Download Based on a True Story: A Memoir Audiobook

Based on a True Story: A Memoir Audiobook, by Norm Macdonald Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Norm Macdonald Narrator: Norm Macdonald, Tim O'Halloran Publisher: Random House Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2016 ISBN: 9781524703196
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The possibly true memoir of the actor, raconteur, gambler, former SNL cast member, and one of the best stand-up comedians of all time

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 listener delightfully off kilter.

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Quotes & Awards

  • My three favorite books:
    1. The Bible, by Moses and other guys
    2. The Art of the Deal, by President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump (a.k.a. President Trumpy)
    3. Based on a True Story, by Norm Macdonald
  • I have not read the first two. I have read Based on a True Story, and I believe it to be largely bullshit, but it is very, very, very funny! Thanks, Norm, for letting me be part of this Booker Prize for Literature–quality effort. David Letterman
  • Norm is brilliant and thoughtful and there is sensitivity and creative insight in his observations and stories. A lot of comics over the years have been compared to Mark Twain, but I think Norm is the only one who actually matches the guy in terms of his voice and ability. I seriously f**king love Norm Macdonald. Please buy his book. He probably needs the cash. He’s really bad with money. Louis C.K., from the foreword
  • Norm is one of my all-time favorites, and this book was such a great read I forgot how lonely I was for a while. Amy Schumer
  • I always thought Normie’s stand-up was the funniest thing there was. But this book gives it a run for its money. Adam Sandler
  • Norm is one of the greatest stand-up comics who’s ever worked—a totally original voice. His sense of the ridiculous and his use of juxtaposition in his writing make him a comic’s comic. We all love Norm. Roseanne Barr
  • Norm Macdonald makes me laugh my ass off. Who is funnier than Norm Macdonald? Nobody. Judd Apatow
  • Norm Macdonald is more than a triple threat—he’s a septuple threat. He is smart, funny, wry, rakish, polite, rakish . . . no, wait. He is polite, insightful, and . . . aaaaah . . . warm. No. He’s exciting. Yeah. Exciting! You never know what he’ll do. Okay, then make that unpredictable. Add that up. He’s amazing. Alec Baldwin
  • Norm only has to grunt to make me laugh. And this book is three hundred pages? Sign me up. Sophia Amoruso, author of #GIRLBOSS
  • A glut of books by comedians has hit bookshelves in recent years. . . . Norm Macdonald has a leg up on all of them. Based on a True Story isn’t really a memoir, as the cover claims. It’s closer to a novel, a Russian tragicomedy, perhaps. Dostoyevsky by way of 30 Rockefeller Center . . . This is a gutsy gambit—many readers will likely pick up the book for stories about hosting “Weekend Update but Mr. Macdonald’s willingness to take risks pays off mightily. A straightforward story about a comedian losing his money over and over again might be juicy, but it wouldn’t necessarily be any different than any other tale of addiction. It certainly wouldn’t be art. And that’s what Based on a True Story is. It’s a sui generis work of pseudo-memoir that will have you simultaneously laughing at Mr. Macdonald’s wit, scratching your head at the veracity of his stories and pondering mortality, as embodied by a dying child who wants to club a seal before he goes. It’s the best new book I’ve read this year or last.
  • Hilarious and filled with turns of phrase and hidden beauty like only a collection of Norm Macdonald stories could be. Esquire
  • There are two things you should know about the book: First, it is easily the most ambitious thing Macdonald has ever done; Second, it is pretending hard to be nothing of the kind. . . . Based on a True Story turns out to be Macdonald’s experiment in hyperliterary comedy. It’s disorienting, funny, sometimes stupid, and often wildly beautiful. That’s the weird part. After a couple of amusingly implausible anecdotes about gambling, drugs, and Hollywood, a chapter on his childhood erupts into waves of unbelievable lyricism—with reflections on aesthetics and memory and trauma so poetic I kept sending passages to a pal who’s a Nabokov scholar to see if they reminded her of him too (even as I pictured Macdonald rolling his eyes at the comparison). . . . There has never been a less straightforward book. It’s playful and spry and just unbelievably cagey. But it broke me, and I’ll tell you why: Macdonald is a pretty extraordinary wordsmith, capable of working in an impressive range of styles and genres. The Week
  • A driving, wild and hilarious ramble of a book, what might have happened had Hunter S. Thompson embedded himself in a network studio. It’s told by a Canadian-born comedian named Norm Macdonald who gets hired by [Lorne] Michaels to star on SNL with Adam Sandler and Chris Farley, makes movies, a couple sitcoms and then flames out. That’s all true. The rest—you’ll have to decide. Washington Post
  • Part personal history and part meta riff on celebrity memoirs, the book, it quickly becomes clear, is also just partly true (and all hilarious). Vulture
  • Norm is a double threat. His material and timing are both top-notch, which is unheard of. He is one of my favorites, both on- and off-stage. Dave Attell
  • David Letterman said it best: There is no one funnier than Norm Macdonald. Rob Schneider

Listener Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephanie | 3/7/2019

    " There are times when you can't tell if he is being truthful, exaggerating the truth, or straight up narrating a fiction story. Norm is so clever to have passed this book off as a memoir. I love his genius and this book is really funny. Like a collection of his best jokes, in a flowing narrative format. Also, he mentions tidbits about his own life. He's just an old chunk 'a coal, but he's gonna be a diamond someday. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephanie P | 2/20/2019

    " This man is my hero. Laughs and tears from the 1st minute in. God bless Norm. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matt | 2/1/2018

    " Amazing book. Treads between fiction and non-fiction. Norm's unique style makes this book something completely different from the rest "

About the Author

Norm MacDonald was born in Québec City, Québec. He began his career in stand-up comedy and later wrote for the Dennis Miller Show and Roseanne. Macdonald is best know as the host of Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” from 1994–1997.