Looking for your next read? Check out Book Review: It Never Ends by Tom Scharpling, reviewed by Fulco Library staff, Jay N.
Tom Scharpling has been known by many as the host of The Best Show, three hours of “mirth, music and mayhem”, for two decades now. Beginning on WFMU in New Jersey it became one of the first podcasts with the advent of internet streaming and archiving, with fandom slowly growing through the years and callers coming from further afield. Meanwhile he has been a writer/producer for television, notably “Monk” and “What We Do In The Shadows”. Within each show one particular phone call will come from musician Jon Wurster, in character, and the two will spend the next thirty-plus minutes in an increasingly unhinged conversation they have carefully scripted together with Tom as the straight man.
Tom has shared much of himself with listeners, playing the irascible hard-case host which is always eventually belied by his sincerity and empathy with callers, and his enthusiastic and thoughtful interview skills with guests. But never before has he shared his truly traumatic past, even with close friends. Severe depression in adolescence culminated in extreme treatments which helped but came with a heavy cost. But is the book funny? Yes. It’s Tom Scharpling. He’s very funny—even when recounting painful events and seemingly unending adversity. This is the story of what molded the kid from New Jersey, with insights both valuable and surprising to his fans, yet also intriguing and emotionally engaging to unfamiliar readers. The guy knows how to tell stories. The stumbles of life always continue, so he always decides to get back up—maybe after a little complaining first. Embarrassing himself in front of a celebrity as a teenager was a bad enough memory, until he went and did it even worse in his 40s. “It never ends” he thought.
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This post is for educational purposes and the contents are not endorsed by the Fulton County Library System or Fulton County Government.