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From the comedian, television writer, and host of the Best Show, a revealing and powerful memoir exploring a life of struggle and reinvention "Tom Scharpling possesses more than merely a generation-defining comedic mind. He has a heart as big as New Jersey, an eye as keen as a crow's, and a voice as powerful, pained, and righteous as a wounded god. I AM NOT BEING HYPERBOLIC From the comedian, television writer, and host of the Best Show, a revealing and powerful memoir exploring a life of struggle and reinvention "Tom Scharpling possesses more than merely a generation-defining comedic mind. He has a heart as big as New Jersey, an eye as keen as a crow's, and a voice as powerful, pained, and righteous as a wounded god. I AM NOT BEING HYPERBOLIC." --John Hodgman, New York Times bestselling author of Vacationland Tom Scharpling is good at being funny, which is a miracle, considering what he's survived. Like hitting a deer and narrowly escaping with his life on the night of the 2016 election. But that's nothing compared to the struggles he had earlier in his life. It Never Ends is his memoir of a life writing comedy amidst a lifelong struggle with mental illness, a story he has never told before. It’s the heartbreaking account of his intense coming-of-age, and the lengths he's undertaken to pull away from the brink of self-destruction. Scharpling brought himself back to life first with punk zines and NBA coverage, then through the world of comedy, writing and executive producing Monk, and creating one of the most beloved, longest running comedy radio broadcasts/podcasts, The Best Show. Of course, there are also the tangents into auditioning for The New Monkees, why Billy Joel sucks, the siren call of the Sex and the City slot machines, and how he made a fool of himself in an elevator with Patti Smith. Tom is the quintessential underdog, and he wears that status on his sleeve as a badge of honor. With this memoir, he lifts the curtain to let the light in on the turmoil that still follows him, even as he racks up accolades and achievements. But most importantly, he reminds us that while many of us carry trauma and shame, we are not alone. It Never Ends is about rising above whatever circumstance you find yourself in and getting the most out of your life, while steamrolling the chumps along the way.


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From the comedian, television writer, and host of the Best Show, a revealing and powerful memoir exploring a life of struggle and reinvention "Tom Scharpling possesses more than merely a generation-defining comedic mind. He has a heart as big as New Jersey, an eye as keen as a crow's, and a voice as powerful, pained, and righteous as a wounded god. I AM NOT BEING HYPERBOLIC From the comedian, television writer, and host of the Best Show, a revealing and powerful memoir exploring a life of struggle and reinvention "Tom Scharpling possesses more than merely a generation-defining comedic mind. He has a heart as big as New Jersey, an eye as keen as a crow's, and a voice as powerful, pained, and righteous as a wounded god. I AM NOT BEING HYPERBOLIC." --John Hodgman, New York Times bestselling author of Vacationland Tom Scharpling is good at being funny, which is a miracle, considering what he's survived. Like hitting a deer and narrowly escaping with his life on the night of the 2016 election. But that's nothing compared to the struggles he had earlier in his life. It Never Ends is his memoir of a life writing comedy amidst a lifelong struggle with mental illness, a story he has never told before. It’s the heartbreaking account of his intense coming-of-age, and the lengths he's undertaken to pull away from the brink of self-destruction. Scharpling brought himself back to life first with punk zines and NBA coverage, then through the world of comedy, writing and executive producing Monk, and creating one of the most beloved, longest running comedy radio broadcasts/podcasts, The Best Show. Of course, there are also the tangents into auditioning for The New Monkees, why Billy Joel sucks, the siren call of the Sex and the City slot machines, and how he made a fool of himself in an elevator with Patti Smith. Tom is the quintessential underdog, and he wears that status on his sleeve as a badge of honor. With this memoir, he lifts the curtain to let the light in on the turmoil that still follows him, even as he racks up accolades and achievements. But most importantly, he reminds us that while many of us carry trauma and shame, we are not alone. It Never Ends is about rising above whatever circumstance you find yourself in and getting the most out of your life, while steamrolling the chumps along the way.

30 review for It Never Ends: A Memoir with Nice Memories!

