Never Give in to Fear: Laughing All the Way Up from Rock Bottom

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Overview

Never Give in to Fear: Laughing All the Way Up from Rock Bottom, the enhanced edition of this darkly funny, dramatic memoir, describes an emerging standup comic’s drug-fueled descent into the underworld, escape from human traffickers, homelessness, and ultimate redemption. With brutal honesty, humor, and clarity, the author vividly describes her experiences as she rides her downward spiral: a near-miss with a notorious serial killer, a series of tragically hilarious misadventures in the California drug world, and...

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Never Give in to Fear

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Overview

Never Give in to Fear: Laughing All the Way Up from Rock Bottom, the enhanced edition of this darkly funny, dramatic memoir, describes an emerging standup comic’s drug-fueled descent into the underworld, escape from human traffickers, homelessness, and ultimate redemption. With brutal honesty, humor, and clarity, the author vividly describes her experiences as she rides her downward spiral: a near-miss with a notorious serial killer, a series of tragically hilarious misadventures in the California drug world, and a terrifying account of imprisonment at the hands of Japanese organized crime, to name a few. This revised and re-edited version contains three additional chapters that introduce readers to quirky characters, insights into standup comedy, resilience and recovery, and deliver an inspiring message about healing, hope, and courage to change.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Addicts act less like people and more like animals. They misplace thoughts of self-preservation with a need to find the next fix. The book, Never Give In To Fear follows Marti MacGibbon’s descent into her own personal hell, filled with loss, regret, and drug abuse. She moved to San Francisco in the early 1980s to pursue a stand-up comedy career. She even had a chance to be on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Unfortunately, Marti’s recreational drug use quickly became a full-scale addiction.  In the book, Marti’s spiral downward takes us from the Russian River people, to her imprisonment in Japanese prostitution ring, and a meth-fueled drive to Nebraska. While the overall tone of the book is dark and seedy, Marti’s natural humor and storytelling help balance out the book into a symmetrical tale of both hurt and healing. I had to remind myself that Marti is going to survive each encounter in the book. That thought gave me an emotional safety net. Some of the places the book travels to are so fantastical and dangerous that it is a miracle that Marti survives. The narrative was the best part of the book. It felt like there were two narrators telling the story. There is the Marti of the story, the plucky young woman that had to live day-to-day getting high. There was also Marti, the writer, whose voice added much-needed levity and humor to the book’s overall tone. The book is successful as a motivating tool and touching story. In the end, her saving grace comes in an unlikely form, and it almost brought a tear to my eye. Never Give In To Fear is a book everyone needs to read. This is not only a story about the danger of drugs, but about the power of the human spirit."

--San Francisco Book Review/Portland Book Review

"Ever conscious that the past makes us who we are, Marti MacGibbon, a recovering alcoholic and addict, not only leaves open the door to her past—she goes in, turns the lights on, makes herself a cup of coffee, and gets comfortable on the couch. Her memoir of recovery is an unflinching examination of her choices and what they cost her—as well as how she was pulled out of her personal hell into a saner way of life.  MacGibbon, as a certified addiction treatment professional, clearly understands the value of honesty. The bald truth can make us laugh, or it can be a punch in the gut. MacGibbon’s voice in Never Give in to Fear is wholly her own. Her narration is funny— she can laugh at her old self, even as she shows the reader the terror and loss she felt in the past. When she goes to buy drugs from a madwoman dealer near Guerneville, MacGibbon says, “My skin crawled at the thought of visiting this madhouse, but I knew the lunatic woman kept a stash of pain pills around her place. She was the ideal person to seek out as a de facto pharmacist. Besides, Firebird’s leg couldn’t wait while I shopped around the River for opiates in the wee hours of a stormy night.” Though the situation is dire, MacGibbon is self-aware, and is able to show the humor of the moment without losing the tense pacing of her story. The memoir whips along, hardly taking a breath.

