Based on a True Story

  • by Norm Macdonald
  • Narrated by Norm Macdonald, Tim O'Halloran
  • 7 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Wild, dangerous, and flat-out unbelievable, here is the incredible memoir of the actor, gambler, raconteur, and SNL veteran and one of the best stand-up comedians of all time.
As this book's title suggests, Norm Macdonald tells the story of his life - more or less - from his origins on a farm in the-back-of-beyond Canada and an epically disastrous appearance on Star Search to his account of auditioning for Lorne Michaels and his memorable run as the anchor of Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live - until he was fired because a corporate executive didn't think he was funny.
But Based on a True Story is much more than a memoir; it's the hilarious, inspired epic of Norm's life. In dispatches from a road trip to Las Vegas (part of a plan hatched to regain the fortune he'd lost to sports betting and other vices) with his sidekick and enabler, Adam Eget, Norm recounts the milestone moments, the regrets, the love affairs, the times fortune smiled on his life, and the times it refused to smile. 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 minutes with classic jokes and fondly mythologized Hollywood stories. This wildly adventurous, totally original, and absurdly funny saga turns the conventional comic's memoir on its head and gives the listener an exclusive pass into the mad, glorious mind of Norm Macdonald.

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What the Critics Say

"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 only has to grunt to make me laugh. And this book is three hundred pages? Sign me up." (Sophia Amoruso, author of #GIRLBOSS)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Bizarre, funny ride

I'm so glad I got the audio version, I can't imagine it any other way. Norm obviously knows how he wanted the story told and he delivered it perfectly. If you're at all a fan of Mr Macdonald's you owe it to yourself to get this book.
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- Michael Chauvin

norm nails it

If you could sum up Based on a True Story in three words, what would they be?

Literature, subversive, brilliant.


Who was your favorite character and why?

Norm, obviously. But 'character' is a key word here. Seems to me that Norm has written a comic novel based on his life -- at first I thought it was directly inspired by Hunter S. Thompson, but as I listened further I realized this was great tragicomic fiction in the tradition of Mark Twain..


What about Norm Macdonald’s performance did you like?

He reads it brilliantly, affecting the 'I'm just an old chunk 'a coal" style and voice of an old rural storyteller, which is clearly how he intended the text to be read.


If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

See This Movie, Sure, But The Book Is Probably Unfilmable, At Least The Best Parts Are, So Read The Book Maybe Instead?give me a break, audible. I'm trying to review a book, not promote a movie.


Any additional comments?

This book will confuse people looking for a juicy celebrity memoir, if those sort of people actually exist. It will delight those who enjoy good writing, as well as Norm's fans. The book is like an ambitious first novel, and I hope he writes more.

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- Heath Davis Gardner

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-20-2016
  • Publisher: Random House Audio