Memphis Reads- HIGH ON ARRIVAL by Mackenzie Phillips

Staff Book Reviews

High on Arrival: A Memoir by Mackenzie Phillips, Simon and Schuster, 2009- Reviewed by Andrea K.

I am at that age where I remember watching Mackenzie Phillips on the small screen as “Julie Cooper” on ONE DAY AT A TIME, but I never saw her big screen debut on AMERICAN GRAFFITI. Of course when I watched her on television, I was too young to know who her father was, let alone how twisted her real life really was.

Her father, Papa John Phillips, from the 1970’s band, The Mamas and Papas, was in and out of Mackenzie’s life like a tempestuous storm. Leaving Mackenzie’s mother and first wife for sixteen year-old Michelle, John Phillips left a hole in Mackenzie’s life. Whenever he did come around to visit, he was usually high or drunk or both, but his daughter just wanted him around, period.

To maintain a relationship with her increasingly insane, drugged up father, Mackenzie began do drugs with him at an alarming young age. (Can we say 11 years old, people?) As a bonding experience, her father injected her with cocaine the first time she got high.

Continuing on a downward spiral, Mackenzie literally craved time and affection from Papa John but didn’t how to spend quality time with him.

Mackenzie is utterly blunt and honest about her failed stints in rehab and getting fired from OTAAT. She tells about her fans when she was Julie Cooper and how they watched the show to see how skinny she was going to get.

The most horrific part of her memoir is when she admitted she woke up from a blackout to be in bed with her father.  She goes on to tell how the two began a consensual relationship for 10 years! I feel sorry for her if that is the truth; but honestly, I would worse for her if she is lying for attention. Incest is not something you can joke around about.

This was one of the sick and twisted celebrity memoirs you will just keep reading for the shock value and to see what happens next. Unfortunately, people really don’t know what goes on behind celebrity doors so books like High on Arrival throw back the curtain and expose the (ugly) truth.

Andrea K., Staff