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  • How to Murder Your Life

  • A Memoir
  • Written by: Cat Marnell
  • Narrated by: Cat Marnell
  • Length: 12 hrs and 6 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (67 ratings)

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How to Murder Your Life

Written by: Cat Marnell
Narrated by: Cat Marnell
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Publisher's Summary

From Cat Marnell, "New York's enfant terrible" (The Telegraph), a candid and darkly humorous memoir of prescription drug addiction and self-sabotage, set in the glamorous world of fashion magazines and downtown nightclubs.

At 26 Cat Marnell was an associate beauty editor at Lucky, one of the top fashion magazines in America - and that's all most people knew about her. But she hid a secret life. She was a prescription drug addict. She was also a "doctor shopper" who manipulated Upper East Side psychiatrists for pills, pills, and more pills; a lonely bulimic who spent hundreds of dollars a week on binge foods; a promiscuous party girl who danced barefoot on banquets; a weepy and hallucination-prone insomniac who would take anything - anything - to sleep.

This is a tale of self-loathing, self-sabotage, and, yes, self-tanner. It begins at a posh New England prep school - and with a prescription for attention deficit disorder medication Ritalin. It continues to New York, where we follow Marnell's amphetamine-fueled rise from intern to editor through the beauty departments of NYLON, Teen Vogue, Glamour, and Lucky. We see her fight between ambition and addiction and how, inevitably, her disease threatens everything she worked so hard to achieve.

From the Conde Nast building (where she rides the elevator alongside Anna Wintour) to seedy nightclubs, from doctors' offices and mental hospitals, Marnell shows - like no one else can - what it is like to live in the wild, chaotic, often sinister world of a young female addict who can't say no.

Combining lightning-rod subject matter and bold literary aspirations, How to Murder Your Life is mesmerizing, revelatory, and necessary.

©2017 Cat Marnell (P)2017 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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What listeners say about How to Murder Your Life

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

Awful!

I rarely find myself inspired to write a review, but if it saves you from wasting your time and money on this trite, poorly written and narrated story then it is worth it. It glorifies addiction, and boasts about the narrator vaguely succeeding while constantly being high and engaging in utter assholery. If reading about being stoned in New York and bragging about it floats your boat, then knock your self out. And If I have to hear the writer scream one more time, I may poke my ears out. There is nothing redeeming about this story. I’m not even sure how it ends because I couldn’t bear it anymore and quit about 3/4 of the way through.

1 person found this helpful

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I fucking love you cat.

The rawest memoir EVER. And the fact cat Is the narrater makes it that much better.

1 person found this helpful

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The best train wreck I have ever listened to!

Listening to Cat's story will instantly make you feel better about your life. I laughed (many times) and others wanted to shake this woman and tell her she doesn't have to live this way! There is a little redemption at the end...

I would (and have) definitely recommend this to my other hot-mess girlfriends. When I need some comic relief, or to feel like I am not screwing up my life too badly, I turn this back on (for a second or third listen!)

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Glad I stuck with it-EXCELLENT

Lemme just say, I can handle “valley girl” talk, but if you can’t, this is not the book for you! Totally rad book. Lol...Lots of “name dropping” haute couture, big name designers, beauty companies etc. Gotta be quick to keep up with Kat! Again, if you aren’t into fashion and beauty, and want the book for it’s “addiction” story, my feeling is it would be much better received knowing the fashion and beauty industry.....but I guess that’s up to you to decide. Loved it. Thanks Kat, glad you are feeling better.

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  • T
  • 2020-06-26

Love this book!

I honestly couldn’t get enough of Cat’s honesty and story. She is such a great writer - and kept my attention throughout the entire book. Hope she releases more books in the future!

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Reads like an angsty teen's diary

I'll admit, this review is based on only the first three chapters of the book, which I struggled through. It reads like the author tried to write an edgy YA, but ended up with a mundane day-to-day diary in the life of an angsty teen, read by the narrator with an abundance of lilts in tone and "like" and "ugh"s.

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love it.

love this memoire. some parts did hit close to home and I wasn't sure I would be able to continue to listen but glad I did. I also went on to listen to her second book as well. equally well written.