  1. 5 out of 5

    Scott Steinhardt

    I must start this review by revealing a heavy bias: I've been a listener and follower of Tom's work for 15+ years. He sent me a care package when I was in the hospital with cancer without even knowing who I was. I've met him a few times since and he's been one of the kindest people I've met. Like Tom the person, Tom the memoirist is kind, funny, self-deprecating, and captivating. The tragicomic story of his life in It Never Ends is inspiring and revealing in ways that Tom the radio host only hint I must start this review by revealing a heavy bias: I've been a listener and follower of Tom's work for 15+ years. He sent me a care package when I was in the hospital with cancer without even knowing who I was. I've met him a few times since and he's been one of the kindest people I've met. Like Tom the person, Tom the memoirist is kind, funny, self-deprecating, and captivating. The tragicomic story of his life in It Never Ends is inspiring and revealing in ways that Tom the radio host only hinted at over the years. Like his work in entertainment, Tom is funny at times but serious when need be, all while landing softly with a comforting, self-aware quip or experience to cushion the blow. It Never Ends fits right in line with the great, vulnerable memoirs from entertainers in recent years (like The Right Stuff by Wayne Kramer). It is a non-linear hike through Tom's personal history, one that any fan of Tom's work and/or brand of humor would greatly enjoy. Would it be lost on those who don't know who Tom Scharpling is? Perhaps, but such is the nature of memoirs from those in entertainment. Then again, we get it. They don't. Thanks to Abrams for the ARC.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tavie

    This is the most relatable book I've ever read. I'm not a man. I'm not from New Jersey. I possess virtually no comedic skill. I can't improvise; I certainly can't speak on the radio. I know precious little about most popular music. I can't voice a cartoon character, I've never been a writer for television or otherwise, and I certainly am not a cult broadcasting legend with thousands of loyal fans and listeners. Phone calls make me nervous. I've never owned a dog. As little as it seems I have in co This is the most relatable book I've ever read. I'm not a man. I'm not from New Jersey. I possess virtually no comedic skill. I can't improvise; I certainly can't speak on the radio. I know precious little about most popular music. I can't voice a cartoon character, I've never been a writer for television or otherwise, and I certainly am not a cult broadcasting legend with thousands of loyal fans and listeners. Phone calls make me nervous. I've never owned a dog. As little as it seems I have in common with Tom Scharpling on the surface, I had to put this book down when I reached page 51. I had pre-ordered it, as a fan of The Best Show and a fan of Tom's work, and had feverishly looked forward to reading it. When it finally arrived, I dove in, finding myself laughing out loud by page 2. (I consume a lot of comedy so it takes something really funny to make me actually LOL.) But page 51 got me. Page 51 brought memories of my childhood depression and traumatic hospitalization for severe anxiety hurtling back to me. I read on a few more pages, and my teenaged nights of staying up all night, staring at the bottles of pills in my parents' bathroom cupboard, came blazing back into memory. Tom dropped out of high school due to his depression and feelings of failure; so did I. Tom eventually collected a high school diploma he didn't really "earn" and went on to go to a local college; so did I. Tom knew what it was like to feel incredible guilt and despair over the strain his mental illness was putting on his family; boy, so did I. The incredibly bravery and bluntness of Tom's words triggered me deeply. I sobbed aloud. I "put the book in the freezer" for a few days (metaphorically; sorry for the "Friends" reference.) I sat with my feelings a few days, cried a bit, got out a pencil and picked up the book again. I began to re-read the parts that had so affected me. I underlined them. I noted on the inside cover of the book the pages where these passages were found. Somehow, this helped. I was indexing my feelings, keeping them contained in the front of the book. Then I tore through the rest of this wonderful book over a matter of a few short days, delighting at Tom's masterful comic prose and his delicious showbiz stories, his world-reknowned sarcasm shining through delightfully on each page. When I reached the end, I felt closer to Tom than I ever had. Tom and I don't know each other personally. We've never met. I've never even called in to The Best Show (see above about me and phones.) But Tom has a gift, rare among most people and even rarer among FPs (Famous People, for the uninitiated) and that is to make you feel as though he's talking to you, as though he sees you and feels your struggle; as though you and he are in the same boat. As though he understands you. Because he understands people. He especially understands underdogs. Tom gets it. We get it. They don't.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Brittany M.

