Customer Reviews


571 Reviews
5 star:
 (349)
4 star:
 (96)
3 star:
 (54)
2 star:
 (39)
1 star:
 (33)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


123 of 140 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Side-splitting, laugh-out-loud hysterical...
I read many books in the course of a year, and I tend to rotate between histories, biographies, fiction and mysteries. But every once in a while, I'll read a book that is pure entertainment. Stephen Colbert's I Am America (And So Can You) is side-splitting, laugh-out-loud hysterical!

Colbert is best known for his TV satire on Comedy Central, The Colbert...
Published on November 5, 2007 by Cynthia K. Robertson

versus
68 of 88 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Best in Bits
My wife and I having a running debate over which show is better: The Daily Show or The Colbert Report. We both like both shows; however, she's a bigger fan of Colbert whereas I think he was funnier on The Daily Show. (How I miss him on "This Week in God.")

That's not to say Colbert isn't still funny. He is. Very funny. But the conceit of his new show...
Published on November 18, 2007 by Timothy Haugh


‹ Previous | 1 258 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

123 of 140 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Side-splitting, laugh-out-loud hysterical..., November 5, 2007
This review is from: I Am America (And So Can You!) (Hardcover)
I read many books in the course of a year, and I tend to rotate between histories, biographies, fiction and mysteries. But every once in a while, I'll read a book that is pure entertainment. Stephen Colbert's I Am America (And So Can You) is side-splitting, laugh-out-loud hysterical!

Colbert is best known for his TV satire on Comedy Central, The Colbert Report. Cobert plays a clueless right-wing pundit who has an opinion on everything--which is never based on fact. The book is divided into three sections, which are then divided into chapters. The chapters cover such hot topics as Sports, Sex & Dating, Homosexuals, Higher Education, Race, The Media, and Science. Cobert gives us his irreverent and uneducated opinion on all things America. "See, at one time, America was pure. Men were men, women were women, and gays were confirmed bachelors." On movies, "once fantastic dreamscapes where cowboys fought Indians and gay men kissed Elizabeth Taylor, became squalid nightmares where cowboys turned tricks and hillbillies kissed Ned Beatty." Colbert includes a whole glassary on science. For Geology, "The last thing I need is a bunch of dust-covered fossil sweepers telling me that the Earth is four billion years old." Also, the author used to be "pro-Fahrenheit" until he found out it was named for a Dutchman. "I don't want my thermometer taking orders from some Amsterdam stoner who got bonged out of his mind one night and started messing around with mercury."

There are also fun things in I Am America. There are two sets of stickers, games, interviews, and the first edition even has a red ribbon bookmark. There are also funny margin notes and footnotes on each page, although I'll "whine" and complain that the print on these could be larger. As a special bonus, he reprints his White House Correspondent's Dinner speech.

Although Colbert plays a dim TV talking head, in real life, he is brilliant, creative and downright funny. If you like The Colbert Report, you'll love I Am America. Even if you don't watch the show, you'll find it a hoot.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


86 of 110 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Behold! The power of Colbert!, September 9, 2007
This review is from: I Am America (And So Can You!) (Hardcover)
Over the three day weekend I happened to find myself in an old-growth national forest looking for tree-huggers to punch in the gullet when I found myself face to face with a towering, black (or so I was told later - I don't see color) Godless Killing Machine.

Of course I would have fought it, had I not injured one of my wrists in a thrilling arm wrestling match with speaker of the house Nancy Pelosi, but as it was, I was left defenseless - except for my copy of "I Am America (And So Can You!)"

Thinking quickly I took the book from my pack and threw it at the charging bear. The throw was strong, my aim was true, and the book hit the beast right on the bean, giving him pause long enough to get distracted from his pursuit by the glowing image of Colbert's face on the cover.

It was in that moment that Stephen and the Bear locked eyes that the full power of truthiness rose from the book and covered the entire forest with a warm tingly sensation, similar to that felt while using "Herbal Essences."

The bear, under the hypnotic spell of Colbert's book, decided then to give up his life as a godless killing machine, to shed his fur, and follow the path of righteousness. From that day forward, this creature would no longer be known as "bear," but now... as "Sean Hannity."

And that's the word.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


50 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky--But exactly what one would expect from Stephen Colbert, February 10, 2008
By 
Steven A. Peterson (Hershey, PA (Born in Kewanee, IL)) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: I Am America (And So Can You!) (Hardcover)
If you know about Stephen Colbert, you'll get a buzz out of this. If you don't, you may be outraged, confused, or God knows what. I got this as a Christmas present, and have found this book hilarious. No sacred cows for Colbert! And that will delight some and anger others.

