High On Arrival: A Memoir

( 224 )

Overview

“A raw glimpse” (Entertainment Weekly) into her lifelong battle with personal demons and near-fatal addictions—and reveals the shattering truth behind her complex, secretive, and damaging history with her father, the legendary John Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas.

Not long before her fiftieth birthday, Mackenzie Phillips made headlines with her arrest for drug possession at Los Angeles International Airport; the actor-musician-mother had been on her way to a reunion of One...

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High on Arrival

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Overview

“A raw glimpse” (Entertainment Weekly) into her lifelong battle with personal demons and near-fatal addictions—and reveals the shattering truth behind her complex, secretive, and damaging history with her father, the legendary John Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas.

Not long before her fiftieth birthday, Mackenzie Phillips made headlines with her arrest for drug possession at Los Angeles International Airport; the actor-musician-mother had been on her way to a reunion of One Day at a Time, the hugely popular ’70s sitcom on which she once starred as the lovable rebel Julie Cooper.

Born into rock-and-roll royalty, flying in Learjets to the Virgin Islands at five, making pot brownies with Donovan at eleven, Mackenzie grew up in an all-access kingdom of hippie freedom and heroin cool. As a rising Hollywood star herself, she joined the nonstop party in the hedonistic pleasure dome of her father’s making, and a rapt TV audience watched as Julie Cooper wasted away before their eyes. By the time Mackenzie discovered how deep and dark her father’s trip was going, it was too late.

As an adult, she has paid dearly for a lifetime of excess, working tirelessly to reconcile her wonderful, terrible past and the pull of her magnetic father. By sharing her journey toward redemption and peace, the star who turned up High on Arrival has finally come back down to earth—to stay.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I felt many things while reading this book — which I did in one overnight sitting — but when I reached the last page I felt only one: a tremendous respect for its author and a deep appreciation of just exactly how courageous she is to publish this book. This is no celebrity addiction memoir. And it is no 'former child star falls from grace' saga, either. It is the heart-wrenching and perilous story that thousands and thousands of perfectly ordinary women and men lived themselves, silently, numbly, and with obedience and love. By making her search for redemption public — despite the inevitable backlash — Mackenzie Phillips may very well help others find it for themselves. Rich with compassion, forgiveness, and wisdom, this is a brave memoir executed with an unwavering loyalty and commitment to truth." — Augusten Burroughs
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439153864
  • Publisher: Gallery Books
  • Publication date: 2/22/2011
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 113,864
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Mackenzie Phillips is the daughter of John Phillips and stepdaughter of Michelle Phillips, both lead singers of the 60s band The Mamas and The Papas. She starred as Julie Cooper Horvath on the sitcom One Day at a Time alongside Valerie Bertinelli.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 224 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(86)

4 Star

(44)

3 Star

(38)

2 Star

(27)

1 Star

(29)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 224 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 24, 2009

    Brave and inspiring!

    I enjoyed watching Ms. Phillips on TV on One Day at a Time. We all knew she had issues with substance abuse but had no idea the depth of her pain and anquish. I totally believe that this book is true and I applaude Ms. Phillips for her honesty and going the extra mile to tell everything in this book.
    While it is true she could have sugar coated the facts and still made an interesting tell all - having the bravery to include intimate details with her father will go on to inspire others that have lived through insest or need to step away from insest.
    Anyone battling substance abuse should read this to see just how far the depths of hell can take you and survive. I pray that Ms. Phillips is able to stay clean and overcome her personal demons.
    Way to go Mackenzie! Way to go! I am a bigger fan now more than ever!

    26 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 25, 2009

    Courage

    I saw Mackenzie Phillips on Oprah and went out the next day to purchase her book. I finished the book in 1 day, I could not put it down. The environment that she was born into set her up perfectly for her own world of addcitions to repeat the cycle of abuse to herself and others. Thank the Good Lord we live in a time where the victim is not the bad guy anymore but the victim is a person who is acting out on what has been role modeled infront of them. You don't fix a problem by pretending it is not there, she has courage for speaking out and trying to figure out how she got to where she is and trying to relearn new thoughts and behaviors and reprogram her thinking. Where the mind goes the body follows. Her father was a very sick man and when you are trying to survive in a realtionship of any kind with an unhealthy person it is a losing battle until if and when they get better to help themselves and others.
    No matter what environment you are born into it goes to show you that if it doesn't "feel" right it isn't right, your spirit knows and her spirit was damaged, not broken though. By writing her story she has helped herself and others. Mackenzie if you are reading this...please there is no future in the past..concentrate on today and tomorrow.

    22 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 24, 2009

    kudos for honesty and forgiveness

    The authors story is proof of where drugs and alcohol take you....Degredation, spritual bankruptcy and an enormous amount of suffering I admire her honesty and courage....anyone struggling with addiction should read this book!

