Fiction Ruined My Family

  • by Jeanne Darst
  • Narrated by Jeanne Darst
  • 6 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Introducing a deeply funny, charismatic new voice: an entertaining memoir of a family haunted by its own myths and its obsessive idolization of the literary life.
Jeanne Darst was born the youngest of four daughters in an old, celebrated family long past its glory days. For the early part of her life, the family survived on the memory of past generations' grandeur and the romantic belief that Darst's father would restore that greatness with his destined career as a novelist. Within a few years, however, it was abundantly clear to everyone but him that despite the many years enslaved to the writer's craft and lifestyle, he was never going to sell a book. By the time of Darst's adolescence, the family was broke, and her mother was consoling herself with nightly booze-fueled weepathons, while her father was still too possessed by the dream to get a job.
Later, Darst realizes she has inherited both the gene for alcoholism and the gene for wanting to write, and she isn't sure which is more devastating. Does her need to write, to tell stories, mean that she's doomed to repeat the mistakes of her father, or can she find a way to move beyond her family's curse, and not have fiction ruin her life?
Now sober and a productive writer, Darst looks back on all those years with warmth, affection, and a moving degree of understanding - as well as wicked, deadpan humor.


What the Critics Say

"Jeanne Darst's memoir about growing up in a hard-drinking family with big literary dreams is hilarious, heartbreaking, and inspiring." (Marie Claire)
"Fiction Ruined My Family had me laughing out loud, which I almost never do, with one jaw-dropping scene after another. On nearly every page there's some sentence that's so perfect, in an old-school Oscar Wilde/Dorothy Parker sort of way, that it made everything I've ever written or said seem like dull, drunken mumbling." (Ira Glass, host of This American Life)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Hysterically funny

I found myself repeating chapters because I love the way she tells her story. This book is honest and witty. The author reads the book herself which is sometimes a mistake, but not in this case. She has perfect timing and a gift for mimicry. Loved every minute of it!
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- Molly

Best Audiobook I've Heard in Awhile

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

YES. It's good and super funny.

What other book might you compare Fiction Ruined My Family to and why?

Any humorous memoir about dysfunctional/weird families, such as "Let's Pretend This Never Happened" (Jenny Lawson), "The Liars' Club" (Mary Karr), or "Running With Scissors" (Augusten Burroughs).

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I laughed until I cried.

Any additional comments?

I tell everyone they need to read this book immediately.

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- Dawn E. Sanders

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-30-2011
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio