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Attempting Normal Hardcover – April 30, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 307 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Attempting Normal
 
“I laughed so hard reading this book.”—David Sedaris
 
“Funny . . . surprisingly deep . . . laced with revelatory insights.”—Los Angeles Times
 
“Superb . . . A reason that [it] is a superior example of an overcrowded genre—the comedian memoir—is Mr. Maron’s hardheaded approach to his history, the wisdom of experience.”The New York Times
 
“Marc Maron is a legend because he is both a great comic and a brilliant mind. Attempting Normal is a deep, hilarious megashot of feeling and truth as only this man can administer.”—Sam Lipsyte

Praise for Marc Maron and WTF
 
“The stuff of comedy legend.”Rolling Stone 
 
“Marc Maron is a startlingly honest, compelling, and hilarious comedian-poet. Truly one of the greatest of all time.”—Louis C.K.
 
“I’ve known Marc for years and I can tell you first hand that he’s passionate, fearless, honest, self-absorbed, neurotic, and screamingly funny.”—David Cross
 
“Revered among his peers . . . raw and unflinchingly honest.”Entertainment Weekly
 
“Devastatingly funny.”Los Angeles Times
 
“For a comedy nerd, this show is nirvana.”—Judd Apatow

About the Author

Marc Maron is a stand-up comedian and host of the podcast WTF with Marc Maron.  He has appeared in his own comedy specials on Comedy Central, HBO, and Netflix, and his sitcom, Maron, airs on IFC. He lives in Los Angeles.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Spiegel & Grau; First Edition edition (April 30, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812992873
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812992878
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (307 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #337,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I discovered Marc Maron on April 1, 2004, when the new Air America Radio morning show, "Morning Sedition" premiered. Over the next year-and-a half, Marc Maron, Mark Riley, and a brilliant team of writers created the greatest sociopolitical radio show since Jean Shepherd -- an unheralded gem that only a few rabid fans recognized. Little did we know that while we clung to comedy bits like "Presidential Palm Pilot", "Mourning Remembrance", "Marching Orders from the Streisand Compound" and "Sammy the Stem Cell" to keep us sane during the Bush years, what was keeping us from despair was nearly destroying Marc Maron from the inside out.

Maron isn't everyone's cup of tea. Perhaps you have to have lived in a head that works like this to laugh until you cry when you listen to WTF or go to a live broadcast or stand-up performance. But no one else gets to the angst of life in 21st century America the way Marc Maron does. Maron seems now to have been ahead of his time, and in these anxious times, his time has clearly arrived. "Attempting Normal" is a hilarious, bitter, bemused, brutally honest self-examination by a man who hit rock bottom and clawed his way back out in a way he never anticipated. At times this book will make you cringe with its honesty; sort of like knowing too much about the sex life of your parents. But Maron's lack of boundaries gives him an intimacy with his increasing number of fans that is all too rare. Unless you were fortunate enough to be born into The Perfect Family, you will see something of yourself in "Attempting Normal."

Perhaps Maron shares too much of himself. But there is no more generous a performer in the business. We knew about his gifts as a stand-up comic and has an interviewer. Earlier generations could make do with gentler-by-comparison humorists such as Mark Twain, Robert Benchley, and Jean Shepherd. But we live now in loud and absurd times that require a loud voice to rail against the absurdity.
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Format: Hardcover
Rarely is there a book that reveals such frighteningly funny and grossly abnormal honest episodes in a person's life that the reader may feel dirty after some chapters. But so what, the experience is worth it. It is laugh out loud funny (and sad), and you realize that stand-up comics (or most of them) are truly different or more scary than clowns, mimes, and street deviants. Maron tells us that many are self destructive and intense who crave acceptance, acknowledgement, and approval from others. In this book, Maron shares his experiences with us in the hope that we are all going to be okay; this sharing of experiences, and your realization that we all go through a lot of crap, can heal the world or at least you.

Maron, one of America's top insightful and thoughtful comedians, is an obsessive over-thinking ruminater (The Ruminater). He is a hoarder of items and experiences. He opens the book wondering why he hoards so many trinkets and how his mother and brother would deal with his relics should he pre-decease them (A college library is not going to crave his scribbles and framed 'Apocalypse Now' lobby card).

Maron fills the book with life events that inform us of his family and friends: his father competing for attention with his grandfather's corpse at his grandfather's NJ funeral; his interactions with other comics "doing their time;" a heroin addled comic who did his finest when high; his feral cats on the night before the 2004 GOP convention; his self-funded research project titled "Who is My Ex F*ing" after his 2nd wife left him; the "freedom" of masturbation in a hotel room; the girlfriend who was incapable of orgasm due to past issues abuse.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A lot of ATTEMPTING NORMAL addresses my questions for comedians: “Why are you like this?” and “What happened to you?” The answers I find are doozies. Surprise, he’s got crazy parents. Isn’t that always part of the reason? He’s a former addict, a recovering rageaholic, and, twice divorced. The stories he tells in this book are real and compelling and some of them cut to the very core of the human condition. Like all good comedians, he’s a great storyteller. His writing is intelligent and insightful and I’m glad to have found it. I think this guy’s got a good heart, too. Through all his musings and misadventures, he proves himself to be very self-aware and accepting, owning all the s***ty things he’s done, but still in the fight, trying to be a better person, to make some bigger contribution. The big takeaway from this book, kind of the catch-phrase, if you will, is, “people make a mess.” And then they go on.

“I look at every book as a self-help book,” Maron says. Yeah, I get that. I read this book looking for what I’m supposed to do next. (Kidding. Kind of.)

It’s not all doom and gloom, this book.

Well, it kind of is. But it’s funny and it’s smart and it puts into words a lot of the things I wish I could talk about in my own writing.

“We’re all carrying around some s***. When you hear the things people have gone through and realize you’ve gone through the same, it provides an amazing amount of relief. It give us hope. And I think that’s what we’re supposed to get from each other. The hope that, maybe, just maybe, we’re going to be okay. Maybe.” ― Marc Maron, Attempting Normal
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