Attempting Normal

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NATIONAL BESTSELLER

People make a mess.
 
Marc Maron was a parent-scarred, angst-filled, drug-dabbling, love-starved comedian who dreamed of a simple life: a wife, a home, a sitcom to call his own. But instead he woke up one day to find himself fired from his radio job, surrounded by feral cats, and emotionally and financially annihilated by a divorce from a woman he thought he loved. He tried to heal his broken heart through whatever means he could find—minor-league hoarding, Viagra addiction, accidental racial profiling, cat fancying, flying airplanes with his mind—but nothing seemed to work. It was only when he was stripped down to nothing that he found his way back.
 
Attempting Normal is Marc Maron’s journey through the wilderness of his own mind, a collection of explosively, painfully, addictively funny stories that add up to a moving tale of hope and hopelessness, of failing, flailing, and finding a way. From standup to television to his outrageously popular podcast, WTF with Marc Maron, Marc has always been a genuine original, a disarmingly honest, intensely smart, brutally open comic who finds wisdom in the strangest places. This is his story of the winding, potholed road from madness and obsession and failure to something like normal, the thrillingly comic journey of a sympathetic f***up who’s trying really hard to do better without making a bigger mess. Most of us will relate.

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
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This enhanced eBook edition contains six specially recorded audio segments in the style of the WTF podcast, with more than thirty-five minutes of brand-new, never-before-heard stories and reflections from Marc Maron.*
 
NATIONAL BESTSELLER

Marc Maron is “a master of spinning humor out of anguish” (Bookforum), even when that anguish is pretty clearly self-inflicted. In Attempting Normal, he threads together twenty-five stories from his life and near-death, from his first comedy road trips (with a fugitive junkie comic with a missing tooth) to his love affair with feral animals (his cat rescues are bloody epics) to his surprisingly moving tales of lust, heartbreak, and hope.  The stories are united by Maron’s thrilling storytelling style—intensely smart, disarmingly honest, and explosively funny. Together, they add up to a hilarious and moving tale of failing, flailing, and finding a way.
 
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
 
*Audio may not play on all readers. Please check your user manual for details.
By the author of Attempting Normal and host of the podcast WTF with Marc Maron, The Jerusalem Syndrome is The Gospel according to Maron: a spiritual memoir of your average hyperintelligent, ultraneurotic, superhip Jewish standup comedian and seeker. 


The Jerusalem Syndrome is a genuine psychological phenomenon that often strikes visitors to the Holy Land_the delusion that they are suddenly direct vessels for the voice of God. Marc Maron seems to have a distinctly American version of the Jerusalem Syndrome, which has led him on a lifelong quest for religious significance and revelation in the most unlikely of places.

Maron riffs on Beat phenomena with its sacred texts, established rituals, and prescribed pilgrimages. He spends some time exploring the dark side of things, as his obsessions with cocaine (known to Maron as “magic powder”), conspiracy theories, and famous self-destructive comedians convince him that the gates of hell open beneath Los Angeles. As his quest matures, he reveals the religious aspects of Corporate America, pontificating on the timeless beauty of the Coca-Cola logo and even taking a trip to the Philip Morris cigarette factory, where the workers puff their own products with a zealot-like fervor. The culmination of Maron’s Jerusalem Syndrome comes during his own tour of the Holy Land, where, with Sony camcorder glued to his eye socket, he comes face-to-face with his own ambiguous relationship to Judaism and reaches the brink of spiritual revelation_or is it nervous breakdown?

Marc Maron has considerably adapted and expanded his praised one-man show to craft a genuine literary memoir. Whether he’s a genuine prophet or a neurotic mess, he’ll make you laugh as you question the meaning of life.

“Marc Maron is blazingly smart, rapid-fire, and very funny . . . A brilliant and relentless screed.” –David Rakoff, author of Fraud

“Marc Maron is the first crazy person I’ve ever envied. In his brainiac-memoir-meets-hilarious-travelogue, he demonstrates the ability to tell a story with an extraordinary provocative intelligence that is regrettably shared by few.” _ Janeane Garofolo, comedian
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Additional Information

Publisher
Spiegel & Grau
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Published on
Apr 30, 2013
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Pages
240
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ISBN
9780679644132
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Entertainment & Performing Arts
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Humor / Form / Essays
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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From the break-out star of BuzzFeed comes a collection of hilariously anguished essays chronicling awful and humiliating moments from his life so far, proving “the mantra of his life and career: being a human is hard work, so you may as well make your story funny when you can” (Bustle).

