Attempting Normal

Attempting Normal

Attempting Normal

A few weeks ago, I heard that pro wrestler CM Punk had been a recent guest on Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast.  Being a fan of Punk, I thought this would also be a great opportunity to check out Maron’s podcast.  The two talked for over an hour and while there was a lot from Punk that I had heard from previous interviews, Maron’s comedic style kept things interesting.  Despite admitting early on that he knew next to nothing about professional wrestling, he still managed to find common ground with Punk and came away with an excellent interview.

I didn’t subscribe to the podcast right away but I liked what I heard and knew I would return to it eventually.  Credits had begun piling up on my Audible account and I began searching for something to spend them on.  I noticed Marc Maron had written a book and the audio version was narrated by the man himself.  I thought, why not?  I clicked on the novel, downloaded it and began listening to Maron’s neurotic brand of humor.

Turns out Maron and I are a lot alike.  Well, when you remove the fact that he’s infinitely more talented, successful and creatively driven, we’re a lot alike. OK, so we’re a little alike.  We both spend a lot of time living inside our own head, mentally preparing ourselves for the worst possible scenario.  The book opens with a tale about Marc being absolutely convinced that the plane he’s on is about to be hijacked.  There’s no real evidence to suggest this other than a sideways look another passenger throws his way.  It’s not long before he becomes the one that everyone is worried about – he’s not telling anyone why exactly he’s mentally freaking out – well, other than the excuse of “there’s this situation.. in my head”.

Most of the book revolves around Marc’s inability to put a value on his own self-worth.  He often can’t understand why anyone finds him funny, would want to be in a relationship with him or why anyone listens to his podcast.  He runs through two failed marriages, nightmare bookings, near death experiences and his experience trying to domesticate feral cats.  It sounds depressing but remember, this is a comedian and a damn funny one at that.

It was a quick read – only 220 pages (or just over five hours if you’re listening) – that certainly has its ups and downs.  Including stories about failed marriages as well as terrible road trips feel like standard stand-up comedy tent poles.  While the book isn’t anything overly memorable, it has made me want to check out more from Maron.

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