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Based on a True Story

A Memoir

Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year

About the Book

Wild, dangerous, and flat-out unbelievable, here is the incredible memoir of the Canadian actor, gambler, and raconteur, and one of the greatest stand-up comedians of all time

Norm Macdonald tells the story of his life—more or less—from his rural origins on a farm in the backwoods of Ontario to an epically disastrous appearance on Star Search, from an unbelievable audition for Lorne Michaels to his memorable run as the anchor of Saturday Night Live's “Weekend Update." But Based on a True Story is much more than just a memoir: it's the hilarious, inspired epic of Norm's life.

Told as dispatches from a road trip to Las Vegas with his sidekick and enabler, Adam Eget—a plan hatched to regain the fortune he'd lost to sports betting and other vices—Norm recounts the milestone moments of his life: the regrets, the love affairs, the times that Fortune smiled on him, and the times it did not. As the clock ticks down, Norm's debt reaches record heights, and he must find a way to evade the hefty price that's been placed on his head by one of the most dangerous loan sharks in the country.

As a comedy legend should, Norm peppers these pages with classic jokes and long-mythologized Hollywood stories. This tense, wildly adventurous, totally original, and absurdly funny memoir turns the conventional “comic's memoir" on its head and gives the reader an exclusive glimpse inside the mad, glorious mind of Norm Macdonald.

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Critical Praise

“Brilliant . . . Macdonald’s willingness to take risks pays off mightily . . . The best new book I’ve read this year or last.” —Wall Street Journal

“Darkly hilarious.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Norm is brilliant and thoughtful, and there is sensitivity and creative insight in his observations and stories. . . . 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 only has to grunt to make me laugh. And this book is 256 pages? Sign me up.” —Sophia Amoruso, author of #GIRLBOSS

“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

“Norm Macdonald is an American treasure. No value has been placed on him. He’s a one and only. Can’t wait to read this book.” —Larry King

“Norm Macdonald is one of the great original comic minds of our era: utterly unique in thought, word, and delivery. He provokes me to think about the world as frequently as he makes me laugh at it.” —Ken Tucker

“Hilarious and filled with turns of phrase and hidden beauty like only a collection of Norm Macdonald stories could be.” —Esquire

“A driving, wild and hilarious ramble of a book, what might have happened had Hunter S. Thompson embedded himself in a network studio.” —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

“Disorienting, funny, sometimes stupid, and often wildly beautiful . . . Macdonald is a pretty extraordinary wordsmith, capable of working in an impressive range of styles and genres.” —The Week

“This book is absurd fiction. . . . Scathing and funny.” —New York Times

“Based on a True Story is honest about its various dishonesties. . . . [Macdonald] also flexes his trademark ambling, shaggy-dog storytelling, teasing a crowd-pleasing joke about answering machines that he never actually tells and transcribing his marathon ‘moth joke’ in its lengthy entirety.” —The Globe and Mail

“A book that both isn’t a celebrity memoir and is, arguably, the best celebrity memoir ever written.” —AV Club

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781443414296
  • ISBN 10: 1443414298
  • Imprint: Collins
  • On Sale: 09/20/2016
  • Pages: 256
  • List Price: 29.99 CAD
  • BISAC1: HUMOR / General
  • BISAC2: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs

Based on a True Story by Norm Macdonald

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