    You did it, you SOB.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chris Scales

    Tom Scharpling declared to listeners of The Best Show that when he tells his life story, there won't be a dry eye left in the house. I thought he was kidding! He has now revealed more of that story, and the joke's on me. I expected this book to be laugh out loud funny, and it is. It's open and honest about trauma and struggle though, relating life events I couldn't have imagined that put the author and his achievements in a different light. We all have our struggles, we all know people who are f Tom Scharpling declared to listeners of The Best Show that when he tells his life story, there won't be a dry eye left in the house. I thought he was kidding! He has now revealed more of that story, and the joke's on me. I expected this book to be laugh out loud funny, and it is. It's open and honest about trauma and struggle though, relating life events I couldn't have imagined that put the author and his achievements in a different light. We all have our struggles, we all know people who are fighting just to hang on through another day. I found myself truly grateful for this book's open discussion of mental health while relating the author's childhood and adolescence, his creative career, and his mastery of a number of arcade games. The book is so well written - once I settled down and dug into it, it was a genuine page-turner. If you're a Best Show listener, you'll recognize a number of the anecdotes here, fit into the larger context of the author's life. No surprise how well it all works; Tom Scharpling is just a great storyteller with a strong voice, who always leaves his audience wanting more. I expect the book to find an audience beyond card-carrying Friends of Tom - it's a great, moving read that will break your heart, even while it keeps you laughing. Jeez that sounds trite but, this is a brave, engrossing, and honest book that I hope is read and discussed far and wide. New to Tom Scharpling? A great jumping on point! Read this and when you're done, as you lower your book and look at the world around you, you too will be able to say to yourself: "We get it. They don't."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Greg Ruben

    Good read for fans of the Best Show, but probably has limited appeal to a broader audience. In this book, Tom is most successful when talking about his traumatic childhood and early adulthood. Then the rest is just a blur, mostly covered by relatively brief anecdotes which are funnier when told on the Best Show than in print. I’m a big fan of Tom, and like many other listeners, have an emotional attachment to him. I preordered the books months in advance. But after finishing it I am still left w Good read for fans of the Best Show, but probably has limited appeal to a broader audience. In this book, Tom is most successful when talking about his traumatic childhood and early adulthood. Then the rest is just a blur, mostly covered by relatively brief anecdotes which are funnier when told on the Best Show than in print. I’m a big fan of Tom, and like many other listeners, have an emotional attachment to him. I preordered the books months in advance. But after finishing it I am still left wondering. What has Tom been doing professionally outside the Best Show for the past 20 years? It’s barely touched upon. Why did he move to LA? What happened with his marriage to Terre T? All of these topics do not need to be for public consumption, but if the purpose of the book is to be vulnerable and share the person behind the radio personality, it falls short.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten Innes

