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What the **** is Normal?! by [Martinez, Francesca]
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What the **** is Normal?! Kindle Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 347 customer reviews

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Length: 336 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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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

It is honest and refreshing but most of all it is bloody funny. What the **** is normal anyway? Daily Telegraph

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2030 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Virgin Digital (22 May 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HNW6X3G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 347 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #95,679 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the best books I have read in a long time. Martinez' own brand of humour runs through this book, yet she still manages to drop in poignant moments that will leave you bleary eyed. Her self-description of being "Wobbly" is far more appropriate than other medical epithets that could be applied to her. She is unconventional certainly, yet as you read this book you'll find yourself feeling 'protective' and want to be her big brother or sister and just give her a big hug.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have been meaning to read Francesca's book for a while. Having managed a quick gallop through the introduction meantime, I learned something very important. 'The only opinion of you that matters is your own...' Yes, of course. I have been muttering that like a mantra.

This evening I have settled down to read further on, and am startled, delighted and educated all at once. Francesca, I can sympathise with your dislike of the word 'disabled', but things have improved: in my day the words bandied around were 'handicapped'. 'mentally retarded' and 'spastic', all of which inspire such disgust in me that I was paralysed into doing nothing for far too long.

Needless to say - I'm going to say it anyway - I empathise with everything you write. But I also learn a lot, from your delight and joy, and can recognise the uncomfortable intrusion of reality into your own way of seeing the world, as you got older. I'm glad you found your way out from behind the wall, as I have.

Bless you, and thank you for a lovely book.

Fran Macilvey, author, 'Trapped: My Life with Cerebral Palsy'
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book more than words can say! One of the funniest, warmest, easiest books I've ever read. Francesca Martinez and I have so much in common it's unbelievable. Interests, opinions, disability, experiences, friends... the list is endless. I can't wait to read her next book!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am physically disabled myself, and I love this book, as it shows whatever difficulties you have in life, you can achieve anything that you want to do.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Best book I have read in years ...very funny, very touching and incredibly thought provoking .
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A wonderfully honest and funny account of her life and reflections on the label 'disabled'.
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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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