A Compelling & Fully Packed Memoir

Baggage: Tales From a Fully Packed Life is the follow up to Alan Cumming’s previous memoir Not My Father’s Son which took readers through Cumming’s horrific childhood at the hands of his abusive father. It was an emotional read and one of my all-time favourite memoirs. This new book picks up his life story as he begins his career as a stage actor, Hollywood movie star, and simply a young man trying to figure out his way in life and love.

Cumming is an engaging, charming storyteller. He is frank, funny, and humble as he tells the story of his ups and downs as a celebrity with funny anecdotes, often with his famous friends. Although this book is more focused on his life on stage, he also shares his personal life – loves, losses, marriages, his pride in his Scots heritage, and his experiences in Hollywood as an openly queer actor.

I borrowed both the print and eAudiobook from WPL, and although I enjoyed the pictures in the hardcover, I opted to listen to Alan tell his story in the digital audiobook. I adore listening to a Scots accent and always prefer having the author read their memoir to me. I enjoyed his easy-going, conversational tone and Cumming once again proves he is a compelling writer who skillfully balances emotional aspects with humour. 

If you’re planning on borrowing this book from WPL, I strongly recommend reading Not My Father’s Son first so you understand more about Cumming’s childhood and how and why it continues to permeate his adult life. WPL has his first memoir in a variety of formats.

This memoir is a blend of Hollywood who’s who, an honest portrayal of his struggles and successes with a hearty dose of humourous anecdotes as Alan Cumming (no ‘s’ at the end, if you please!) describes his life in and out of Hollywood. This is one of WPL’s Featured Reads this winter so put your hold on your copy now at wpl.ca.