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Attempting Normal | [Marc Maron]

Attempting Normal

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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--kup who’s trying really hard to do better without making a bigger mess. Most of us will relate.

©2013 Random House Audio (P)2013 Marc Maron

What the Critics Say

  • 10 Best Audiobooks of 2013 (Salon)
  • "An already enjoyable memoir, the audio version benefits from the improvisatory ease Maron developed as a stand-up comic, Air America radioman and host of the popular 'WTF with Marc Maron' podcast, from which much of the book's content was developed. The audiobook, which includes excerpts from the podcast, veers wildly from personal history to confession to documentary to punch line to psychoanalysis to intellectual rant to anti-intellectual armoring to inside joke to dead serious to deflatingly unhyperbolic to high to crude to political to nostalgic to philosophical to historical to proud to self-abasing, and it keeps the listener happily off-balance." (Kyle Minor, Salon)

    "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)

    "Devastatingly funny." (Los Angeles Times)

    "The stuff of comedy legend." (Rolling Stone)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (340 )
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4.4 (314 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer Federal Way, Wa, United States 07-19-13
    Amazon Customer Federal Way, Wa, United States 07-19-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Not for everybody"

    I've watched or listen to Marc of and on for a very long time. I knew what to expect going into this and wasn't disappointed. His comedy and his life isn't for everyone.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia Humbert Arizona 05-10-13
    Patricia Humbert Arizona 05-10-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Attempting Normal, Not Acheiving Normal"

    Mark Maron would make a fantastic fictional character. I would sit on the edge of my seat waiting for the next adventure of this excentric esoteric person. Mark Maron is not a fictional character, and that is.... distubing... . I hope I never meet him in person because I would be frightened of what inter-dialoge he may be having with himself about me. I think stand up comic was a great career choice for him, I don't know where else he would fit in normal society.

    Listen to the book the first chance you get, don't read it. The author reading the book really makes it perfect.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nadine Woodbridge, VA, United States 05-30-13
    Nadine Woodbridge, VA, United States 05-30-13

    Long commutes make for great listening time!

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    "One Comedian's Life Can Be Interestingly Complex!"
    If you could sum up Attempting Normal in three words, what would they be?

    honest ... complex ... informative


    What aspect of Marc Maron’s performance would you have changed?

    Mr. Maron reads a little fast. Perhaps that's how he does his stand-up so maybe I'm the silly one judging him on how he does his regular routine with a unique comedic timing. Yet, I felt every chapter was genuinely something he endured through his life. Perhaps, he simply read with genuine passion.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I didn't want to listen to it all in one sitting only because I'm a commute-driving/daily workout audiobook listener who works an already overly stimulating job, and this book was quite a lot in one sitting. However, Mr. Maron was fascinating in pieces! For those who have less stimulating lives, this audiobook will really get you thinking.


    Any additional comments?

    The lives of comedians are very perplexing to me, and yet, somehow I always wanted to know more about them. Mr. Maron did just that! While telling us all about his life, he told me about the lives of the best comics, and I appreciated that. But if Mr. Maron has any other books, I'll definitely get them, but it'll be in book-form - words on paper - that is.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A Reader Michigan USA 03-23-14
    A Reader Michigan USA 03-23-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Liked it"
    What did you love best about Attempting Normal?

    I liked this book a lot. I've listened to his podcast on and off. I recognized a couple of bits from there, which is cool.

    I do have one issue with it.

    The only thing I'd say is Maron comes off as a bit of a racist in this book. It's kind of intense and surprising and I don't remember thinking that while I listened to his podcasts. In one chapter he talks about being afraid on the plane because he thinks it is about to be subject to a terrorist attack because some guy of an unclear ethnicity is standing by the bathroom. Maron has a panic attack over it. What the hell? Really? It's under this guise of "you know what I mean," wink wink, as if most people have thoughts like that when seeing men of different ethnicities on airplanes, which is just stupid, and makes me think, "Wow, old white guys really do think that stuff, huh? Amazing."

    In another chapter he talks about seeing black guys with afros and thinking what typical black guys they are and how cool that is. How cool it was the time a black guy shined his shoes. How cool it was the time he was indignant on behalf of a black guy. How he thought black people were "real" when he was growing up, though he was afraid of them. But hey, he's not racist, he says, he likes Richard Pryor after all!

