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Attempting Normal

de Marc Maron

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2502783,979 (3.77)5
The stand-up comedian and popular podcaster tells the story of his winding, potholed road from madness and obsession and failure to something like normal, while still trying hard to do better without making a bigger mess.
  1. 11
    The Jerusalem Syndrome: My Life as a Reluctant Messiah de Marc Maron (micahth)
    micahth: If you are interested in Marc Maron, you will certainly want to read this rougher but still entertaining work.

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So, I think I may have finished this book in record time, but that doesn't speak to much except that the past few days I've had less to do that normal and was inclined to read. Well, and it was a pretty good book.

I'm a fan of Marc Maron. In fact, I may be a little obsessed. I had heard about his podcast a year or so ago, and it kept popping up, and I didn't really have a podcast I was listening to regularly since Keith Olbermann went off the air. So I gave it a try with his Chris Rock episode. that was a good one, but I didn't get fully on board right away. I downloaded only those big names I was interested in listening to, and generally speaking skipped Marc's intro rant. Funny. Now, I'll listen to the intro even if I don't intend to listen to the guest (like his recent interview with Huey Lewis), although I probably will listen, because even if I'm not interested in the guest I really dig Marc. He's funny, he suffers from some of the same anxieties as I do, and like all things that become routines in my life, he feels comfortable to me. I am nothing if not a creature of habit.

That isn't to diminish the quality of his podcast, and I preordered his book because I really wanted to read it. He's an English major who went into a career that (believe it or not) I considered myself as a young boy-- though not at a time when I was seriously considering careers of any sort. I was never really going to be a comedian (I'm not funny), but I think Maron's and my brains work enough alike for me to be fascinated. So I ordered the book, and read it in two days.

It was good, but then personal essays are easy to read. To be fair, the first few essays weren't as quick reads as the rest, for whatever reason. Maron's language is good, descriptive without being self-important, and he tells a good story. As some other writers of this genre are wont to do, Maron avoids spelling out the lessons of his experiences, unless it serves the joke, and I appreciate that. Didacticism is easy enough to come by, but there was never really any danger here. I don't think his intention was to teach us anything, anyway, but that's not to say he won't.

As far as laughter goes, the second half ("Normal") is a bit more laugh-out-loud funny, but the whole book reads like a humorous conversation with a natural story teller. The story, in this case, is almost always Marc Maron and his life, but that's what you buy books like this for. In the most basic way, it's more honest as a result.

I dunno. It's not a novel, there isn't really any subtext and I didn't react in any particular way to this book. Usually for these wanderings I find myself chasing some tangent or another, but this experience wasn't like that. Instead, it was an honest, interesting couple evenings with a guy who's voice is familiar enough to me that I could hear him narrate. Nothing less than I expected. Good times. ( )
  allan.nail | Jul 11, 2021 |
I loved it, I recognized myself in certain parts, which made me feel both seen and heard. I relished the honesty. Reading it made me proud that I promote his show Maron via thedollop.net. It also made me a little horny. There's your stream-of-consciousness, alphabet soup, heartfelt, five-star review. ( )
  carlahaunted | Jan 8, 2019 |
It’s only January but I’m going to call it. This is likely to be my favourite audiobook of the year.

You can buy the book here.

( )
  graffiti.living | Nov 20, 2018 |
Great book ( )
  bibliosk8er | Aug 16, 2018 |
Just depressing. I didn't fine it funny and kept putting it aside. ( )
  jmellman | Mar 28, 2018 |
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The stand-up comedian and popular podcaster tells the story of his winding, potholed road from madness and obsession and failure to something like normal, while still trying hard to do better without making a bigger mess.

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