Matt Bellassai has no idea what he’s doing. Well, to be fair, he did become semi-Internet famous by getting drunk at work, making him a socially acceptable—nay—professional alcoholic. He’s got some things figured out. But the rest is all just a terrible, disgusting mess.

This is Matt’s book. Just to clarify, though, it is absolutely not a memoir; Matt is far too young to have done anything worth remembering (though he did win an actual People’s Choice Award for his BuzzFeed web series, “Whine About It,” which is pretty good, if you ask his mother). This is also most certainly not a book of advice; he is too woefully ill-prepared for life to offer anything in the way of counsel. Call this a collection of awful moments that led to his grumbling, blundering adulthood—a chronicle of little indignities that, when taken together, amount to a life of hilarious anguish.

With keen wit and plenty of self-deprecation, Matt reveals how hard it is to shed his past as the Midwest’s biggest nerd, and how he came out to his friends and family (the closet was a bit messy). Matt also wrestles with the humiliations of adulthood, like giving up on love in New York City, and combating the inner voice that tells him to say aloud all the things the rest of us are smart enough to keep to ourselves.

You probably don’t need this book, but let’s be honest—you do. Since you’re already reading, you might as well pull up a chair, grab your glass(es) of wine, and enjoy.
By the author of Attempting Normal and host of the podcast WTF with Marc Maron, The Jerusalem Syndrome is The Gospel according to Maron: a spiritual memoir of your average hyperintelligent, ultraneurotic, superhip Jewish standup comedian and seeker. 


The Jerusalem Syndrome is a genuine psychological phenomenon that often strikes visitors to the Holy Land_the delusion that they are suddenly direct vessels for the voice of God. Marc Maron seems to have a distinctly American version of the Jerusalem Syndrome, which has led him on a lifelong quest for religious significance and revelation in the most unlikely of places.

Maron riffs on Beat phenomena with its sacred texts, established rituals, and prescribed pilgrimages. He spends some time exploring the dark side of things, as his obsessions with cocaine (known to Maron as “magic powder”), conspiracy theories, and famous self-destructive comedians convince him that the gates of hell open beneath Los Angeles. As his quest matures, he reveals the religious aspects of Corporate America, pontificating on the timeless beauty of the Coca-Cola logo and even taking a trip to the Philip Morris cigarette factory, where the workers puff their own products with a zealot-like fervor. The culmination of Maron’s Jerusalem Syndrome comes during his own tour of the Holy Land, where, with Sony camcorder glued to his eye socket, he comes face-to-face with his own ambiguous relationship to Judaism and reaches the brink of spiritual revelation_or is it nervous breakdown?

Marc Maron has considerably adapted and expanded his praised one-man show to craft a genuine literary memoir. Whether he’s a genuine prophet or a neurotic mess, he’ll make you laugh as you question the meaning of life.

“Marc Maron is blazingly smart, rapid-fire, and very funny . . . A brilliant and relentless screed.” –David Rakoff, author of Fraud

“Marc Maron is the first crazy person I’ve ever envied. In his brainiac-memoir-meets-hilarious-travelogue, he demonstrates the ability to tell a story with an extraordinary provocative intelligence that is regrettably shared by few.” _ Janeane Garofolo, comedian
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “Driving, wild and hilarious” (The Washington Post), here is the incredible “memoir” of the actor, gambler, raconteur, and Saturday Night Live veteran.

Don’t miss Norm’s new Netflix special, Hitler’s Dog, Gossip & Treachery!

When Norm Macdonald, one of the greatest stand-up comics of all time, was approached to write a celebrity memoir, he flatly refused, calling the genre “one step below instruction manuals.” Norm then promptly took a two-year hiatus from stand-up comedy to live on a farm in northern Canada. When he emerged he had under his arm a manuscript, a genre-smashing book about comedy, tragedy, love, loss, war, and redemption. When asked if this was the celebrity memoir, Norm replied, “Call it anything you damn like.”