    This one went by so quickly and there were so so many revelations (Giuliano?!) but it definitely feels like Scharpling is just scratching the surface here. Towards the end, there are a few references to “the next book”, which, although I think they’re meant as jokes, I really hope happens. This was a refreshing breeze of a book. I normally get bummed out by reading books by funny people I love because they’re usually filled with sentences like “it was around the time of my 19th birthday that I w This one went by so quickly and there were so so many revelations (Giuliano?!) but it definitely feels like Scharpling is just scratching the surface here. Towards the end, there are a few references to “the next book”, which, although I think they’re meant as jokes, I really hope happens. This was a refreshing breeze of a book. I normally get bummed out by reading books by funny people I love because they’re usually filled with sentences like “it was around the time of my 19th birthday that I was hired on good faith to join the writers room at the Daily Show…” and it just leaves me frustrated that I have never pursued my lifelong dream of comedy writing. (What right do I have to complain when I’m not actually doing any of that? Hey, I’m just not an ideas guy but I am SO FUNNY.) Anyway, this one didn’t bum me out despite my being jealous of Tom’s ability to always be writing. Every few pages, I’d read something that would make me realise, “Hey, I think or act like that, too!” and his relatability made me feel better about myself. Thanks, Tom!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    Surly koala Tom Scharpling, The Elizabeth Egotist, The Hackensack Homunculus, The Nutley Ninny, foists his whitewashed hogwash on an indifferent public, a doomed attempt to rebrand himself as a wise and kindly elder statesman to the younger generation. This is a highly edited version of his original 1,000 page manuscript, a full accounting of his trials and triumphs, more exhaustive in scope than Robert Caro's biography of LBJ. The period at the end of this sentence represents your troubles in c Surly koala Tom Scharpling, The Elizabeth Egotist, The Hackensack Homunculus, The Nutley Ninny, foists his whitewashed hogwash on an indifferent public, a doomed attempt to rebrand himself as a wise and kindly elder statesman to the younger generation. This is a highly edited version of his original 1,000 page manuscript, a full accounting of his trials and triumphs, more exhaustive in scope than Robert Caro's biography of LBJ. The period at the end of this sentence represents your troubles in comparison to Tom's innumerable sufferings. You got that? The title is taken from a comment scribbled on top of the banker's box containing his MS, which was found in a dumpster behind his publisher's building. The following excerpt is purportedly from the planned first volume, which entails his New Jersey boyhood [Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255]- Hot tears ran down my ruddy cheeks as I curled up on my bed, candy wrappers piled around me, my neck brace beginning to chafe. (You see, I was born with macrocephaly, or, a baby born with an adult-sized head. I have had the same hat size since the age of one, needing a brace to support my fragile neck until I was 16. I made the best of it though, decorating it with stickers and clever designs made with magic marker). That day I had just suffered my worst day as a seventh grader at Kuklinski Junior High. I had always been devoted to music, or rather, I have always been devoted to judging those who make music, and I was eager to present my findings on an intensive study of contemporary music to my social studies class. I informed them that all good music has one thing in common, and that is that it sounds like the theme song to "The Banana Splits." Any music which does not resemble the ur-song is to be thrown in the trash. My major discovery was met with glazed eyes and yawns. Teacher cut me off before I got through my first stack of records, and I had to skulk back to my desk in silence. Even Dawn Weiner turned up her nose at me. They should have carried me back on their shoulders! True, I always gave the same presentation no matter the subject (it was to be my senior thesis), but still. In time I was able to pull myself together; brushing my silken tresses, and putting on some ABBA, I felt transported. Man, I could really boogie down. This led to some healthy self-exploration and gentle probing before din-din. Let my almost superhuman resilience be an inspiration to you. As this will be required reading in schools, I will now say this: Your future leaders, your gifted wordsmiths, your renowned musicologists, your arbiters of taste--treat them with the utmost care! After that outrage, I began hanging out with the sixth graders. This was not a case of my cultivating friendships with those more talented than I, but of assembling a crew of inferiors to do my bidding. They could never hope to reach my level, but I was able to pass on some basic precepts. I gave them a list of cartoons and TV shows of which I approved, as well as sheaves of xeroxes of liner notes which they needed to commit to memory. I sent them throughout the town to sing my praises and attack my enemies. I took away their lunch money and gave it to those he deemed more worthy (which included myself). I would have further opportunity to instruct them as I was kept behind that year, teacher and I having different priorities. Yes, I would rule this town of grotesques, this cynosure of bad