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What the **** is Normal?! Paperback – 22 May 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Virgin Books (22 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753555360
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753555361
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (244 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"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)

Book Description

The debut book by award-winning comedian Francesca Martinez that asks: 'What the **** is Normal?!'

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Ms C J Wilkins on 24 May 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I absolutely loved this book! It had me hooting with laugher from the first page, and I carried on all the way through. I couldn't put it down and got so engrossed at one point I didn't notice I had spilt my sandwich sauce on my jumper. Francesca is a fantastically funny and observant writer, with a very shrewd eye for deconstructing the nonsense going on around us.This book also covers some serious subjects very movingly, with warmth and wit. I would recommend this book to absolutely everyone because it's so funny, but I also think it would be a good book for teenagers to read, because of the brilliant way Francesca talks about our changing self-image through teenage times and how difficult and confidence-zapping that can be. This book contains some of the best advice you will ever read, and calls BS on the things we don't need to worry about. It's like a manifesto for happiness. This book is funny, life-affirming and brilliant.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kay Vaughan on 8 Jun. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book on Kindle after seeing Francesca as a guest on The Wright Stuff and finding her really funny and totally likeable. I wasn't disappointed. From her early days raised in a close knit loving family through to the horrors of secondary school and her salvation at the hands of Grange Hill (!), this book manages to make you laugh, get angry and be optimistic for a better future in equal measures. Once I started I couldn't put the book down and phone off hook and ignoring Facebook for once I read from start to finish in a day. Amazingly motivational without preaching, and always (even in difficult times) very funny, this is definitely the best book I've read in a long time. Viva La Wobbly!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By W-O-W on 26 May 2014
Format: Paperback
This book is enlightening, astounding and hilarious all that once. As a disabled person myself not only could I relate to a lot to what happened in this book, but the overall message really hit home.
HOWEVER this does not mean that you need to be disabled to love this book - you'll laugh and learn from it regardless! It's definitely my favourite book of this year, and should be read by all! Thank you Francesca.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mrs H J Marlow on 25 May 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Absolutely ****ing brilliant!!!

One if the best books I've ever read. I love Francesca's comedy and when I saw her on TV talking about it I ordered it straight away. It arrived the next day and from the fist page I was gripped, I couldn't put it down. Not only is it hilariously funny, it really highlights how stupid society's definition of normal is.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rick B on 25 Oct. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ok, I admit it. I've been putting off this review. You see the problem is I want the review to do justice to the book and Francesca. Also I know Francesca so I have that problem, no not the the -how do you tell someone you know that you don't like their work. No, the other problem- how do you lavish praise on them without it seeming creepy and also giving them a big head.

But anyway qualms aside, here's why you should buy this book:
It's in words that if you know the English language you will be able to read.
It has the best ever joke using chapter structure in a work of literature ever. EVER!
It is not inspiro-porn, and if you are a tad mystified or trepidatious about disability 'things' (or even the word trepidatious which is real by the way, I checked and everything), oh stop it and buy the book, problem solved!
Strip poker with male models? Oh she's a one!
It's very readable and once I had finished it went round my friends and family in rapid succession (sorry Francesca, cost you some sales there).
It achieves something the best autobiographies do, it allows a platform for the author to reflect and develop their thoughts and here she manages to do something really important in a time of austerity, consumerism and conformity: She combines the personal, social, political and ecological into a convincing argument to eschew the chains of normalcy and LIVE. The World needs it. So do you.
It has a poem in it, but it's actually really good, so that's ok.
It’s, kinda…exciting, because by the end you realise this is just the beginning, that there is so much more to come from Francesca and you’ll get to be part of the story too, because it’s really about all of us and the challenge to live well and kindly and bravely, not least with yourself. And we all struggle at that.
And have a lie in, sleep is important :)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Souter on 5 Jun. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought I'd read a quick chapter of this and then go to sleep. Impossible! It is a grippingly told story that makes you feel as if you know her. I was roused to anger, moved to tears and then cried with laughter: sometimes on the same page. There is a clarity to the storytelling that makes episodes like the basketball games, grand parental visits and pub conversations, vivid and alive. It is a book that makes you think and has me pondering my relationship with my daughter. I can't recommend this highly enough.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K Smith on 16 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After seeing Francesca on This Morning I just had to read this book! And I absolutely loved it - such a page turner! Could relate so well as I suffer with the same condition, and found it eye opening to find someone who felt the same. Her words are so honest and emotional, but so positive. She had me laughing all the way through, but also very reflective on my life and my experiences. Her story is written with such passion, and even approaches the sensitive times in her life with such a positive attitude. I would recommend this book to everyone, teenagers and adults, (whatever ability). It is incredibly funny and outlines society's approach to difference from the norm but also offers a solution to the ways in which we can change this. This book changed my outlook on life completely, such wise words from such a wonderful lady. I felt overwhelming happiness whilst reading and now can't wait to read it again!
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