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The Jerusalem Syndrome: My Life as a…

The Jerusalem Syndrome: My Life as a Reluctant Messiah (2001)

by Marc Maron

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I think this is the first book I've read by a stand-up comic where I have not been disappointed. I guess that doesn't sound like effusive praise, but it is.

Maron is a well known stand-up comic, whose onstage persona is that of a relentlessly self-analytical narcissist who uses honesty about his many and varied flaws to produce many uncomfortable moments along with laughs. This book lends credence to the idea that he may be like this offstage as well.

None of the preceding words make it sound as if I enjoyed the book. I did. A lot. I just don't know how to describe it. I'll put it this way: if you've seen Maron's act in front of a small audience, or heard his CDs that were recorded in an intimate setting, you'll get the same kind of honesty that makes Maron such a good comic in this book. ( )
  EdKupfer | Sep 9, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0767908104, Paperback)

Named for a psychological condition that often afflicts visitors to the Middle East, The Jerusalem Syndrome provides a vivid and comedic sense of what it's like to believe you're a conduit for the voice of God. In this case, the affliction belongs to standup comic Marc Maron, whose brief, engrossing memoir recounts a lifelong parade of revelation and delusion. In New Jersey, in New Mexico, and in Israel (among many other places), Maron has found God in encounters with Beat poetry, cocaine, the Coca-Cola logo, and conspiracy theories. Brief chapters sketch Maron's picaresque adventures, all narrated in a relentlessly neurotic style: "I had just made a horrible but good decision." Maron's decidedly nontraditional perspective on Judaism--"Believing in the grand plan can take the edge off if you let it, because it really doesn't end well for anyone"--may strike some readers as blasphemous. To others, it will seem revelatory, and for the many in the middle, it will be both. --Michael Joseph Gross

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:00 -0400)

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