Kristen Johnston, Guts
Confessions that are brave and devoid of B.S.
Actress Kristen Johnston was primarily known to audiences as an Amazonian television funny lady thanks to roles on 3rd Rock from the Sun and Sex and the City. Gossip-devourers were surprised, then, when a few years ago, Johnston emerged in public looking gaunt and malnourished. “Was it an eating disorder?” people whispered. No, it turned out that Johnston had lost 60 pounds thanks to her intestines exploding due to years of abusing them with painkillers and alcohol. Now in Guts, she intends to set the record straight, starting with a childhood as the unhappy too-tall girl who learns to control her own destiny by being funny and ends up being the victim of too much fun and denial. Johnston’s woes occur partially due to her addiction but also due to her attempts to pretend like nothing was wrong and an aversion to asking for help. Her confession is brave and devoid of B.S., as Johnston boils down the nature of addiction in a no-nonsense way. For such serious subject matter, the book is highly entertaining: Johnston is a natural when it comes to reading her own work, deploying effortless comic timing in her smoky growl. The book’s only deficiency is that Johnston fans may be left wishing for more details on Johnston’s television and stage career, but perhaps that will be fodder for her next book.