What the **** is Normal?!

What the **** is Normal?!

4.3 (388 ratings by Goodreads)
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What do you do when you're labelled abnormal in a world obsessed with normality? In a world where wrinkles are practically illegal, going bald is cause for mental breakdown, and women over size ten are encouraged to shoot themselves, what the **** do you do if you're, gasp ...disabled? Francesca was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was two years old and her parents were gravely told that she would never lead a 'normal' life. After a happy childhood filled with tree climbing, mischief and little regard for her bit of palsy, Francesca arrived at high school with a confidence verging on indestructible, only to be turned into a miserable and insecure wreck. Luckily for her, salvation came from Grange Hill, a stand-up comedy workshop, and a passionate love affair replete with scintillating conversation. After one particularly mind-blowing chat, Francesca realised she had the power to stop judging herself by society's unhealthy standards and create her own. So she did. This powerful new perspective changed her entire life forever. Whatever body you're born into, the pressure to be 'Normal' is everywhere. But have you ever met a normal person? What do they look like?
Where do they live? What do they eat for breakfast? And what the **** does normal mean anyway? What the **** is Normal? is a very funny, very moving celebration and exploration of learning to be happy with who you are. Neither an autobiography nor a self-help book, it's a powerful and political call-to-arms that rails against the relentless media bombardment of what is culturally perceived as 'normal'. Francesca equipped herself with the tools to stick two shaky fingers up to society's unrealistic and damaging expectations, and with this book, she hopes to help more people to do the same. The Wobbly Revolution Starts Here.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 134 x 214 x 26mm | 439.99g
  • Virgin Books
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0753555360
  • 9780753555361
  • 195,961

About Francesca Martínez

Multi-award-winning Francesca Martinez is the first and only woman to win the Open Mic Award at the Edinburgh Festival, and has since become one of the top comedians of her generation. As well as touring internationally with sell-out runs around the world, Francesca is a TV and radio regular, making popular appearances on such varied programmes as The News Quiz, Russell Howard's Good News, The Jonathan Ross Show, The Frank Skinner Show, Ricky Gervais's Extras (in a role written specially for her), Newsnight, This Week, Free Speech (where she was voted most popular guest) and Channel 4 News. Currently, Francesca is in the middle of a 55-date UK/Ireland tour of her award-winning show, also called 'WHAT THE **** IS NORMAL?!', which has just been nominated for Best Show at Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival 2013 - the UK's largest comedy festival.
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Review quote

"Her observations and perspective are unique and powerful. This is a funny, compassionate and inspiring story of how 'being different' can become, with the right attitude, an unlikely advantage. Also, it's bloody funny and touching" Russell Brand "A cheerful optimistic belly-laugh broadside at prejudice and a wonderful testament to the power of "being funny", I love Francesca Martinez" Steve Coogan "A wonderful read! Warm, funny and unforgettable" Jonathan Ross "A very, very important [book] ... I can't think of a work that has so brilliantly expressed how a person disabled from birth sees herself" -- Dominic Lawson The Sunday Times "As entertaining as it is moving ... this book is a wonderful, funny, warm coming-of-age memoir about finding your own path in life. Long may she wobble. Five stars." Viv Groskop, The Telegraph
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Review Text

"A cheerful optimistic belly-laugh broadside at prejudice and a wonderful testament to the power of “being funny”, I love Francesca Martinez"
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Rating details

388 ratings
4.3 out of 5 stars
5 52% (200)
4 31% (119)
3 15% (57)
2 3% (10)
1 1% (2)

Our customer reviews

I myself have CP (Cerebral Palsy) arising from a stroke at birth some 44 years ago. I heard about Francesca's book via Twitter, and of course, it piqued my interest, so I bought it. "What the **** is Normal?" slapped me hard around the face, metaphorically speaking ! This is the book that I would have written about CP. Not Surprisingly, Francesca "Chessie" Martinez and I have shared very similar experiences, and her book, which is very well written and brutally honest, brought memories flooding back, some of which were not good. The one line chapter "High School was **** !" summed it up perfectly for me, and Chessie then used the next chapter to explain just why High School was **** , and I could identify with everything she wrote - In short, kids and even teachers can be bloody cruel, even when trying to be kind ! I would advise EVERYONE to read this book, especially if you have a family member, friend or colleague with any type of disability - Yes, sometimes we can be ******* cranky, but it isnt always easy to live with a body that isnt perceived as "normal", and one which we struggle with on a daily basis, which also tends to make it very obvious in itself , like a great big invisible arrow above our heads that says "YES, I am Disabled !" This book deserves a massive audience, for I hope it will change the way in which disabled people are viewed by the population at large. This will be an eye opening book for many people (My mum is now reading the book, and has asked me things such as "Did this kind of stuff happen to you ?" "Yes mum, it did " ....Cue the colour draining from her face at the realisation that my school days, in particular, were, as "Chessie" puts it, "**** !" I hope this young lady goes on to become a massive success in both the sphere of comedy, and writing, in the hope that she goes on to write many more books. Miss Martinez is performing her show at Battersea Arts Centre on September 2nd, also entitled "What the *** is Normal?" and I am so excited at seeing her show that I could wet myself (No, that's not a side effect of my CP, just genuine excitement at seeing the comedy of a womam whom I confess to being a little bit in awe of !) If you only buy one book this year, make it this one, it will make you laugh and cry, but most of all, it will make you think ! "Chessie" - You are awesome ! :)show more
by Jeff Povey
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