Customer Reviews for

Attempting Normal

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

I received this book through Goodreads' First Reads program. Be

I received this book through Goodreads' First Reads program. Be aware before you continue to read this that I quote the book in a few places. I don't think they qualify as spoilers, per se, but they do reflect some of the more philosophical moments in the book.




The ...
I received this book through Goodreads' First Reads program. Be aware before you continue to read this that I quote the book in a few places. I don't think they qualify as spoilers, per se, but they do reflect some of the more philosophical moments in the book.




The strength of Marc Maron's comedy lies (and has always lain) in the honesty of his stories. He strips back the layers so many comedians use to shield themselves, throwing himself out there for anyone to laugh with or laugh at.




Maron's latest book, Attempting Normal, transfers his angry, self-deprecating (and occasionally self-abusive) sense of humor to prose. I will admit that while I did not often laugh at the situations presented within (Maron's sense of humor doesn't entirely mesh with mine), there is a certain appealing frankness about the whole thing. Maron splices comedy and pathos, but as absurd as some of the situations may seem, his simple, down-to-earth narration lends an air of credence to them.




Take, for example, this quote: "I felt like I needed closure. I needed to be punched in the heart with the reality of the situation. That is what emotional connection is to me sometimes. Pain makes me know I am alive. Joy and comfort are awkward and make me want to die. I needed to see in her eyes that she didn't care about me and I had no power over her. Of course, I was hedging my bets. Some part of me hoped we would once again lock into that shared emotional frequency that undeniably connected us. I thought that connection was indelible, no matter what happened between us, even if it was like a tattoo that seemed like the right thing to do at the time but is now just a fading green mistake."




This resonated with me, likely because I have gone through the same situation. In fact, this is the power inherent in Maron's stories--the fact that we've been there too.




As someone who is highly invested in the fine arts (theatre, writing, and music in particular), this quote stuck out at me: 




"The point is, maybe I need to re-immerse myself in fine arts. They're magic. It doesn't always work but the good stuff, or at least the stuff that resonates, should engage your heart in a way that can reflect, sate, define, amplify, provoke, or relieve what seems like chaos or confusion in your life. The art allows you to experience it and better understand your own undefined or renegade emotions. Sometimes the art gives you new things to worry about. That's some good art there."




This, I think, is the core of the fine arts. It allows us to either conceal or confront the issues in our lives in a way that is, for the most part, socially acceptable, and provides a benefit to society.




These are just a few examples of some rather philosophical moments sprinkled throughout the book; while they may be "deep thoughts", they are always presented in an impressively accessible way.




Overall, I was impressed with Maron's latest work. While the laughs may be aimed at a different audience, the situations are things we can all relate to, tied together by Maron's expert storytelling ability.

posted by JScheibe on May 11, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Disappointing tale of a guy who won't grow up

I like quirky, anti-authority people, but Maron puts the i-i-i in narcissistic. He ruins relationships left and right, all in the name of honing his craft as a comic, and then shrugs, as if, "The world must accept me as I am." The book has some funny passages, but overa...
I like quirky, anti-authority people, but Maron puts the i-i-i in narcissistic. He ruins relationships left and right, all in the name of honing his craft as a comic, and then shrugs, as if, "The world must accept me as I am." The book has some funny passages, but overall it's not very entertaining. Save your money for something else.

posted by pensacolamark on July 4, 2014

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  • Posted May 11, 2013

    I received this book through Goodreads' First Reads program. Be

    I received this book through Goodreads' First Reads program. Be aware before you continue to read this that I quote the book in a few places. I don't think they qualify as spoilers, per se, but they do reflect some of the more philosophical moments in the book.




    The strength of Marc Maron's comedy lies (and has always lain) in the honesty of his stories. He strips back the layers so many comedians use to shield themselves, throwing himself out there for anyone to laugh with or laugh at.




    Maron's latest book, Attempting Normal, transfers his angry, self-deprecating (and occasionally self-abusive) sense of humor to prose. I will admit that while I did not often laugh at the situations presented within (Maron's sense of humor doesn't entirely mesh with mine), there is a certain appealing frankness about the whole thing. Maron splices comedy and pathos, but as absurd as some of the situations may seem, his simple, down-to-earth narration lends an air of credence to them.




    Take, for example, this quote: "I felt like I needed closure. I needed to be punched in the heart with the reality of the situation. That is what emotional connection is to me sometimes. Pain makes me know I am alive. Joy and comfort are awkward and make me want to die. I needed to see in her eyes that she didn't care about me and I had no power over her. Of course, I was hedging my bets. Some part of me hoped we would once again lock into that shared emotional frequency that undeniably connected us. I thought that connection was indelible, no matter what happened between us, even if it was like a tattoo that seemed like the right thing to do at the time but is now just a fading green mistake."




    This resonated with me, likely because I have gone through the same situation. In fact, this is the power inherent in Maron's stories--the fact that we've been there too.




    As someone who is highly invested in the fine arts (theatre, writing, and music in particular), this quote stuck out at me: 




    "The point is, maybe I need to re-immerse myself in fine arts. They're magic. It doesn't always work but the good stuff, or at least the stuff that resonates, should engage your heart in a way that can reflect, sate, define, amplify, provoke, or relieve what seems like chaos or confusion in your life. The art allows you to experience it and better understand your own undefined or renegade emotions. Sometimes the art gives you new things to worry about. That's some good art there."




    This, I think, is the core of the fine arts. It allows us to either conceal or confront the issues in our lives in a way that is, for the most part, socially acceptable, and provides a benefit to society.