Never Give in to Fear earns its place among other recent sobriety memoirs. Comparable to Mary Karr’s Lit, and Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp, Never Give in to Fear is an excellent story, both inspiring and entertaining. MacGibbon has a natural gift for storytelling—no surprise, considering her background as a standup comic and motivational speaker. What makes Never Give in to Fear shine is MacGibbon’s ease with her story. She doesn’t apologize for who she is, and she doesn’t try to win over the reader. It’s just the facts, ma’am, and by the time the first chapter is over she’s already on a roll. Honest to a fault, in ruthless pursuit of the story, MacGibbon’s memoir is captivating from the very first sentence.  MacGibbon has written—and lived—her way through a forbidding place. It’s wonderful to not only read her story, but to know that she has flourished in her years of recovery. A memoir that offers hope, even in the worst of times, Never Give in to Fear is a terrific read. It’s the perfect book for a reader in recovery, though MacGibbon’s real-life adventures will be equally appealing to anyone who needs a little more adrenaline in their reading list.

--Claire Foster Clarion Review: Five Stars (out of Five)

“It’s amazing that Marti MacGibbon survived her harrowing life and had the guts to recount it… not too preachy, the author’s candor and sense of humor keep the pages turning.”

Suzanne Daly, the bohemian.com

 "Marti MacGibbon’s memoir is a very compelling account of her descent into despair and drug addiction. It is an insightful look at how an addict is sucked into the cycle of dependency and how it is difficult to overcome the hold that drugs can make on a person’s life. The story also relates how she ultimately triumphs over the addiction by channeling her own tenacity and with the love and support of family and friends. It was an inspiring read."

--MaryAnn Koopmann, NetGalley

"I just finished this book and found it to be quite the page-turner! I wasn’t expecting it to be as gripping as it actually was—sometimes a memoir can drag and get heavy-handed with reflection but this one kept me reading well into the night.  Marti MacGibbon has had SO many misadventures. She had a blossoming career in comedy when her life went a bit off-track with drugs. She was held against her will in Japan and forced to be an escort, she performed odd, menial jobs to support her drug habit, she was homeless for awhile, and had to come to grips with losing custody of her daughter.  The book was more well-written than I’d expected, with no typos or grammatical errors, and MacGibbon has a talent for pulling you into the story. The writing made it easy for me to picture what things were like for her, and she does a great job at painting a scene with succinct yet effective prose and dialogue. The quality of writing and her ability to keep me absorbed with her story is what puts this memoir at a full five-stars in my book. "

Disclaimer: I was provided this book for free by NetGalley, but in no way does it influence my star rating or review.

--Shari Morehead, NetGalley

"Marti MacGibbon shows readers just how rough the road to redemption is in her gritty memoir of addiction. The narrative begins with Marti, an aspiring stand-up comedian with a promising career, strung out on drugs and steeped in a culture of sex and music. A new transplant to California from Texas, Marti feels like she’s on top of the world; instead, she’s about to hit rock bottom. She’s running from the pain of losing custody of her daughter, and in her haphazard pursuit of success she clings to “the dope fiends, the winos, the crystal meth chefs. My kind of people. People I could trust.” Soon after moving to a new town, she has a terrifying nightmare that sends her spiraling into a ruinous relationship. When her dark dream turns into a real-life news story, Marti and her boyfriend run further from the fear and realities that, once confronted, will ultimately make or break the couple. Any reader who has ever faced chilling regrets will sympathize with Marti as she recounts, one by one, the red flags of her past. The book’s title, however, may give the impression of a self-he lp focus that doesn’t actually run through the narrative. While parts of Marti’s life may be tough to read about—she doesn’t spare readers the harsh language, violence and sexuality of real life—her levity and transparency make the journey bearable and worthwhile. Her raw, honest, casual, funny voice permeates every page. The road to recovery begins with her daughter’s forgiveness and continues in a new, healthy marriage. Facing a number of tough crowds as her stand-up career restarts also helps Marti learn to maintain her composure. In the end, readers will likely feel the restorative power that’s symbolized in the memoir’s striking closing image of a rare albino redwood, a symbol of healing. A dark yet inspiring look at conquering addiction and regaining hope. "

--Kirkus Indie Review

"We make many mistakes in our life, and if we can laugh at them, we got the best of it. "Never Give In To Fear: Laughing All the Way Up from Rock Bottom" is a memoir of life and living from Marti MacGibbon as she shares her life of world travel and bad ideas, spaced through anecdotes, dealing with her own demons and finding the light at the end of the tunnel to pursue. "Never Give In To Fear" is a fine pick and much worth considering for memoir and humor collections."

