Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Book Review: This Is A Book by Demetri Martin

Not a very good image, but I had a hard time finding a better resolution.  Anyway, this one is a book of fictional stories, essays, and lists written by Demetri Martin, who is a comedian.  He does a lot of stand up and also wrote for The Daily Show at one time.  I am almost never a fan of stand up comedy, but I do like the Daily Show and the extra bonus was that Buddy was reading this one.  I bought it thinking I'd read it too and then we could discuss...but of course I waited six months to read it and Buddy never finished it, so that didn't happen.

Writing

Ok, it's hard to separate writing and entertainment value in humor, but I'm going to try.  Martin's book wasn't necessarily poorly written.  His form was fine.  He didn't resort to racist, sexist, or offensive material in an attempt to be funny, which was my fear after hearing he does stand up.  I really don't have a high opinion of a lot of stand up because I think a huge portion of stand up involves saying something that would be totally inappropriate and offensive in any other setting and having people laugh uncomfortably.  Thankfully, this book doesn't fall into that category.  I was happy to see nothing racist, sexist, or flat out offensive in the book.
Entertainment Value
Unfortunately, while the writing wasn't offensive, it wasn't funny either.  I just couldn't get into it.  I don't think I laughed at all or really even smiled.  It wasn't terrible - it all made sense and wasn't stupid or non-sensical, it just wasn't really that funny either.  I was disappointed and not entertained.  According to many of my friends who have seen Martin live, he is hilarious in person, but for me he missed the mark with his writing. 

Overall
I think there are lot of other funny books that your time would be better spent reading: Tina Fey's Bossypants, any of Lori Notaro's books, anything published by McSweeney's but especially Mountain Man Dance Moves, John Acuff's Stuff Christian's Like, anything by Wade Rouse...pretty much anything.

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