True Story
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True Story

3.13 of 5 stars 3.13  ·  rating details  ·  142 ratings  ·  18 reviews

True Story is Maher's debut novel about the wild and crazy life of the stand-up comedian -- a bawdy, rowdy tell-all report from the front line.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1994)
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Raegan Butcher
Apr 21, 2008 Raegan Butcher rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: women who want to understand men
A novel about a group of aspiring stand-up comics. Bill Maher should be commended for so accurately revealing the inner workings of the male mind. It isn't pretty (and is probably shocking to females) but this damned near perfectly captures how we think when it comes to sex, sex, sex!
Aug 31, 2013 Pat rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: tv
Bill Maher compiled this sausage-making story of the standup comedy boom in the late '70s/early '80s. His characters are stock enough not to even need proper names, while the story gives an overview of the challenges, personalities, and shortcomings common in that field.

The book was written pre-Politically Incorrect and Real Time, though this edition was not published until late into the PI era. I couldn't believe I'd never heard of it until recently, and Maher's voice is clear in the sardonic p...more
The good? This was pretty funny-- occasionally brilliant-- and gave me an insight into the inner workings of professional comedians. The meh? The plot was so-so, which is totally to be expected, and the flow felt a bit forced. As if this was born of a few funny sketches then bonded together in a flimsy manner. Still, this was a decent "lazy Sunday" read.
Serge Boucher
Maher said most authors kept writing their first novels over and over again, so he would write only one. It's a decent one : has Maher's comedic style all over it, shallow but relatable characters, and awkward situations. It is unlikely to transform American literature, but it is a funny little book nonetheless, especially if you like comedy and comedians.
I listened to the audiobook which was a mistake I guess. I either fell asleep or it didn't download properly because I didn't quite follow it and it wasn't as funny as I normally expect of anything by Bill Maher. And, I thought there was going to way more sex in it. Bummer.
Mostly pretty funny. Good job (as far as I know) of describing what it's like to be a stand-up comic in the late 70's/early 80's. But jeez there's way too much of boys chasing girls in it. Some story lines not quite completed or explained.
Lee Istrail
Funny novel about "professional comedians" with widely varied personalities. Some of the jokes that the characters find funny are not, but there's plenty of humor, romance, and surprise to keep you entertained.
It's just funny, that's all. I'd give it 3 and half stars if I could...and I'd read it again in a few years when I can't remember it anymore, as is the case with almost everything I read. :)
I was so disappointed with this book. I love bill maher and think he is brilliant, but the plot was lame, the characters disappointing and I think I got a paper cut from it.
Daniel Lee
Not overwhelming good but a somewhat honest and surprising stab at novelistic story telling from the man I usually only rely on yo call people out on their bullshit.
I wish I could give this book less than one star. It's truly, truly, a horrible waste of paper. One of the worst books I have ever had the misfortune of opening.
Sketches the specific (birth of the standup comedy scene) and the universal (dealing with arrested adolescence) with surprising economy and grace.
Excruciatingly bad. The characters are named (really, they are) Fat, Buck, Chink, Shit and I don't remember the rest. Dreadful.
A Smith
Don't get me wrong, I adore Bill Maher, but this book was humor mostly above my head. I may try it again in future.
Aug 03, 2011 Jenn added it
crude and nearly plotless...I thought someone as witty as he would put forth a much better effort! =[
Bill, I love ya, man, but stick to non-fiction. Goodnight everybody, be good to your waitress, try the veal!
John Mitchell
A clever and hilarious take on life in the trenches of stand-up comedy.
treva mccroskey
i think i need to start reading books only written by comedians.
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William Maher, Jr., is an American comedian, actor, writer, and producer. He hosted the late-night television talk show Politically Incorrect on Comedy Central and ABC, and is currently the host of Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO. On June 1, 2006, he also began hosting an Internet-exclusive talk show on entitled Amazon Fishbowl.

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