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Self-Tanner for the Soul

How I Ran Away to Europe and Found My Inner Glow (When Life Got Dark)
Written by: Cat Marnell
Narrated by: Cat Marnell
Length: 6 hrs
3.5 out of 5 stars (33 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From Cat Marnell, author of the New York Times best-selling memoir How to Murder Your Life, an irresistibly candid and magical travelogue of soul-seeking and self-healing

The spring of 2017 should have been the greatest time of Cat Marnell’s life. She was 34 and living the New York glamour life downtown, with a thriving career and a best-selling memoir. Instead, it was one of the worst. She’d gone through a protracted and traumatic breakup, nearly run out of money, and, during a month-long binge, "done something horrible" to herself that she couldn’t undo.

Her troubles mounting, Marnell makes a radically simple choice: She decides to leave her problems behind. She puts her belongings into storage and uses the last of her book advance to buy a one-way plane ticket to Europe. For the next four months, Marnell is a woman on the move. With nothing but a suitcase (Sammy) and a bag of wigs to her name, and no agenda other than to follow her heart (and maybe the Libertines' Pete Doherty), Marnell embarks on a profound personal journey, from late-night "Wizard Walks" in mysterious cities to almost drowning in a river - all while learning to face down her demons.

Whimsical, infectious, and utterly life-affirming, Self-Tanner for the Soul reminds us all of the life-changing magic of running away.

©2019 Cat Marnell (P)2019 Audible Originals, LLC.

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a 34 year old behaves like she's 18

We all love to hate-consume things that make us feel better about ourselves. I read a couple interviews with Cat and she sounded fine so I thought this book would be tolerable as a mindless escape while I inputted data for a project. What confuses me the most is how someone who has had a long writing career could write something that sounds like a ghost writer for a Gossip Girl Euro-trip spin-off series where the characters are all 18. Definitely not worth even using your one free first time credit with Audible.

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Instant Return!

I couldn't make it past her third day, between the irritating voice which just makes her come off as completely vapid, I honestly can't believe that this is considered a "best-seller" and people endorse this garbage. Absolute waste of my time, had to review this before returning as you can't once you've returned it. Save your time and your energy with this one!

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Art travel writing with femme edge

I spent the day drawing and listening to Cat Marnell. I binged it. I love her (have since pre-HTMYL when she had her Vice column) and her interesting art-inspired observations. She’s so well-read (give her credit, World), feminist, stunning; with a remarkable, raw talent. She’s a real writer and her vulnerability is fearless. Listening to her was like having intelligent girl talk with a friend I loved for who she is, privilege, addiction, bulimia all of it.
I think she should have her own podcast.

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Live vicariously through Cat!

I enjoyed this book about Cat travelling all over Europe. This book is interesting, honest, and unfiltered true to Cat form!

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BO-RING

Worst book I have ever purchased or listened to (or, TRIED to listen to).
Don't waste your money.
Her voice is irritating and makes her seem unintelligent and simple-minded.
The story line is ridiculously useless and mindless.
Returning.

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  • CC
  • 2019-10-24

Substance free and self indulgent

There is no “inner glow” radiating from this story. Unless the inner glow she found was from raising her ego by listening to her read her own journal entires out loud.

This book actually made me sad. Marnell starts off reading it like a girl at my high school cafeteria table who is sharing super juicy gossip about on the nuns.
Her tone slows down slightly into a self absorbed “I can’t believe how funny and beautiful I think I am and everything is lovely and you are so very lucky I am even telling you these things”

What I learned, wigs are heavy. Addiction still keeps her going with amphetamines and booze. We don’t know why she is carrying so many wigs because she doesn’t feel like talking about it. Her hardest days were when she got into the water to float and her things got wet, when she packed her Adderall in check-on luggage and had mild withdrawal that she did not fully explain, and when she realized she was out of money, but lols, that fix is just a call away to her mom and manager because she has money floating around that she doesn’t know about because her book was an international success.
Het aloof demeanor left me sad. The woman is not in a good space and it seems under contract for this book. She phoned it in, there was no realness or raw honesty as in her previous book. This is a waste of $20 for what is nothing more than verbal Instagram.

Oh, and for those of you who are down or sad, or lives are falling apart travel! And those of you who cannot afford traveling the world for months, Marnell’s narrow minded and self indulgent advice is to simply work out and get your mind off things.