taste, until such time as I was prepared to take my place on the national stage. Yes, I would bring my punk rock ethos to the bland comedy genre. That is, until the ungrateful monsters turned on me one day after school, surrounding me, delivering a roundelay of slaps, kicks, and punches known as a "New Jersey How-Do-You-Do." It was wrong of Principal Schmidlap to cheer them on, shouting, "Upper cut! Bitch slap! Keep up the rhythm, boys!" I sprang into Victim Mode. "It's just my persona!" I bleated, to no avail;Their tiny fists continued on their vicious work. All I could do was to alternate between covering my face and crotch with my quivering hands. Once they began to tire, I saw my chance to break free, and, with the greatest effort, escaped into the tall, dun-colored weeds which bounded the school, my arms flailing. After what seemed like hours but probably only minutes, I came across a vacant lot strewn with rusty steel drums, a common sight throughout the town and indeed the entire state. I found one which wasn't on fire and hid in it until dark. Once home, I found my pants, my favorite pair of red velour bellbottoms, to be irreparably soiled. No matter, I reasoned; I had outgrown them anyhow, the hem being two inches too short, the seams straining, and the seat shiny with wear. My indomitable spirit almost left me on those dark days, to be truthful. I would remain in my sanctuary for two weeks, recuperating and planning my revenge, my fame being the ultimate rebuke. I was checked out at school after that. My education would be found in the record stores, the arcades, the streets. (I have kept a careful inventory of my bedroom and its marvelous contents, the posters, the toys, the priceless music, the stacks of notebooks, the wall of TV Guides with my annotations. The Smithsonian is sure to recreate this cultural milestone as an exhibit as soon as they figure out how to handle the crowds.) The second volume recounts his days as a writer for a basic cable television series, the height of his career, but which he has since disavowed. Mawkish and twee, the show was popular with the elderly. Upon the series' conclusion Tom solemnly observed, "A few people laughed. Some cried. Most were silent. I remembered the lines of The Monkees: 'Now I am become a believer.'" In this period he also begins his long running stint as a volunteer at a radio station. Here he found "this thing, this special thing" with which he could dominate other people to his heart's content. He calls each show "pieces," as in a Piece of Art, surely the funniest thing he's ever said, or anyone else, for that matter. To hear him tell it, every week his mind and body would be pushed to their limits. He is convinced he has left a body of work, scrupulously PG-13, so that youngsters can begin to enjoy and learn from on to middle age, a refuge of joy in their humdrum lives. Timothee Chalamet should play him in the Netflix series, Tom is quite insistent on that point. The third volume would go unfinished, due to his precipitous slide into dementia. Patti Smith, in her application for an Order of Protection, refers to him as "Mr. Insistent Askimo-Man." Then, wearing a "WOKE AF" T-shirt and Andrea Dworkin's old overalls (she found the back flap most convenient for relieving herself wherever and whenever. Like a Trappist monk, it would be the last article of clothing he would wear, and be buried in it.), Tom crashes the Poddy Awards. Bellowing, "The Poets and The Artists make their stand!" he snatches away the black, egg-shaped statuettes from the delicate hands of the male winners and presents them to the nearest female on one knee (and keeping a couple for himself). When Security takes him down with their tasers, his keening wail fills the banquet hall of the Newark Airport Sheraton. After a short stay in a state facility, he is put into a group home, which the Kearney Kourier calls, " a house of horrors," where the residents make bets on the spread of black mold across the ceiling tiles. Tom is appalled, for although he has always been a champion of the proletariat, he belonged with the Highest Caste. Always voted down in the TV room, he can only go back, livid, to his own room, which he shares with the delightful Gordon Heftel. Bedridden but ever cheerful, the gentle giant spends his days feasting on salami, kielbasa, raw onions, all the varieties of wursts, and the choicest cuts of beef, necessitating daily fundament-al assistance. A bit of a prankster, he would roll around a greasy link in the dust bunnies under his sagging bed, and, with his grabber, carefully slide it into his roomie's mouth as he sleeps. The aides ignore his every entreaty, although they do let him massage their swollen feet: "All men are rapists, Miss Yolanda." "Hush, Tom. Now wipe that chocolate off your chin[s]." Tom has lead a clean life, so he will live to be a hundred, staring at the same dingy walls, with zero influence, zero authority, he will be forgotten and insane. Stone deaf, he is unable to enjoy his cherished Power Pop, the only thing which brings a toothless smile to his face and set his bony fingers a' snappin.’ He becomes lost in his intricate fantasies of revenge, only to be thwarted by some unseen phantom at every turn. One wonders if, in his last moments, he realizes his true worth, that of a toenail clipping. Or, will he still imagine throngs of fans beyond counting, dressed as their favorite Newbridge character, hanging on his every word, eager to learn about his process. As the man always said: "Mmmph. Ooh. Oh. I don't like it,"

