What attracted me to Attempting Normal was the book tease that noted that it was a book of “addictively funny stories” from the life of a “comedian”, Marc Maron. I’d never heard of Marc Maron, but I was in the need of a different kind of book. Murder mysteries and world-ending thrillers are sometime more than I can take.
While the book was okay and Mr. Maron’s life is/was a mess, I found it anything but “addictively funny!” Again the stories were compelling and I got stuff out of the book, but funny it was not. I can have a twisted sense of humor, but it wasn’t even funny from that perspective. I’d say that this book was more of a tragedy. If you want a tragedy then this is the book…if you’re looking for funny, there are many others to choose from.
There were some very insightful moments…
“The moment that I knew in my soul that nothing I was doing in my head had any bearing on actual events or possible outcomes, I was suddenly free.”
“be careful not to medicate bitterness because you’ve mistaken it for depression, because the truth is, you’re right: Everything does suck most of the time and there’s a fine line between bitterness and astute cultural observation.”
“I don’t make pretty pictures. Sometimes I wish my imagination were fueled by something other than panic and dread. But I don’t have control over my gift. It has control over me and I am dragged by it more often than not, away from the idyllic land of normal and onto the jagged shores of self-destruction. Imagining the worst has always been a great comfort to me. If there is turbulence there is an imminent crash. If she doesn’t pick up the phone, she is fucking someone. If there is a lump it is a tumor. By thinking like this I protect myself from disappointment. And if anything other than the worst-case scenario unfolds, what a pleasant surprise! The problem is that I am always walking around preparing for and reacting to the horrors of what my brain is making up, living as if every potential terror and every defeat were already happening—because in my mind, it always is.”
Deep and thought-provoking…Yes