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Summary

At the age of 15, Cat Marnell unknowingly set out to murder her life. After a privileged yet emotionally starved childhood in Washington, she became hooked on ADHD medication provided by her psychiatrist father. This led to a dependence on Xanax and other prescription drugs at boarding school, and she experimented with cocaine, ecstasy - whatever came her way. By 26 she was a talented 'doctor shopper' who manipulated Upper East Side psychiatrists into giving her never-ending prescriptions; her life had become a twisted merry-go-round of parties and pills at night and trying to hold down a high-profile job at Condé Nast during the day.

With a complete lack of self-pity and an honesty that is almost painful, Cat describes the crazed euphoria, terrifying comedowns and horrendous guilt she felt lying to those who tried to help her. Writing in a voice that is utterly magnetic - prompting comparisons to Bret Easton Ellis and Charles Bukowski - she captures something essential about both her generation and our times. Profoundly divisive and controversial, How to Murder Your Life is an unforgettable, charged account of a young female addict so close to throwing her entire life away.

©2017 Cat Marnell (P)2017 Random House Audiobooks

What members say

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Mildly entertaining, delusional, annoying

If you are looking for an inspirational story about a woman on drugs coming through the dark times and finding herself, do not come here.
Self obsessed and delusional.
Mildly entertaining.
Please stop screaming your narration.
On a positive note, well done for writing the book.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Get a Grip, Woman!

What disappointed you about How to Murder Your Life?

It's hard to relate or have sympathy for a woman who has lived a comfortable life of enormous privilege yet can't stop messing up her life so shamelessly. I felt like shaking her and telling her to get a grip. I wasn't invested. Almost at the end and I can tell she's not going to be clean, and no redemption at the end. There's no motivation or reason, somebody will always be there to wipe her backside and insulate her from life's realities. I'm sure she's a nice person but it doesn't emerge in this story. if she really has talent, get back and rise to the top drug-free. then I'll read your follow-up and be really glad for you.

Would you ever listen to anything by Cat Marnell again?

no, unless she becomes more humble

How could the performance have been better?

it was read with feeling, like somebody who enjoyed acting out her life.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Terrible audio narration

The story is actually ok but the author spoils it by narrating it herself. She already has a very high voice pitch and and half of the time she just shouts. It is difficult to endure. Additionally, I found the ending quite pathetic. 'Im still on drugs but Im so much healthier and happier now' - sounds silly and insulting to anybody who knows just a little bit about addiction. It feels like her piblisher forced her to finish on an optimistic note.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Mixed

Parts are really absorbing and the honesty is refreshing. But long lists of designer names and cosmetics are tedious. Ms Marnell may have included them as an ironic contrast to the grim consequences of drug taking but they are still tedious. Also, there's no analysis of why the writer behaves as she does. Deep reflection may not have been the object of this book but it left me unsatisfied.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A long way to go

Great performance. Addiction isnt about the chemical hook of drugs, its about soul holes and gaps in our social network. Cat clearly has so much potential, I hope she fills her world with good people who are true friends, that's how we recover.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

How to murder your life

Cat's honesty is always refreshing and her delivery was fantastic (apart from the screams. AHHHHHHHH!)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not sure what compelled me to finish

I think maybe I’m in the wrong demographic to read this book. It is incredibly honest, funny in places & Cat can write. The screaming in it drove me bonkers! Too much of it too often and it adds nothing to the book. I hope someday she leaves all the meds behind & finds the life she says she wants. .undoubtedly she deserves peace of mind. I hope she finds it.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Trivialises addiction, rather cringeworthy

It has been said that people who begin abusing drugs and alcohol at an early age, tend to stay stuck in that mindset - so it's hardly surprising that the shallow Cat Marnell writes like a teenager.

Marnell describes one ridiculous drug-fuelled event after another, and even talks about the $28,000 rehab facility her father pays for. She adds how she squandered one opportunity after another due to being completely unable to stay clean. And while you should feel sympathy for her, it's quite hard to do so.

So I can say without a doubt that I found this book rather irritating and narcisstic. After all, if Marnell wasn't a privileged white woman, she would have been in prison about 15 years ago. Her trivializing of her own addiction and frankly, bragging about her encounters, just represents how little understanding she has for the majority of other users. And though she does mention her privilege at times, it's almost an afterthought. The fact that the media have glorified her behaviour is equally despicable.

As someone who is aware of addiction, and knows those on the streets - about 90% of this book is cringeworthy. The last part is on her self realisation and it's the only honest part of the book and should have been placed as the prologue.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Didn't expect to love this!

Remarkably engaging. Cat's behaviour and lifestyle is sometimes so appalling, but I couldn't help loving her and this audiobook. I hope she does get clean in future though.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

easy to listen too.

great, personable and lively performance. If you find the situations relatable, it's fun and helpful to hear another cursed soul grinding through it.