Praise for Based on a True Story

“Dostoyevsky by way of 30 Rockefeller Center . . . the best new book I’ve read this year or last.”—The Wall Street Journal

“This book is absurd fiction. . . . Scathing and funny.”—The New York Times

“Hilarious and filled with turns of phrase and hidden beauty like only a collection of Norm Macdonald stories could be.”—Esquire

“Raucous . . . a hilarious, innovative work.”—A.V. Club

“Part personal history and part meta riff on celebrity memoirs, the book, it quickly becomes clear, is also just partly true (and all hilarious).”—Vulture

“Very, very, very funny! Thanks, Norm, for letting me be part of this Booker Prize–for–literature–quality effort.”—David Letterman

“Norm is brilliant and thoughtful and there is sensitivity and creative insight in his observations and stories. A lot of comics over the years have been compared to Mark Twain, but I think Norm is the only one who actually matches the guy in terms of his voice and ability. I seriously f**king love Norm Macdonald. Please buy his book. He probably needs the cash. He’s really bad with money.”—Louis C.K., from the foreword

“Norm is one of my all-time favorites, and this book was such a great read I forgot how lonely I was for a while.”—Amy Schumer

“I always thought Normie’s stand-up was the funniest thing there was. But this book gives it a run for its money.”—Adam Sandler

“Norm is one of the greatest stand-up comics who’s ever worked—a totally original voice. His sense of the ridiculous and his use of juxtaposition in his writing make him a comic’s comic. We all love Norm.”—Roseanne Barr

“Norm Macdonald makes me laugh my ass off. Who is funnier than Norm Macdonald? Nobody.”—Judd Apatow

“Norm Macdonald is more than a triple threat—he’s a septuple threat. He is smart, funny, wry, rakish, polite, rakish . . . no, wait. He is polite, insightful, and . . . aaaaah . . . warm. No. He’s exciting. Yeah. Exciting! You never know what he’ll do. Okay, then make that unpredictable. Add that up. He’s amazing.”—Alec Baldwin

“Norm is a double threat. His material and timing are both top-notch, which is unheard of. He is one of my favorites, both on- and off-stage.”—Dave Attell

“Letterman said it best: There is no one funnier than Norm Macdonald.”—Rob Schneider
"Public figures as you rarely if ever hear them: strikingly personal, surprisingly open, and profoundly emotional."
— Entertainment Weekly

"I’m British, so I’m medically dead inside, but even I can’t help but open up whenever I talk to Marc. He uses his honestly like a scalpel, cutting himself open in front of anyone he’s talking to, and in doing so, invites you to do the same."
—John Oliver

From the beloved and wildly popular podcast WTF with Marc Maron comes a book of intimate, hilarious and life changing conversations with some of the funniest, and most important people in the world like you’ve never heard them before. Waiting for the Punch features the stories and thoughts of such luminaries as Amy Schumer, Mel Brooks, Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, Sir Ian McKellen, Lorne Michels, Judd Apatow, Lena Dunham, Jimmy Fallon, RuPaul, Louis CK, David Sedaris, Bruce Springsteen, and President Obama.

This book is not simply a collection of these interviews, but instead something more wondrous: a running narrative of the world’s most recognizable names working through the problems, doubts, joys, triumphs, and failures we all experience. With each chapter covering a different topic: parenting, childhood, relationships, sexuality, success, failures and others, Punch becomes a sort of everyman’s guide to life. Barack Obama candidly discusses the challenges of the presidency, and the bittersweet moments of seeing your children grow up. Amy Schumer recounts the pain of her parents’ divorce. Molly Shannon uproariously remembers the time she and her best friend hopped a plane from Ohio to New York City when they were twelve on a dare. Amy Poehler dishes on why just because you become a parent doesn’t mean you have to like anybody else’s kids but your own. Bruce Springsteen expounds on the dual nature of desperation to both motivate and devastate.

Full of stories that are at once laugh-out loud funny, heartbreakingly honest, joyous, tragic and powerful, Waiting for the Punch is a book to be read from cover to cover, but it is also one to return to again and again.

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