  8. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Horton

    I'm not going to spoil anything until everyone gets to read it, but; I knew it would be great, but I had no idea just how perfect it would be. I'm not going to spoil anything until everyone gets to read it, but; I knew it would be great, but I had no idea just how perfect it would be.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sean Loughran

    I felt drawn to read It Never Ends for a number of reasons. It's a memoir about Tom Scharpling’s struggle with mental illness, and as someone who also struggles, I was hoping to find it relatable. I hadn't heard of Tom before but a quick YouTube search brought up some hilarious videos, so I was hoping for some comedy in this memoir. Thirdly, I love the cover design. It's bold, bright, and wonderful, practically jumping off the shelf. I had no idea of the extent of Scharpling’s battles with menta I felt drawn to read It Never Ends for a number of reasons. It's a memoir about Tom Scharpling’s struggle with mental illness, and as someone who also struggles, I was hoping to find it relatable. I hadn't heard of Tom before but a quick YouTube search brought up some hilarious videos, so I was hoping for some comedy in this memoir. Thirdly, I love the cover design. It's bold, bright, and wonderful, practically jumping off the shelf. I had no idea of the extent of Scharpling’s battles with mental illness or his ECT treatment and serious side effects as a result. When talking about ECT, Tom states, "I felt like a piece of my soul was removed every time I came out the other end." Scharpling suffered severe memory loss due to ECT, losing the first eighteen years of his life. One thing I loved about this book was that it could have been filled with sadness, but it wasn't, and maybe that's why Scharpling didn't go too deep into discussing his illness and subsequent treatment. His humour and career highlights sprinkled throughout made the book more of an uplifting read, and added some brightness to what could have been a dark and otherwise depressing read. While it’s awful to read about what Tom has been through, it’s more inspiring to see what he has achieved in overcoming that, and it’s clear from the book that Scharpling has overcome a lot in order to get to where he is in his career in comedy. I felt Tom really leaned into his vulnerability in this memoir, and was brutally honest despite how hard it must have been to write. Most of the book focuses on Tom's growing up, his love of music and comedy, and how he came to be on air with The Best Show, which made it more of a fun read. All in all, this was a well written memoir that gave me great insight into Tom Scharpling's life, and some knowledge about the world of comedy and the entertainment industry along the way. I thoroughly enjoyed It Never Ends, and have a newfound love and appreciation for Tom Scharpling. Tom's fans are called Friends of Tom (FOT), and he's found a new friend in me with this book. I received this book courtesy of Abrams, via Manda Group, and was delighted for the opportunity to read and review it. Avocado Diaries

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Murphy

    Three stars from my vantage point as someone who has only heard "Rock, Rot and Rule" (genius stuff) and nothing else from Scharpling and Wurster. (I would guess four (or more) stars if you are already a Scharpling fan.) The up-from-adversity theme is compelling and Scharpling had a lot going against him, not least of which is his struggle with mental illness, but it lags a bit toward the middle and end, especially the details about converting The Best Show from terrestrial radio to podcasting. "It Three stars from my vantage point as someone who has only heard "Rock, Rot and Rule" (genius stuff) and nothing else from Scharpling and Wurster. (I would guess four (or more) stars if you are already a Scharpling fan.) The up-from-adversity theme is compelling and Scharpling had a lot going against him, not least of which is his struggle with mental illness, but it lags a bit toward the middle and end, especially the details about converting The Best Show from terrestrial radio to podcasting. "It Never Ends" has the distinction of being a memoir about someone who has lost entire swathes of his memory. The reason for this memory loss is revealed to the reader and is an event that haunts the remainder of the book. Compelling stuff, and worth reading. But after that mid-point, it sort of drags on from one career highlight to the next. (I guess it's hard to make podcasting jump off the page). I took away from "It Never Ends" that once one acknowledges their mental illness and goes about getting help, the future can start to look brighter. That's not to say Scharpling isn't still battling demons. This is no rosy, grass-is-greener, feel-good nonsense memoir. He's quite sincere about struggling through occasional bouts of darkness, even now.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jordan Morris

    Funny and heartfelt! Tom is a warm and hilarious dude.

  12. 4 out of 5

    San

    Tom really changed my life. I mean, my life is pretty much the same, but Tom added colour. I’ll always love him for that. His book opens his world to me. He has had some bad times, but he still remains such a positive force for so many. I appreciate him being so open and being an inspiration. Even if you don’t know him, his book is worth a read. It’s sad, happy, funny; all the things! And if don’t want to read it? Well, that’s because we get it and you don’t.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Pramod

    IT NEVER ENDS – A MEMOIR BY TOM SCHARPLING PUBLISHER ABRAMS PRESS #NETGALLEY,#ABRAMS PRESS, #TOMSCHARPLING, #NONFICTION I like to read about people who strive to fulfill their dreams. Tom Scharpling, a very funny man, wanted to be a writer. And not any kind but a comedy writer. He achieves his goal, despite many adversities in the journey. IT NEVER ENDS, is a well-written memoir, with lots of humor, sadness, and triumph. Despite a few bumps along the way, Tom does eventually gets his talk show and bec IT NEVER ENDS – A MEMOIR BY TOM SCHARPLING PUBLISHER ABRAMS PRESS #NETGALLEY,#ABRAMS PRESS, #TOMSCHARPLING, #NONFICTION I like to read about people who strive to fulfill their dreams. Tom Scharpling, a very funny man, wanted to be a writer. And not any kind but a comedy writer. He achieves his goal, despite many adversities in the journey. IT NEVER ENDS, is a well-written memoir, with lots of humor, sadness, and triumph. Despite a few bumps along the way, Tom does eventually gets his talk show and becomes a very popular character in the New Jersey area.. I enjoyed the book though I struggled to get through a few chapters where he mentions the pinball machines and video games. I I will recommend the book to all nonfiction lovers and fans of Tom. Thanks to Tom Scharpling, Netgalley and Abram's Press for the chance to read the ARC.

