Saturday, November 25, 2017

Review: Waiting for the Punch: Words to Live by from the WTF Podcast

Waiting for the Punch: Words to Live by from the WTF Podcast Waiting for the Punch: Words to Live by from the WTF Podcast by Marc Maron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thanks to the publisher for providing access to this title through Edelweiss.

I try to read as many books as I can about podcasts, podcasting, interviewing, etc., so I was excited to see this book come up. I used to listen to the WTF Podcast, and still do occasionally when the guest is someone who really interests me. I think, at times, Marc Maron asks interesting questions, and I was curious to hear more about his thought process. That isn't really represented in this book much, although there are tidbits here and there. In the Addiction chapter, his brief intro explains why he asks about addiction if he has that in common with his guest. This is one of the reasons I stopped trying to listen to all the episodes, honestly, but I found that he has a very good reason for doing so - something about when someone connects with you on a shared experience like addiction, it somehow strips the pretense away and allows him to get deeper and more personal about other topics. As a listener not all that interested in addiction though, I would often get frustrated when he got to these moments!

So if you have heard every episode of WTF, there will not be any new content here. What he has done is cull the interviews for thematic content and organized them so they create a rough narrative in the sense that the first person might mention their father and then religion and the next quote might be about religion and move to the next topic. It takes skill to organize bits in this way, so I respect that. It made it enjoyable to read, even though some of the excerpts were revisiting stuff I'd already heard.

There is not a lot of man-behind-the-curtain stuff like I was hoping, but enjoyable just the same. There are a few people I started skipping because I found I didn't particularly care for their flavor (I do think that people have certain expectations about what will happen when they sit down in a garage with a comedian and have a hard time getting beyond masturbation jokes), but your mileage may vary.

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