The Road to Almost-Stardom

There are very few books that make a reader laugh out loud while reading them. Kathy Griffin’s memoir Official Book Club Selection is one of them. Official Book Club Selection chronicles Griffin’s entire life up to this point, from her experiences growing up in an Irish-Catholic neighborhood in Illinois to the decades of struggling to get recognition in the world of show business.

The actress is currently in the prime of her career, capitalizing on the unexpected fame from her reality series, My Life on the D-List, which chronicles her life as a low-profile celebrity. Since the show began in 2005, it has slowly showed how Griffin is gradually, but steadily becoming more recognized as a celebrity, but still not totally accepted because of her antics.

The one thing that really sticks out in the book is that Griffin is not like every other celebrity out there; fame did not come easy to her. A large portion of the book explains how long she worked as a performer in the famous comedy troupe The Groundlings, and how even from that level she struggled to get recognition from producers and managers. During her early years she worked with many well known stars such as Lisa Kudrow and Phil Hartman, but as their careers began to rise, it became evident that her own would take a different path.

Her description of the events makes it seem like the reader is having a cup of coffee with Griffin and being told about her life. She does not try to sugar coat anything, especially her frustration with never being able to get to the same level as her peers. The book also talks about her about her life on the road, which includes an especially funny tale about a stand up show she did with Andy Dick. Although it does not show Dick in the most flattering light, it provides great entertainment.

Griffin shows no mercy to any celebrity she has ever met, or made of fun of. Included in the book is her obsession with Orpah Winfery, and throughout the book she mentions things about her and her friend Gail King.

Although most of the book is lighthearted, it also tackles serious issues. Griffin does not hold back any details about her oldest brother Kenny, who had a drug problem and is a known pedophile, and the effects his lifestyle had on her entire family, and on her own life.

The book also goes into detail about her failed
marriage, in which her ex-husband stole thousands of dollars from her account, and turned out to be a
pathological liar. During these parts, the reader forgets that the book is describing the life of a celebrity, because they are events that could happen to anyone.

Even though most of the book deals with her
struggles and hardships in making it in Hollywood, as well as coming to terms with her private life, Griffin
explains it all with a good sense of humor. It is not
Griffin’s goal to make anyone feel sorry for her. Instead, her goal is to make people realize that all of her success did not occur overnight. By the end of the book, readers are filled with some sense of justice, because Kathy Griffin is a classic underdog.

Official Book Club Selection is a perfect book for anyone who needs a good laugh, as well as
a little inspiration.