--John Burroughs, Midwest Book Reviewer, Feb. 2013

Kirkus Reviews
Marti MacGibbon shows readers just how rough the road to redemption is in her gritty memoir of addiction. The narrative begins with Marti, an aspiring stand-up comedian with a promising career, strung out on drugs and steeped in a culture of sex and music. A new transplant to California from Texas, Marti feels like she's on top of the world; instead, she's about to hit rock bottom. She's running from the pain of losing custody of her daughter, and in her haphazard pursuit of success she clings to "the dope fiends, the winos, the crystal meth chefs. My kind of people. People I could trust." Soon after moving to a new town, Marti has a terrifying nightmare, which sends her spiraling into a ruinous relationship. When her dark dream turns into a real-life news story, Marti and her boyfriend run further from the fear and realities that, once confronted, will ultimately make or break the couple. Any reader who has ever faced chilling regrets will sympathize with Marti as she recounts, one by one, the red flags of her past. The book's title, however, may give the impression of a self-help focus that doesn't actually run through the narrative. While parts of Marti's life may be tough to read about--she doesn't spare readers the harsh language, violence and sexuality of real life--her levity and transparency make the journey bearable and worthwhile. Her raw, honest, casual, funny voice permeates every page. The road to recovery begins with her daughter's forgiveness and continues in a new, healthy marriage. Facing a number of tough crowds as her stand-up career restarts also helps Marti learn to maintain her composure. In the end, readers will likely feel the restorative power that's symbolized in the memoir's striking closing image of a rare albino redwood, a symbol of healing. A dark yet inspiring look at conquering addiction and regaining hope.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780986006708
  • Publisher: Stay Strong Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/8/2012
  • Pages: 369
  • Sales rank: 1,442,393
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Marti MacGibbon, CADC II, ACRPS, is a certified addiction treatment professional, stand-up comic, and inspirational speaker. A member of the National Speakers Association, she electrifies audiences with energy, humor, and transformative content.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Slippery Slope 1

Chapter 2 Onward Down the Toll Road 24

Chapter 3 Desperate Measures 44

Chapter 4 The Two Samurai 68

Chapter 5 Old Scars and the Stories They Tell 92

Chapter 6 Hanging by a Thread 110

Chapter 7 Flooded 134

Chapter 8 Outdoors 162

Chapter 9 Check Your Weapons at the Door 179

Chapter 10 Abandoned House with a Tropical Getaway 195

Chapter 11 Chance Encounter 222

Chapter 12 Indoors 237

Chapter 13 Does This Mean the Harleymoon Is Over? 245

Chapter 14 Motel Hell 259

Chapter 15 Nebraska 271

Chapter 16 Greyhound and Western Union 289

Chapter 17 Homecoming 303

Chapter 18 Climbing Out from Under the Rock 327

Chapter 19 Breakthrough 339

Chapter 20 Stand Your Ground 345

Epilogue 363

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 19, 2012

    This lady personifies courage, resilience, humor, love and recov

    This lady personifies courage, resilience, humor, love and recovery from addiction and personal adversity. In addition to the engaging couldn't-put-it-down story itself (what was going to happen next? how is she going to get out of this one?), I love the way it was written. She has you right there with her. I would recommend this book for anybody that just wants to read a good story. And for people fighting addiction or who have people in their extended family who are fighting such a battle, this book provides hope. Marti is an example of somebody who has descended into a Hell but ascended to help others fighting against addiction and human trafficking. So if you're reading this review, I recommend that you read her book.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 5, 2013

    so so

    This is about a doper. The book is one dope scene after another. After 100 pages I found myself skipping through a lot of it. The story is true and has a good message; but was waaaaaay too long.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 28, 2012

    Marti MacGibbon was recently on my World Positive Thinkers Club

    Marti MacGibbon was recently on my World Positive Thinkers Club radio show, and what an awesome guest. I read part of her book so far, and I don't need to read the rest to tell you that as an author myself she has a great talent for writing and keeping a reader glued to the book for as long as your eyes hold out. If you want to read about one of the all time comebacks and overcoming tremendous odds then get this book.

    My Positive best, Mr. Positive aka Ken Bossone

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted January 29, 2014

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    Posted December 29, 2012

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    Posted February 25, 2013

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    Posted December 4, 2012

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