    These are just a few examples of some rather philosophical moments sprinkled throughout the book; while they may be "deep thoughts", they are always presented in an impressively accessible way.




    Overall, I was impressed with Maron's latest work. While the laughs may be aimed at a different audience, the situations are things we can all relate to, tied together by Maron's expert storytelling ability.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2013

    Funny, smart, and moving.

    As a long time listener of the podcast, I was excited for this book. It did not disappoint. Marc's trademark self-disclosure is evident throughout the book. A few of the stories he has told before on the podcast but it was great to revisit them in the pages of this book. I sat in my car while my oil was changed reading this book and laughing outloud so uncontrollably that the men stopped changing my oil to be sure I was ok. Well done, Marc.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 4, 2014

    Disappointing tale of a guy who won't grow up

    I like quirky, anti-authority people, but Maron puts the i-i-i in narcissistic. He ruins relationships left and right, all in the name of honing his craft as a comic, and then shrugs, as if, "The world must accept me as I am." The book has some funny passages, but overall it's not very entertaining. Save your money for something else.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2014

    Lobby waffles

    Love the honesty

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 23, 2013

    Funny, neurotic, sweet. But enough about me.

    I'm a big Maron fan so he could have phoned this in and I would've still enjoyed it. But he put heart and soul into this and it's filled with all sorts of truths and insights into him that lead me to some of my own truths and insights. I want to read it again right now but one of my son's friends saw it and it's undoubtedly never to be seen again. Oh well, I guess I'll just buy another copy. It's worth it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2014

    Kenny

    Good bruh. I like how you used Sun in the story. Keep it goin'!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2014

    To sop

    Cool,but are you planning to continue sop?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2014

    What my future hold part 2

    Okay readers here is part 2. <p> i sat at my desk eating my lunch witch was a peanut butter sandwich and a bottle of water. After lunched ended Mr. Beandipp contnued boring us with his roman lessons. When it was finally time to go home i grabed my backpack walking outside. The rain had cleared up but the steets were still flooded. I heard someone running behind me. I turned to see Sun running to catch up with me, her blond hair flying behind her. She slowed to a walk when she caught up. "Hello" she said smiling sweetly. "How ya been?" I asked smiling. "Pretty good." She responded. "What did you want to show me?" I asked. "Promis never to tell anybody" she whisperd. I nodded. "Were almost to your house, ill tell you in your room." She said. "Okay." I said as we reached the door. I pulled it open. Sun walked in and i followed after closing the door. "MOM, IM HOME, SUN IS WITH ME." I called. "Okay sweetie" my mom called from the garden. Sun and i climbed up the stairs and down the hallway to my room. "Ceaner than last time" sun said. "Mom made me clean." I said. I saw Suns face fall. "Hey, you okay?" I asked her. "Its my mom and dad." She sighed. "They were fighting again. At one piont i snuck downstairs to see them but my dad saw me. He picked me up and threw me agenst the wall and ripped my shirt off then he took out a whip and whiped me. My mom did nothing to stop him. She just waited until he was done and sent me up stairs." I saw a tear slide down her cheek. "It'll be okay." I said. "Im sure my mom will let you stay in tbe guest room." I said. "Thanks Alex" she sniffed. "You and your family have done so much for me, i wish i could pay you back." She said looking at me. "Were glad to help you. Your a really sweet and nice girl Sun." I said. With that she threw her arms around me. "Thank you so much Alex." She said leting go of me. "So what did you want to shyw me?" I asked. "This," she said setting her backpack on my bed producing two notes with a hair clip on one and a sliver wristband on the other. "These were on my bed this s'morning" she said. Handing the one with the wrist band on it to me. It said ALEX in bold letters. The other said SUN in the same font. "We both got one so i decided we should open them together." "Good idea" i said. "Othe count of three, 1 2 3 go." We tore the letters open. I pulled out a white paper. It read: <p> Hello Alex, we do not normaly send letters like this yet, we felt it nessisary considering your situation. Please come to long Island by Friday. Thank you. <b> sincerly, Chiron trainer of heros. Oh and one more thing, That ilver wrist band will be very helpful in your life. Just tap it twice. <p> i looked up to see Sun holding a Bow-and-arrow. She had a quiver slung across her back. "H..how" i sturterd. "Tap the wrist band." She said. I put it on and taped it. It suddenly turned into a huge silver shield. A sword was in a sheath across my back. "Oh my gosh Alex" sun said. "i think we should probly go to long island." She taped the bow and the bow turned into a hair clip and the quiver dissaperd. "But thats on the other side of the country!" I exclaimed. Tapping the shield wich dssaperd into the wrist band along with the sword. Tben suddenly Suns dad burst into the room holding a whip and a chain. His cold eyes focused on Sun. "Come here you worthless girl." He said luging at her. Without thinking i jumped infreont of him. <p> next part at next result. - &#9787

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2014

    Sweet Death

    Yay, I came back! :D

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2014

    Normal me #1

    (I became a hedgehog in April not December!)

    Firework and I were walking down the street. GG and FF were walking down the street."Hey GG haven't seen ya since that Bakugan battle.",I said.

    "Yeah SD and the team resurrected and became good.",GG said."Ok,but if you were still evil I would take you down.",I said. I left GG,FF,and Firework alone. I waved goodbye to them.

    Just then I notice I walked in the Everfree forest."Well while i'm gonna check up on Changeling Zecora.",I said. When I got to Zecora's hut it was barricaded.

    "Oh great.",I said. I jumped through the door."OW!",I yelled. My arm started to bleed."Holy*beep*.",I said.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2014

    Midnight

    Keep going!! Except...dude...you threatened Game Guide...

    -Midnight
    Dx

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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