  14. 5 out of 5

    D.

    Holy moly! I had no idea about the pain behind the laffs! It's no hyperbole to say that I found this book incredibly inspiring on multiple levels. AP Mike probably gave it less than five stars so that's why it doesn't have a perfect aggregate score. Holy moly! I had no idea about the pain behind the laffs! It's no hyperbole to say that I found this book incredibly inspiring on multiple levels. AP Mike probably gave it less than five stars so that's why it doesn't have a perfect aggregate score.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Gentile

    I knew this book would be funny, but I didn't expect such raw vulnerability and emotion. Great stuff. I knew this book would be funny, but I didn't expect such raw vulnerability and emotion. Great stuff.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Clif

    The first time I heard The Best Show, I was in my friend Jon's car. "Man, this guy is a GRUMP," I thought to myself. He hung up on a caller for seemingly no reason, and took another call. This next caller started talking about an SNL skit (sketch?!) and I was amazed that Tom wasn't hanging up on the guy. It was Jon Wurster, my friend (other Jon) told me, and gave me a brief rundown of their partnership and what the show was. I felt tricked and treated at the same time, in awe of these dudes usin The first time I heard The Best Show, I was in my friend Jon's car. "Man, this guy is a GRUMP," I thought to myself. He hung up on a caller for seemingly no reason, and took another call. This next caller started talking about an SNL skit (sketch?!) and I was amazed that Tom wasn't hanging up on the guy. It was Jon Wurster, my friend (other Jon) told me, and gave me a brief rundown of their partnership and what the show was. I felt tricked and treated at the same time, in awe of these dudes using radio in a way I'd never heard before. That was about 8 years ago, and I remember this day because I've been a listener ever since. Look, I knew I was going to give Tom's book 5 stars before I even read it. To me, he'd already earned that with the hours of Grade A content I've gotten from The Best Show. But here's the thing—this is a 5 star book on its own merit. If you ask me, Tom is truly the funniest guy going. He picks up on things nobody else seems to talk about. And after finishing It Never Ends, he's also proven to be an incredible writer with a heart of gold. He's gone through more hardship than any person should ever have to endure. What I love about him is the brilliant balancing act he walks between seeming angry/grumpy but never intent to hurt someone's feelings—knowing exactly when, where and how to let off steam in a way that is not ill-intentioned. We all have things that we just DON'T LIKE, and Tom has mastered tapping into his own dislikes (Billy Joel, pizza from Toronto) in a way that I can relate to my own dislikes (Kings of Leon, How I Met Your Mother, people that do/say something 'weird' in hopes of making a stranger uncomfortable in front of their friends [it never works; I'm a chill dude but will go to the Basement of Weirdness if prodded to do so]). It Never Ends is very honest, real, and—above all—HOPEFUL. As he says in the book, "there's a huge difference between complaining for sport and actually being negative." Tom is like Charles Bukowski if Charles Bukowski wasn't a piece of garbage. Although his going was tough, the tough got going and wrote this magnificent memoir. That SOB did it. He really did it!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    At the start of the second chapter of Tom Scharpling's memoir, he calls his shot. Its a refrain familiar to listeners of The Best Show, as he's called it from perhaps even before he put pen to paper on telling his story. It goes like this: -In Act I, the reader will laugh. -In Act II, the reader will cry. -In Act III, the reader will laugh again while cheering for Tom "the way they cheered for loveable underdogs like Rocky or Seabiscuit or Rudy". -And when it's all done, the reader will slow cla At the start of the second chapter of Tom Scharpling's memoir, he calls his shot. Its a refrain familiar to listeners of The Best Show, as he's called it from perhaps even before he put pen to paper on telling his story. It goes like this: -In Act I, the reader will laugh. -In Act II, the reader will cry. -In Act III, the reader will laugh again while cheering for Tom "the way they cheered for loveable underdogs like Rocky or Seabiscuit or Rudy". -And when it's all done, the reader will slow clap while staring at the cover of the book and muttering, "That SOB did it. He really did it!" I am pleased to report that indeed, that SOB did it. Tom manages to tell stories from his life in the tradition of some of the all-time great comic essayists, crafting the definitive version of some classics he's told on the air that made me laugh out loud all over again upon reading them in this format. He opens up about things he's never been able to talk about before, with a refreshing honesty and bravery that will no doubt help countless people who are struggling with the same issues feel less alone. And through it all, he weaves his own populist philosophy of what it takes to be a creative professional, inspired by his working-class Jersey parents and upbringing. It's a triumph - as a long time Best Show listener, I didn't think I could root for Tom any harder, but he's managed to exceed my expectations once again. Can't wait for the next one! (Thanks to NetGalley for a digital advance copy when I just couldn't stand the anticipation any longer, and to Bookshop.org for sending out copies in advance of the release date for the all the diehard pre-ordering Friends of Tom)