    16 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Very Brave

    Not long before her fiftieth birthday,Mackenzie Phillips walked into Los Angeles International Airport. She was on her way to a reunion for One Day at a Time, the hugely popular 70s sitcom on which she once starred as the lovable rebel Julie Cooper. Within minutes of entering the security checkpoint, Mackenzie was in handcuffs, arrested for possession of cocaine and heroin.
    Born into rock and roll royalty, flying in Learjets to the Virgin Islands at five, making pot brownies with her father's friends at eleven, Mackenzie grew up in an all-access kingdom of hippie freedom and heroin cool. It was a kingdom over which her father, the legendary John Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas, presided, often in absentia, as a spellbinding, visionary phantom.
    When Mackenzie was a teenager, Hollywood and the world took notice of the charming, talented, precocious child actor after her star-making turn in American Graffiti. As a young woman she joinedthe nonstop party in the hedonistic pleasure dome her father created for himself and his fellow revelers, and a rapt TV audience watched as Julie Cooper wasted away before their eyes. By the time Mackenzie discovered how deep and dark her father's trip was going, it was too late. And as an adult, she has paid dearly for a lifetime of excess, working tirelessly to reconcile a wonderful, terrible past in which she succumbed to the power of addiction and the pull of her magnetic father.
    As her astounding, outrageous, and often tender life story unfolds, the actor-musician-mother shares her lifelong battle with personal demons and near-fatal addictions. She overcomes seemingly impossible obstacles again and again and journeys towardredemption and peace. By exposing the shadows and secrets of the past to the light of day, the star who turned up High on Arrival has finally come back down to earth -- to stay.

    12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2009

    keep it to yourself!

    I read this book and found it to be selfish and pathetic. I don't know what happened with her dad, and neither do you. The man is dead. Why did she bring this up now instead of years ago when he was alive to comment? I'll tell you why. Because she got busted YET AGAIN for heroin abuse, and this is her way of saying it's daddys fault. She ran out of excuses the last time she cleaned up and went on Oprah, and now she has to up the ante, because she relapsed big time, yet again.
    I don't know what happened with her and her dad. Only they do. But it is shameful to take it public and destroy her sisters and step mom just to save her public image. The man is dead, so I guess we all have to believe her? She's not a 35 year junkie, but an abused daughter? That's what she wants us to believe. and to say she is doing it to help others is pathetic. She is doing it to let the world know that HER actions and HER decisions to use junk over the last 35 years where not HER fault. She was a victim of her own life. Cry me a river, get help, apologize to your family, sober up, and keep your family "secrets" to yourself. No one cares, except maybe Oprah nation....and that's a whole 'nother rant for another day!

    11 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Loved it!

    This book had me so caught up in it. I loved the way she spoke...it was just so honest. Regarding the incest...it doesnt matter if people think she was wrong for bringing it up after her dad was dead, it's still a huge and incriminating thing that happened and I think she was very brave to come out with it...even after the fact. I appreciate the fact that she didnt get into gross detail about her sexual relationship with her father...I wasnt sure if I could handle reading THAT. Overall, this book is great and I would highly recommend it.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    GREAT, COMPELLING!! A MUST READ!!!

    Ten pages into MacKenzie Phillips' book, I was riveted!! This is one woman who lays her very soul nacked in hopes of helping other incest survirors. The turmoil of her life, due to the lack of parenting by her father, the famous John Phillips, and his first wife, left in the dust by his fame and young girlfriend and future wife, Michele Phillips, is heartbreaking. Grown up way before her time, this woman faced a life of pure Hell--brought on by a man totally obsessed with his own need for attention, his drug addiction, and his total lack of learning responsibility in life--not to mention his pedofile sickness and need for utterly posessing people, including his own child.
    For those unsure of Phillips' testimony to her incestous affair, caused by her sick father, it is a shame you have not read the now out of print Phillips' autobiography, "Papa John." I read it around 20 years ago when it came out and he admitted the drug use with his children without any shame, but omitted the incest. What a sick soul---I thought so then and do now!! I believe each and every word of MacKenzie's story and you should also.
    This is a must read on any woman's list---and should be on the list of men, also. COMPELLING AND TOUCHING. What a BRAVE WOMAN!!!
    If you have not read it, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!!!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2012

    Fascinsting.....at first....

    When I began reading Mckenzie Philipps' story I couldn't put it down. Then as she describes her experience with multiple trips into rehab situations, she falsely tries to tell readers that there are doctors and other healthcare professional to blame for her addiction.
    She lays blame for her problem on others....it's never really is her fault after all.
    To put into print that most states have a law against doctors gradually reducing your dosage to help wean you off of RX meds is false.
    Celebrities, especially addicts pouring their hearts for the public, should NOT be allowed to preach about what is legal.
    Take this book at about 50% true and 50% fairytale written by a fairytale girl.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 19, 2009

    Still heading in the wrong direction

    By the time I got 3 quarters through this book, I felt that I was contributing to her habit by buying this book. I don't think she is done with her drug abuse yet. I feel sorry for her and the path her life took. I don't think she's strong enough yet to gain control of her life and turn it around. She's weak.

