Written By: Cat Marnell

Narrated By: Cat Marnell

Date: January 2017

Duration: 11 hours 59 minutes


From the New York Times bestselling author and former beauty editor Cat Marnell, a “vivid, maddening, heartbreaking, very funny, chaotic” (The New York Times) memoir of prescription drug addiction and self-sabotage, set in the glamorous world of fashion magazines and downtown nightclubs.

At twenty-six, 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 the 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 Condé Nast building to seedy nightclubs, from doctors’ offices and mental hospitals, Marnell “treads a knife edge between glamorizing her own despair and rendering it with savage honesty.…with the skill of a pulp novelist” (The New York Times Book Review) what it is like to live in the wild, chaotic, often sinister world of a young female addict who can’t say no.

Combining “all the intoxicating intrigue of a thriller and yet all the sobering pathos of a gifted writer’s true-life journey to recover her former health, happiness, ambitions, and identity” (Harper’s Bazaar), How to Murder Your Life is mesmerizing, revelatory, and necessary.


  • Amy F.

    I didn’t want it to end. Probably the best book I read (heard) in a long time. Also the most honest (and relatable) addiction memoir yet. A masterpiece. The metaphors and pop culture references were gold. There were times where I wanted to cry and times I could not stop laughing. Well done!

  • C Favro

    Loved it! The way she talks about her addiction, I felt sucked into the desperation kind of feeling she describes and I couldn't stop listening! Also I would feel kind of icky after listening for a while, to me a great sign of a good book is that it can give you a feeling that stays with you for a while. She is brutally honest and real and I appreciate how she points out what a privileged brat she was, but addiction does not discriminate. Great listen, hope to hear more from her like maybe going in to some of the side stories in a separate book that she didn't have time to go into with this one.

  • philip t

    like being stuck next to a mindless teenager on an 11 hour flight. There was no substance or story of value between her horrible constant screaming about pests and her diatribes of clothing names and outfits. save yourself time and read a middle school girls diary. it will be shorter.

  • Nicholas D

    Incredible and brutally honest book. Hearing it in Cat's voice brings the whole book to life.

  • Kristin Waite

    This book is mindless, shallow and repetitive. It sounds like the audience target is 17-21 however the content is much more mature. Cat wrote exactly how she speaks... like a valley girl. I could hardly listen.

  • Angela Christopher

    Well, this is real. Although she lived the life of a privileged drug addict, she shows how not glamorous this lifestyle is. I am approximately the same age as her, so I appreciated the timeline. My life is very different. I am a chiropractor and haven't as much as taken a Tylenol in 20 years, but ironically my husband is a pain management doctor. We see the struggle in our office and it is real. Today with electronic health records and rgulations on urinalysis, prescription drugs are much harder to come by on the legal market, but if you try hard enough, you can just as effectively murder you're life. I hope this helps to detour a few people from this lifestyle. I also (truly) appreciate the sarcasm, foul language and lack of political correctness. Rock on!

How to Murder Your Life: A Memoir

by Cat Marnell

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How to Murder Your Life: A Memoir, Cat Marnell
How to Murder Your Life: A Memoir, Cat Marnell
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