  18. 5 out of 5

    John

    Like most fans of the “Best Show,” I would’ve enjoyed reading pretty much any book by Tom Scharpling—even if he’d pulled a Dennis Leary and done the difficult work of compiling his tweets. Thankfully, that’s very much NOT what Tom has done with this incredibly honest and very funny memoir. As promised, Tom wrote a book. Turns out it’s as good as he said it would be.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Joel Nelson

    So, so good. I would give it 5,000 stars if I could. I suppose the fact that I am a huge fan of The Best Show impacts my opinion but I genuinely think the book is fantastic and I think even someone who knows nothing about Tom or The Best Show would enjoy and, I dare say, be moved by it. It truly is all he made it out to be and he should be proud of it. His frank discussion of his mental health struggles alone are worth the time. Hope he writes another.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Matt Vears

    It probably shouldn't have surprised me that someone with such a solid writing career would be a great writer, but 1) I'm not really a memoirs person and 2) it's his first book. When Tom said he was writing a book, I ordered it, because for all the free laughs over the years, of course I did! After I ordered it, I started thinking about what I actually knew about Tom after so much time listening to The Best Show/Double Threat/etc. Nothing, really. Tom and Jon's work intentionally blurs the line It probably shouldn't have surprised me that someone with such a solid writing career would be a great writer, but 1) I'm not really a memoirs person and 2) it's his first book. When Tom said he was writing a book, I ordered it, because for all the free laughs over the years, of course I did! After I ordered it, I started thinking about what I actually knew about Tom after so much time listening to The Best Show/Double Threat/etc. Nothing, really. Tom and Jon's work intentionally blurs the line of what's real and fake so often that you sort of just let it go. Curiosity mounted. I tore in. It did not disappoint. So it was really great to get to read an honest, funny collection of stories about the guy. There were a lot of "oh, so that's why I like him" moments. There are very few of us who were janitors at our high schools while we were also students at said high school, but we exist, and at least one of us has done something with his life and wrote a great book that you should read if you like things that are funny or inspiring or both.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Harry Smith

    wow! enlightening

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Patterson

    Too biased to review properly.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    You S.O.B, you did it

  24. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    I love Tom.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    This is a 7/10 for me but not having the option to rank a half-star makes that harder to convey. Some nice anecdotes and a fun, upbeat tone overall. Some of the humor hits, and some not so much but this is an easy read all the same.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jd

    Officially a fan of the Best Show now.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Celia

    This book is a hug. Not a 201-DEAD-HUG. A consoling hug. Thank you, Tom.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Matt Ogborn

    I've been in a bit of a reading slump (i.e., barely reading at all in 2021), but maybe this book will change that. I'm a huge fan of the Best Show and Tom Scharpling in general, and this was a joy to read. I've been in a bit of a reading slump (i.e., barely reading at all in 2021), but maybe this book will change that. I'm a huge fan of the Best Show and Tom Scharpling in general, and this was a joy to read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Eric Nagurney

    Some crumbum stole my signed copy. I had gotten over it, but now that I've actually read this incredible book, I'm mad about it again. Some crumbum stole my signed copy. I had gotten over it, but now that I've actually read this incredible book, I'm mad about it again.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cameron

    We get it. They don’t.

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