Based on A True Story

Based on A True Story

A Memoir

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
8
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"As its title suggests, Norm Macdonald tells the story of his life--more or less--from his origins in a rural small town in the-back-of-beyond Canada to an epically disastrous appearance on Star Search, to his possibly incredible account of auditioning for Lorne Michaels and his memorable run as the anchor of Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update." But Based on a True Story is much more than a memoir, it's a hilarious, inspired, very meta imagining of his life, as told to a deeply disturbed ghost writer whose teetering sanity and bruised ego threaten to take down the entire narrative--and possibly the comic with it. Peppered with classic jokes and long mythologized Hollywood stories, this wildly adventurous, tense, totally original, and absurdly funny memoir turns the conventional "comic's memoir" on its head and leaves the reader delightfully off kilter"--
Publisher: New York : Spiegel & Grau, [2016]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780812993639
0812993632
9780812993622
0812993624
Branch Call Number: 791.4092 MACDONALD
Characteristics: xiv, 240 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm

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r
Revacard
May 30, 2017

It is like a book for people in on the inside joke. Norm's great, I can't give an unbiased review of this book. I laughed. I'd recommend listening to the audio version of it.

j
jamesharbinson
Mar 02, 2017

While I'm huge fan or Norm, an imagined memoir is not something I want to read. I don't want to waste my time reading about the time Norm didn't actually do drugs with Lorne Michaels to get the job at Saturday night live or the time he wasn't actually molested as a child. Why not tell us about the time you got into a knife fight with Johnny Carson or that time that you found a bomb wired to the ignition of Jay Leno's car? Why am I reading this again?

m
MplsTA
Feb 07, 2017

An easy and entertaining read but as others have pointed out, it can be difficult to know what is real and what is not.

He seems to keep personal information at a minimum but still has an interesting story to tell but don't look for a "diary" type of book. It's more disjointed and even a little jarring at times.

s
shinybirdy
Feb 06, 2017

Absolutely loved this book. Bring no agenda when reading it, and you will be taken on a wild, wonderful ride.

s
smichal
Jan 02, 2017

I was hoping for an actual autobiography but this book turned out even weirder than that comedy central roast where he told the 1940s style old fashioned jokes! It does have some shoutouts to his former YukYuk's bosses and stuff, but they're buried in tonnes of bizarro fiction stories about farming, SNL, morphine abuse, a fake ghostwriter, gambling (who knows how much of that is true), etc. The mention about Artie Lange is very brief. Even Norm's son is shown with a fake name.

f
franzkafka
Jan 02, 2017

It really helps if you've seen Norm doing standup as I've done a couple of times. The stream of consciousness and absurdity is even better than shrooms. Combined, it could be mind blowing. Before you get the book see some of his stuff on YouTube (especially the Moth joke). If you don't like what you see too bad for you. As my Pappy used to say : ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------.
Actually he never taught me anything useful. I survive on my own and it's a daily struggle fighting off all those wolverines, badgers and Wild Turkeys 101. Enter the book at your own risk.

j
jhoepken71
Dec 17, 2016

This was probably the strangest and sometimes absurd biography I've ever read. It was hard to decipher between what really happened and what Norm made up. Yet still, it had its funny moments. I'm certain the audio version would get more laughs than print.

oscar89 Dec 11, 2016

This is a very funny and clever memoir. That's because it's mostly fiction mixed with real life anecdotes. It's hard to write a compelling memoir, and a funny one is even harder. Most comic memoirs are not classics-only a small number of comedians have succeeded with that. This book stands out and captures the great Norm MacDonald.

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