Waiting for the Punch

Marc Maron and Brendan McDonald, foreword by John Oliver. Flatiron, $27.99 (416p) ISBN 978-1-250-08888-8
Over the past nine years on his WTF podcast, Maron (Attempting Normal) has conducted fascinating, no-holds-barred conversations with a range of artists, comedians, musicians, writers, and other notables, including President Barack Obama. This is an extensive compilation of his guests’ observations, organized under 11 subjects (including “Growing Up,” “Addictions,” “Sexuality,” and “Life Lessons”). Together, they combine to make a moving and powerful testament to the ups and downs of life, to overcoming fear (the feeling, as Judd Apatow says, of constantly “waiting for a punch”), and to Maron’s own struggles “to see myself in others and also hear of struggles that were harder and deeper than mine.” It also is an amazing testament to Maron’s ability to really engage with his guests to get “something to come up that enables us to engage authentically in that moment.” He shares insights from many his guests, including comedian Louis C.K.’s account of watching his daughter’s birth (“I instantly knew that I’m going to get old and die, and I wasn’t afraid of it anymore, because it’s about her now”) and actress and comedian Rachael Harris’s take on her divorce (“The thought of leaving was hideous and awful, but the thought of staying was worse”). Maron’s latest is a deeply moving, inspirational, and witty work. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/28/2017
Release date: 10/01/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
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