Katherine Stevens, August 8, 2011 (view all comments by Katherine Stevens)
Much in the same vein as Important Things with Demetri Martin, only flatter, This is a Book is a compendium of sketches, short stories, and general silliness. Anyone who likes Demetri Martin should read this book, and anyone who doesn't like Demetri Martin is wasting their time reading this review.
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Grand Central Publishing -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"In this collection of essays, musings, and drawings, Comedy Central host Martin (Important Things with Demetri Martin) gently skewers contemporary social trends, conventions, and insecurities, taking on topics from social hotlines to family and relationships. With a gift for describing awkward situations, Martin challenges readers to recognize the human need for connection and recognition. The theme is seen in a panel in which a limousine displaying two flags on its hood is labeled 'important'; another displaying seven flags is 'very important.' He also answers the big questions with essays like 'Who I Am' in which he declares: 'I am bravery. I am courage. I am valor. I am daring. I am holding a thesaurus.' Throughout, Martin jokes in many guises, silly one moment, barbed the next, and he achieves a satirical brilliance that moves easily among surprising topics, like philosophy, to easy targets, like healthy lifestyles. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
From the renowned comedian, creator and star of Comedy Central's Important Things with Demetri Martin comes the paperback debut of his bold, original, New York Times best-selling humor book.
THIS IS A BOOK was an instant and long-lasting New York Times best seller, and is the renowned comedian's hilarious foray into prose comedy. In these pages, Martin expands on the sensibility he's developed on stage as an award-winning stand-up comedian and on television as a writer-performer on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and his own Comedy Central series, Important Things with Demetri Martin.
Featuring narrative essays, short stories, and conceptual pieces (such as "Protagonists' Hospital," where doctors treat only the shoulder wounds of Hollywood action heroes) as well as Martin's signature drawings, absurdities, and one-liners, THIS IS A BOOK delivers sharp jokes, colorful characters, and interesting surprises.
Martin takes readers to places as far-off as Ancient Greece ("Socrates's Publicist") and the distant future ("Robot Test,"where everyone must take a test to prove that they are not robots). He recounts a lonely man's visit to a strip club in the form of a five-hundred-word palindrome ("Palindromes for Specific Occasions"). And he examines the human condition ("Human Cannonball Occupational Hazards") and the competing world-views of divergent groups ("Optimist, Pessimist, Contortionist").
Martin's material is varied, but his unique voice and brilliant mind will keep readers in stitches from beginning to end.
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