    4 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Irritatingly Repetitive.

    Irritatingly repetitive and mind numbingly off point. If the author, as she claimed in an interview with Larry King (as well as in a multitude of interviews with every other talk show in existence), was seeking to champion the largely unrepresented population that is struggling with life threatening addiction, she has done a very poor job. This supposed memoir reads more like a 1970's tabloid article, than the thought provoking journey through self destruction and personal rediscovery that this book was advertised to be. She seems, at times, almost proud of her conquests and her Hollywood minded removal from reality. She seems more focused on opportunistic name dropping than in exploring the true horror of a life consumed by drug addiction and then the eventual mental and physical healing that her story was supposed to exemplify. She does not yet seem well enough to truly have learned anything from her own life story.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 2, 2009

    Not Impressed.

    Laura Mackenzie Phillips' life memoirs have potential to be a good story. It is an interesting story. It just wasn't told very well. Maybe if she had worked more closely with a co writer it would have read better. I understand she wants to share her story of incest to help others. She made the incest such a very minute part of the story. The story focuses on drug addiction. She doesn't even make the incest sound like it was all that bad. Something just doesn't fit about that part of the book especially. I read the book expecting a brilliant life story but It just wasn't enticing. I had to force myself to finish it.

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 4, 2011

    I credit some of my sobriety to this book....

    I had just gotten sober from heroin, coke, crack, any type of opiates or pain killers you could throw at me and the devil itself, fentanyl, when I read this book. Granted some of the stories really made me think about all the good times and what not, but I was able to handle it...and I'm glad I did. One of the last things Mac says in her book is about her being better...although she is, she isn't cured...that monster will always be on her back. Looking at it that way has helped me alot..its def kept me from getting cocky after being sober for 2+ years without a single slip up. I am very proud of my fiance and I both for making it this far..but I really thank Mackenzie for saying it like that. I honestly believe with the way I was raised, my family history, everything that I've gone through, and just the fact that I plain down enjoyed being high 24/7, that I will be a drug addict for the rest of my life, but I don't need to be a using drug addict for the rest of my life.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Touching and Humorous

    Not many could write a book about such a traumatic and troubled life yet still maintain a positive outlook on life and a sense of humor. The tough details are written with concise and accurate language but it handled gently enough to avoid upsetting or offending the reader. Even in the midst of a hurricane of pain, Mackenzie Phillips managed to tell it all with a sense of humor and a belief that things will be better. I found it inspiring, touching and a wonderful read. I recommend it for anyone who has been in that same hurrican and thinks they are alone and it won't get any better.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    It was not at all what I expected.

    As an avid reader of authorized celeb bios I had no intention of purchasing this book. Just another "poor me" story from some spolied celeb who threw their fame away. Boy was I wrong!!! I receicved this as a Christmas gift & I was riveted from page 1. I respect the author's efforts to tell her story & yet be mindful of how it would affect others. Her tale is both horrifying & uplifting. Both painfully honest & laugh-out-loud funny. Ms Phillips points the finger only at herself & blames no one for the twists & turns her life took. She owned her experiences & I admire that.I highly recommend this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2009

    Insightful about true addiction.

    I thought Ms. Phillip's descriptions were very colorful. I saw a different view of addiction from the inside.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2009

    Great read for airplane trip

    I finished the whole book on a trip from PDX-BOS. Felt like I lived it with her.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2009

    Alright

    It took a lot for her to tell her story, but it was not as good as I thought it would be.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 15, 2009

    Very insightful!

    I think this book is well written and comes across in a very humble way. She does not seek to place blame for any of her life choices or problems but instead let's you into what was going on in her life and mind when these things occurred. You can feel sympathy for her in this book without having to absolve her of her own responsibility for the things she writes about. I have not walked a mile in her shoes and would therefore not cast judgment on her for her life. I think she is brave woman who has overcome a lot in her life and I wish her all the best for her future. A very compelling, inspiring story!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2012

    Never thought much of this book at all. Back in the mid-eightie

    Never thought much of this book at all. Back in the mid-eighties, she
    and her Dad were on the talk show circuit promoting his "Papa
    John" drugalogue. He was high again,very shortly after the book
    was printed; so it didn't mean too much... Decades later, Daddy is dead
    and she's still trying to make money from her stories of the druggin'
    life in showbiz. Mackenzie's resume as a performer has really become
    pretty thin, due to her addiction. I've got to believe that anyone who
    buys this book is inevitably financing a drug habit that's she's allowed
    to become her only means of support.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 14, 2012

    Well, where to begin. The whole time reading it (and the only r

    Well, where to begin. The whole time reading it (and the only reason why I am reading it is because my son is an addict) all I thought of was what a "skank" she is. Delusional and a very high opinion of herself.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 224 Customer Reviews

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