Standing Up by Marion Grodin

Standing Up by Marion Grodin: Though the author of this memoir is a stand-up comedian, this book is not funny. It has its moments, of course, especially at the very end, but by and large it’s a rather heart-wrenching tale of love, grief, addiction, illness, and loss. Grodin grows up in New York, the daughter of actor Charles Grodin and his extraordinarily needy ex-wife Julia. She has complicated relationships with her parents, years of drug abuse, and general aimlessness before she finally decides she wants to be a comedian. I liked reading this – I found it interesting to read about a life so strikingly different from my own – but it is not the same sort of memoir as, say, Laurie Notaro or Jen Lancaster. It is not a series of amusing anecdotes with the occasional touching scene, but rather a series of tragedies with the occasional joke thrown in. Parts of it, particularly when Grodin deals with cancer (her mother’s and her own), can be very inspiring, but do not come into this thinking it’s going to be a laugh-a-minute romp. It simply isn’t.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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