I masked how unhappy I was when I was around others. It was exhausting just trying to keep up the picture that everything was great and life was wonderful. I didn’t embrace recovery at first, but life is so much better today than what it used to be like. It’s sad to know that people can be so ashamed and afraid of what other people will think that they continue going through life battling addiction, but sadly not all make it. Addiction not only impacts the addict, but also family and friends. Addiction comes in many forms, but we seem to place them on levels of semi bad to horrible. Addiction is addiction. It’s heart breaking hearing about the ones who lose their fight with addiction. Brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, etc. LisaMarie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was excellent! I can not express how much I insist on this being a must-read for anyone who has or is close to someone who struggles with a substance abuse problem.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this down. She is raw and painfully honest about her journey to a level that is awe-inspiring. This book is also laugh-out-loud funny. Her account is a testament to the power of recovery - for both the addict and anyone in their circles and beyond. I LOVED it - and will re-read it!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great detailed story of adductuin
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am the kind of person that doesnt like alot of books, but I really enjoyed this book. I wish it was a series because I would read all of them. A must read book in my opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it!  Read about 90% of it the first time I opened it.  I'm 15 months into recovery myself. Im always looking for inspiration or motivation for strength and growth, and "GUTS" delivered both!  
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best book on addiction I have ever read. Helped me understand addiction is a disease and that their are reasons why people are addicts. On behalf of my daugher and myself Thank You for sharing your story and for the powers that be thank you for allow her to live to share her story and to help others.