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

Kristen Johnston. S&S/Gallery, $25 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4516-3505-8
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.)
Reviewed on: 01/23/2012
Release date: 03/13/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4640-4080-1
Paperback - 277 pages - 978-1-4516-3506-5
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4516-3507-2
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4423-5306-0
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