PERFORMING ARTS

I Want To Be Where the Normal People Are

Grand Central. 2020. 288p. ISBN 9781538745359. $28. TV
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In this sometimes snarky yet always deeply thoughtful memoir, Bloom, cocreator and star of the musical comedy TV series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, revisits the highs and lows of her life, from bullying and heartache to comedy, theater, and loss. She describes cruel classmates and even harsher teachers, imbuing stories of misery with hilarity. Self-deprecating and utterly candid, she holds little back, discussing masturbation, obsessive-compulsive episodes, feelings of intimidation as both a child and as an adult in comedy writing rooms, and the experience of having a child and losing a treasured friend while trying to navigate a global pandemic. Bloom relies on diary entries and letters from her past, inserts footnotes, and even writes a chapter in the form of a musical to chronicle her love for the format (readers can visit the author’s website to listen along to a musical version of this chapter). Appropriately, reading the tales feels like bingeing a riotously funny television show; as in Bloom’s own TV series, each anecdote offers a different storytelling style.
VERDICT A relatable and touching memoir that will resonate both with Bloom’s fans and those unfamiliar with her work.

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