Hey, I'm a college professor/administrator, and he takes shots at me and my ilk! And I love it! On page 119, he says: "If there's a bigger contributor to left-wing elitist brainwashing than colleges and universities, I'd like to see it. There's an old saying, 'A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.' Which means a lot of knowledge must be a really dangerous thing." On the next page, he notes one of the horrors of college (page 120): "The more you know, the sadder you get."

As he points out at the outset (page vii), "Well, like a lot of other dictators, there is one man's opinion I value above all others. Mine."

His segment on families is outrageous--and funny. He begins by noting that "I'm against children" (page 10). Then, he goes on to lay out a number of laws/tips regarding child raising, among which are items that parents will chuckle over.

What about the elderly? No sacred cow here. He notes that (page 23) "After criminals and babies, seniors are the most coddled segment of the population."

On religion and religious freedom (page 48): "Since the Pilgrims were victims of persecution, some assume they were tolerant. That's just liberal propaganda. Sure they were against persecution...of Pilgrims."

And he reflects on the Olympics, on sports generally, on the media (look at his comments on the major networks on page 154), and science (hilarious).

He concludes by noting (among other things) (page 213): "But make no mistake--my book isn't a monologue; it's a dialogue--a dialogue between me and my opinions, and you've been welcomed to eavesdrop on us."

A funny book. People who accept Colbert's humor will like it. Those who don't? They won't. . . .
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Just have to imagine him delivering this in person, November 15, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: I Am America (And So Can You!) (Hardcover)
My husband had to keep asking me to be quiet while he was watchng TV and I was sitting in the corner blurting out laughter every couple of minutes while reading this book. It is SO Stephen and I even think funnier than the show. From the cover (him winning the Stephen Colbert literary award, and just the title itself) to the bookmark, to the end- it is pure humor, sarcasm and cynicism at its best!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


68 of 88 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Best in Bits, November 18, 2007
By 
Timothy Haugh (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: I Am America (And So Can You!) (Hardcover)
My wife and I having a running debate over which show is better: The Daily Show or The Colbert Report. We both like both shows; however, she's a bigger fan of Colbert whereas I think he was funnier on The Daily Show. (How I miss him on "This Week in God.")

That's not to say Colbert isn't still funny. He is. Very funny. But the conceit of his new show leaves him less space to maneuver and that is reflected in his book.

Essentially, I Am America (and So Can You!) reads like a combination of a book-length "Word" segment from his show (complete with margin comments) and the kind of narcissistic, pseudo-biography/position statement produced ad naseum by politician and TV pundits. The key words here being "book-length."

Reading long passages from this book in one sitting becomes quite tedious, as if the entire half-hour of The Colbert Report had been taken up with one long "Word" segment. However, if you take the book a chapter at a time, it's much easier to be caught up in the funny moments. And there are plenty of them here, including a reprint of Colbert's speech at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.

Don't feel you're doing Stephen disrespect if you take him in chunks. It would be more disrespectful if you gave up on what's here because you got sucked into the vortex of the conceit through which it's written. Stick with it. It's worth the journey.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Like Eve, Newton offended God with an Apple, December 17, 2007
This review is from: I Am America (And So Can You!) (Hardcover)
A clever and thoughtful indictment of the American psyche. Stephen Colbert exudes the flippant and self-serving biases found in the Americn ethos today and takes it to the soapbox to mock the crowd laughing at him? Bravo for the title Colbert, "I am America" I get it.

It's comedic irony at its finest, and it is an American original. The wit is sardonic, it's irresistably funny and at the same time, it has didactical value. The delivery has all the polish you would find in the finest news circles, but it is also genuinely funny, in a maniacal sort of way.

In this book, Colbert examines much of what drives the political thought process as the average American is manipulated by a sophistic political machine. We are made to believe that nationalism and religious fidelity are one construct, Immigration and other issues have simple answers. Colbert does the work for us, he puts on the hat and plays out the part and maybe by laughing at the shear stupidity underlying the elevator pitch once fully articulated, we realize the extent to which critical thinking has been replaced with an apetite for entertainment. This is an antidote to the Fox television channel.

At first you might be under the impression that this book is one long running monologue and that this was a cunning way to profitably recycle material never executed publicly. At least my initial cynicism said so. It's a tempting idea, but the fact is that Colbert is actually showcasing a very well-developed sense of humor, subtle but definately there. How else would this man have the ability to expose the hipocrisy of this countries leadership and elicit their laughter simultaneously? It's effecting change in a positive way without hurting anyone in the process. Sheer genius, and I admire the approach.