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Loved it

I absolutely loved this soapy, honest account of addiction. So real and funny and brutal.

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  • Taylor
  • 2017-03-14

nice book

Every time she does her screaming voice I want to stab myself in the ears with a butter knife. Otherwise pretty good.

27 people found this helpful

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  • Video Backlash
  • 2017-02-08

Swag.

A fan of Marnell's work for some time, I was eager for the arrival of this book! I couldn't decided if I should get the hard copy or go audio book, as sometimes audio book is easier for commuting and working. Once I found out that she is the narrator, I decided on starting here. I plan on reading the prose in print, as well. She's a great writer and crafts her story with great talent. It flows well, her prose are witty and delicate and casual, and at times, flippant- when appropriate. She is a GREAT narrator (which is key for audio book). Her words are in her own voice and her intonation and cadence keep you listening. I wish there was more to listen to!! Looking forward to reading it and ingesting her copy on paper. A great insight on a very particular New York scene. Knowing many of the characters personally (though I don't know cat), her descriptions are spot on. She slices up so many layers but brings it all together in the end. I love when a story has layers, don't you? New York is a lonely place.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Tracy
  • 2017-02-03

Awful!!!!

Could not even finish this book. Terrible!!! Another story about a rich spoiled little brat that has every handed to her, and does everything to screw it up! Do not feel sorry for her one bit!! Voice could shatter glass!! I hate I paid for this book!!

18 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2017-06-23

Regret Purchasing/Listening

Cat claims to self loath like others nauseatingly declare they've been humbled. Why did I listen and join the legions of enablers? To confirm that she is neither talented nor charming. Without derivative self destructiveness she'd be basic. The draw is the perverse opportunity to rubberneck a slo-mo crash. But readers/listeners get such a partial view that the mechanics of the crash are unsatisfactorily obscured. This book is a stand in for the memoirs we crave: Lilo, Brit, Heath, Brad. In Cat's case addiction and ambition aren't really at odds. How to Murder Your Life is an accomplishment achieved not despite but because of drug use.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Danielle
  • 2017-02-24

Pretty good story, Annoying reading of it

Would you consider the audio edition of How to Murder Your Life to be better than the print version?

I didn't read the print version

Who was your favorite character and why?

It's a memoir, so Cat

How did the narrator detract from the book?

There was a lot of screeching and yelling (and puking) sound effects that I found really annoying and detracted from the story. Perhaps they would have worked in print but in audio, they just made me want to shut it off.

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed the reading aside from the screeching, but the screeching was so annoying that it brought the rating down from what would have been probably a 4 or so.

14 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • LG H
  • 2017-02-05

really good

I don't review many books, only when I think they are special, this is worth listening to. I loved the narrator, the author, it makes it real. I don't care if she is a rich girl, that doesn't make addiction less difficult or painful, maybe more dangerous to have those endless resources. I like the honesty, I have family with drug problems, I don't come from this type of world but I don't think where you are in life changes the horror of drug addiction. I really liked this book and would recommend it to anyone, especially if you or someone in your family has a drug problem. Thanks Cat for sharing.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Julia
  • 2017-03-01

Good but tone down the happy valley girl

Interesting book but the narrating author talks about dark things, like purging and pill popping, in this cheerful drew Barrymore like voice and tone that seems....insincere. In this case, Perhaps a better read than an audiobook

12 people found this helpful

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  • Anna Monley
  • 2017-06-05

dramatic yet still underwhelming

this is the dramatic, whiny writing of a spoiled rich girl, complaining about being rich, successful and famous. I grit my teeth listening to legally blonde on drugs, I don't recommend any one else wasting their time with this.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Georgia Hays
  • 2017-02-06

BUY THIS and read now so we can talk about it.

Vulnerable, fearless and a moving read. I stayed up two nights in a row rearing through it.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Paula Helm
  • 2017-02-18

Honest

I have a difficult time supporting this memoir both financially and with a positive review. I just feel like I'm contributing to the author's ability to live a completely entitled and irresponsible life.

BUT...this book is honest. It was my window into incomprehensible self-destruction. Thank you, Cat, for teaching me about a world I never want to visit.

10 people found this helpful