    It doesn't feel like "being honest in the name of art" or whatever, or like he's expressing the racism that exists in the U.S. It just sounds like he's racist.

    Other than that, I really did like the book.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada 01-25-14
    Richard Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada 01-25-14
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    "BRING A GODDAMN DIAPER!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Attempting Normal to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read it but probably, Marc's voice really sells the jokes and had me loling every second of my life


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Marc


    What does Marc Maron bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Inflection


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Attempting Normal


    Any additional comments?

    "I'm so fucking pissed, this book made my laugh so fucking hard I pissed my fucking pants in the car, I had to drive home in my fucking pissed pants and explain that to my wife who was fucking angry as shit about that because they were expensive chinos that she had got me from banana republic for my birthday if your gonna listen to this fucking book for the love of Christ get some depends diapers and let loose because this fuckers gonna have you rolling on the floor spraying your piss hole dry!"

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Graeme Merrylands, Australia 11-02-13
    Graeme Merrylands, Australia 11-02-13 Member Since 2010
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    "A sad, funny man"

    I'm sure this book will polarise listeners / readers. If you have your life all together, then you will most likely thoroughly dislike this needy, self centred and often pathetic man, and hate the book. If however, you have you own special basket of issues you wrestle with on a daily basis, chances are you will warm to and be charmed by this needy, self centred and often pathetic man, and love the book.
    I loved the book - its one of the best I've heard on audible. Laugh out loud funny in places.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Geoffrey TUCSON, AZ, United States 11-30-13
    Geoffrey TUCSON, AZ, United States 11-30-13
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    "Maron's story is neurotic, self-aware and pure."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Attempting Normal to be better than the print version?

    I do not know.


    What other book might you compare Attempting Normal to and why?

    Howard Stern's Private Parts.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Not one in particular. The narrative is great from start to stop. If you like WTF, then you know Marc is not afraid to bare his soul...and the demons which plague him.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. I was compelled to keep going, although I could not due to real life time constraints.


    Any additional comments?

    Totally worth a glimpse into Marc's past, present and what we hope for his future. Plus...nobody tells a story about a person better than the subject!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jehovah Jones Chico, CA, United States 09-19-13
    Jehovah Jones Chico, CA, United States 09-19-13 Listener Since 2008
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    "Great for just about anyone!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. Marc is not only funny, but manages to be amazingly honest while doing so. His accounts of his own experiences are both harrowing, and hilarious at the same time. His world view is different from most, and the way things are described is evidence to this.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I don't recall one single part that stood out, however I remember laughing out loud several times which is quite rare for me. There are several stories that are too outrageous to be made up, and another few that seem to be quite easy to relate to my own life and experiences.


    What about Marc Maron’s performance did you like?

    These questions are fairly annoying...

    Marc did extremely well, and I'm fairly positive that after listening to the podcast for a while that I wouldn't have been able to accept someone else reading this book. His voice is expressive in a way that brings out the tone of what he is trying to say.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I almost did. I listened to most of it during a car ride, and the rest while working.

    I do wish it was longer...


    Any additional comments?

    No... Audible has drawn this review experience out quite long enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nathan OAKLAND, CA, United States 08-06-13
    Nathan OAKLAND, CA, United States 08-06-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Better than I expected"
    What did you love best about Attempting Normal?

    I appreciate how honest Maron is in this book. There are many funny stories, a couple that drag a bit, and some self indulgent moments, so it's not perfect, but over all a great listen.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Maron makes me feel better about my own life by sharing the lows of his life.


    Have you listened to any of Marc Maron’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    If you like WTF you will like this book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lindsay Marina, CA, United States 06-04-13
    Lindsay Marina, CA, United States 06-04-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Have already recommended this book to many people!"

    I love his story telling ability, and his views on this crazy world! The book is great, I have recommended it along with this podcast to many! He's incredibly talented, and has a refreshing yet honest view of the world. I'm happy for all of his success, and wish his the best! Get this book!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • The Reluctant Hermit
    Scotland
    1/7/14
    Overall
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    "loved it"

    A very funny,clever, witty insecure and insightful man who made me laugh loud out. The fact that he likes cats gives him an added appeal in my view and his (presumably) honest portrayal of his love life was a joy...in parts. I had never heard of him previously but would certainly buy any further books he writes. Highly recommended

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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