14 people found this helpful

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  • GCS18
  • 2019-11-04

Just No

Sorry this is terrible, slow, monotonous and a huge disappointment to me personally. That said her first book was a true work of Art. So obviously she is a major talent. This one she phoned in.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Katy Malatesta
  • 2019-11-04

Not sure what the point is

I was gripped by Cat Marnell's first book, How to Murder Your Life, and have listened to it several times. Her life and her choices are really unbelievable, and listening to her talk about the jams she repeatedly gets herself into (and out of, by some miracle) is an adrenaline rush for those of us who would define "living on the edge" as hearing about how other people murder their life...safely...from the comfort of our sheltered homes. But this audiobook is not good because it doesn't bring the shock factor that we've come to expect from Marnell. There are no real stories, no arcs, no lessons learned (or not learned), it just feels like a lot of repetitive streams of consciousness that never quite go anywhere. Cat runs of out money, she stays in crappy hostels, she gets in a lot of cars with people who aren't really professional drivers, many gross, old (her words) European men oogle her and want to sleep with her -rinse, repeat. Oh, she also has an obsession with Pete Dougherty and starts the book off by following him around on several tour stops, which amounts to very little. And maybe the real problem with this story is...it's not a story. Cat's reputation and brand is shock factor, and without that this audiobook is rather forgettable.

5 people found this helpful

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  • SBG
  • 2019-10-23

It was fun... for a while.

I basically get a huge kick out of Cat Marnell and truly enjoyed her first book. This one -- which I would recommend to die-hard Cat Marnell fans only -- started out as an entertaining romp but got a little tiresome about halfway through. By the end of the book I was rolling my eyes and was wondering how/why she was even getting paid for this dialed-in, repetitive, diary-format narrative. She checks into a new city, goes out on a "wizard walk," gets loaded on wine, and misses her flights and buses -- lather, rinse, repeat. It becomes less and less "dope" and more and more.... well, dopey. If the nonstop wacky antics of a precocious teenager in her late 30s is your thing, you'll like this, but it gets seriously old seriously quickly, dude.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Cecelia
  • 2019-10-30

The world’s only 13-year-old 35-year-old

I kind of liked How to Murder Your life for the shock factor but this is (don’t ask me how) even more insufferable and self-indulgent and even less interesting than the first one. Skip it. There’s no growth, surprises or anything actually juicy left from this grownup adolescent.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Bel Fiore Brands
  • 2019-11-01

honest, real and entertaining

loved listening to cat marnells journey throughout Europe. makes me want to plan a trip! the honesty and vulnerability was admirable.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-10-18

So obsessed with Cat Marnell

When I heard that Cat’s newest “book” was only available in audio form, I was a little annoyed. But there is literally no other way to tell this story! Cat reading her journal entries is absolutely perfect. She is so fascinating, charming, and brilliant-I felt like I was listening to a friend tell me about her adventures. I cannot wait to see or hear what she does next.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-03-16

boring

i loved how to murder your life but this book was so boring. i stuck it out cuz i love cat but it was just a white ladys trip to europe and wasn’t as well written or engaging as HTMYL. i wish maybe she had edited her journal entries instead of just publishing them as she wrote them :( very sweet but low energy and boring

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  • heather
  • 2020-01-29

it was just ok for me

Now dont get me wrong I love Cat, I have listened to How to Murder Your Life like 20 times! With that being said, I found this book to be boring as shit with the same thing being said over and over in every place. She walked around, went to a bar, ate some food, looked at the moon. Oh she missed a lot of busses, went to the same concerts over and over in different places and swam. She was able to experience things that not many will be able to do and yet her descriptions were not good at all, I didnt feel like I was there with her like I did in the first book. I'm not sure if it was because she was on drugs or because she wasnt on drugs but I found this book to be a lot of rambling repetition and most likely written only to fulfill a contract. It just didnt feel like her heart was in it. Even her speaking voice was flat. Sorry Cat, I still love you and will listen to the next book, but this one just didnt do it for me. Maybe I just had too high of hopes.

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  • Middle-aged know it all
  • 2019-12-28

If you liked her first book, SKIP THIS ONE

I loved the author's first book: Interesting stories, difficult situations, a good story arc. This book reads like a 16 year old's diary of a trip to Europe where she talks about: how she got to a location (plane or train), where she stayed (amazing hotel or bad hotel), what she did (walked and drink a lot). She goes through each, painful day, and absolutely nothing happens. She sees some "amazing things" but that's about as articulate as she gets in describing her experience.
I haven't finished the book. Perhaps it will redeem itself. But that seems a vague hope at present. I'd recommend passing on this one if you like this author.