(Disclosure: I won a copy of this book from a Goodreads giveaway.)
Marc Maron is one of those comedians whose work I’m familiar with but haven’t experienced for myself. I know he has a show on IFC called “Maron” that I’ve heard is similar to Louis CK’s “Louie,” but I’ve yet to watch it. I also know he’s the host of a very popular podcast called “WTF” that I’ve seen quoted on in various places online, but I’ve yet to actually hear it. So when I saw that he’d written an autobiographical collection of stories, I thought it might be a good way to dip my toe into his oeuvre.
The book covers Maron’s life from his childhood to his recent successes with his tv show and podcast. Maron pulls no punches in his stories. He’s a very open, honest writer who isn’t afraid to show his seedy underbelly or fess up to some rather repulsive behavior. That willingness to connect with his readers honestly endeared me to Maron from the get-go. In fact, it was after reading this passage in the introduction that I knew I was going to enjoy this book:
“People don’t talk to each other about real things because they’re afraid of how they’ll be judged. Or they think other people don’t have the capacity to carry the burden of what they have to say. They see the compulsion to put that burden out in the world as a show of weakness. But all that stuff is what makes us human; more than that, it’s what makes being human interesting and funny. How we got away from that, I don’t know. But fuck that: we’re built to deal with shit.”
What else endeared me to Maron? His devotion to rescuing cats, feral cats, to be specific. What can I say, I’m a crazy cat lady and it’s a nice connection.
It’s a short book, barely over 200 pages long, and a very quick read. Maron’s snarky, sarcastic, self-effacing, self-loathing, really, and while I haven’t been through all he has (addiction, multiple divorces, and several incidents involving prostitutes, for example), I still found myself identifying with him in a lot of ways. I’m definitely going to check out his show and podcast after this because I’d like to know what else he has to say. Whatever it is, I’m sure it’ll make me laugh and cringe as much as this book did.
Warning: Maron’s language is definitely NSFW, and he doesn’t shy away from the details when talking about sex and drugs, so proceed with caution if that’s not your cuppa.