An insightful collection of interviews about what it means to be human. This book, it turns out, helps explain W is TF.



A popular podcast gets the book treatment.

An accomplished and long-respected comedian, Maron is perhaps best known for his wildly popular eponymous podcast WTF with Marc Maron, which premiered in 2009. Throughout the podcast’s successful run, Maron has shown a unique knack for getting famous (and semifamous) people to talk. And talk. As they talk, his guests reveal amazing—and often previously unexplored—depths about their personal experiences. In the process, they also reveal a great deal about life in general, especially the many difficulties in navigating all the absurdity, drama, and tragicomedy. Maron did the majority of the work to get these words out there, as they are drawn from his podcast, but he strongly implies that the transcription was someone else’s job. It is unclear who made perhaps the most important decision of all: organizing these transcriptions by theme. The book coalesces around chapters about such timeless themes as family, sex, addiction, mortality, and success and failure. Many of Maron’s subjects are among his professional colleagues and friends—among dozens of others, Robin Williams, Judd Apatow, Amy Poehler, Jimmy Fallon, Garry Shandling, Kevin Hart, Cheech Marin, Sarah Silverman—but he has interviewed a wide range of people from other walks of life, including Terry Gross, Melissa Etheridge, David Sedaris, Paul Thomas Anderson, and even then-President Barack Obama. As readers will expect, there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, but what is more surprising and refreshing is how many profound and powerful insights Maron manages to draw from his guests. Many of the most tragic situations come from the comedians, and some of the funnier moments come from those whose job is not necessarily to make people laugh.

An insightful collection of interviews about what it means to be human. This book, it turns out, helps explain W is TF.

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-250-08888-8

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Review Posted Online: June 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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