You can't help but laugh from dust cover to dust cover. Complete with stickers, games, visual aids and comments in the margin, you can't help but enjoy the cogent lunacy. I actually laughed outloud in a number of places.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny and Clever; plus it has stickers and a bookmark!, October 15, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: I Am America (And So Can You!) (Hardcover)
Stephen Colbert was hilarious at the breakfast talk at BEA in June this year and I couldn't wait to read his book.

14 writers wrote this book. It is good, but I gave it only 4 stars because at times it was a bit predictable. (Too many brains and hands creating it?)

This is not a book to bring on as solo reading for a long plane ride. It is written in sound bites and a long read would get quite boring. Instead, it is a book meant to be read a page or two at a time. This way, the humor and cleverness can be appreciated, the side comments (in red) savored.

Honestly, this book belongs in your bathroom! My copy will go there and I will enjoy it over a long period of time. A page or two of extremely tight and clever sound bites and I have my "shot" of great humor for the day.

Finally, the seal on the book really threw me. How could Colbert have managed an award for first edition? Well, the award is an "inside" job and he's kind enough to include a page of them to decorate other books in your library! Hilarious and absolutely original!

Author of award winning book, Harmonious Environment: Beautify, Detoxify and Energize Your Life, Your Home and Your Planet
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


27 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Either the book is too dense or I am. Probably the book., November 10, 2007
This review is from: I Am America (And So Can You!) (Hardcover)
Stephen Colbert won't be satisfied until every American is in the top one percent. I'm doing one better. I won't be satisfied at all. It's not that Colbert's new mock-diatribe on the state of America isn't funny - it's funnier than Schwarzenegger on helium. It's that the delectable richness of his faux-earnest witticisms and ludicrous caricatures is flattened by the covers of a hardbound book.
"Like our Founding Fathers, I hold my Truths to be self-evident, which is why I did absolutely no research," Colbert crows in his introduction. He proceeds to march, head held high (and, I like to imagine, hands clasped tightly over his ears while screaming "I can't hear you!" over and over) through a parade of chapters highlighting fourteen controversial topics in modern American life. Beginning with The Family ("America used to live by the motto `Father Knows Best.' Now we're lucky if `Father Knows He Has Children.'") and moving through Old People, ("They call this group `AARP', which probably stands for something, but to me, sounds like the noise an old man makes when he's trying to get out of a bean bag chair."), Homosexuals ("Baby carrots are trying to turn me gay."), and Class War ("Class distinctions aren't just used to figure out where you sleep on a cruise ship."), Colbert alights finally on Science.
I normally skip it when an entertainer decides to make fun of science. Not because science ought to be above the ribbing of an expert humorist, but because no one seems to have any new jokes about it. Colbert, though, delivered. Or, to be more accurate, Colbert's army of semi-anonymous writers delivered.
"Like a load of dirty laundry spontaneously generates rats, questions spontaneously generate data and facts. And trust me: I wouldn't italicize these things if I didn't believe they were dangerous. It's not like I'm looking for extra work," begins Colbert in his anti-science rant. On the origin of the Universe, Colbert weighs in with, "Fourteen billion is a pretty big number; and God didn't create us so we could wast time trying to picture fourteen billion cupcakes. (DON'T TRY THIS!) [footnote] One...two...aaargh!"
Even we test-tube-inspecting nerds here in Pasadena get a brief mention. "So who gave some lab-coated pipette wielder permission to act like he knows more than I do about mitochondria, just because he spent twenty years of his life studying them in a laboratory? I happen to have some mitochondria myself, and I can tell you that mine don't take their marching orders from Caltech."
Despite Colbert's richly-slathered layers of wisecracks, I found the sarcasm dripping from each page too quick to cloy on my pallette. I wouldn't say that aside from the jokes, the book is insubstantial or shallow. I would say that aside from the jokes, the book is nonexistent.
Think of reading I Am America like eating jellybeans. The first few pages are heavenly titillations, each with a seemingly-fresh flavor. But beyond a handful, whether of Jelly-Bellies or Colbert's "poor people suck" jokes, it becomes harder to figure out what it was about the stuff you loved so much just a few moments ago. This book is best taken in small doses.
Much of Colbert's television material relies on the delivery - true for any humor but especially for sarcasm. This is inevitably lost in a print edition. The book is also available on audio CD, and though I've heard only an excerpt, I recommend the audio option in this case. However, with the printed book you do get the bonus of clever comments in the margins and some fun sheets of pre-printed stickers, for those of you who feel the urge to see the words "I think it. Stephen says it," on the bathroom mirror each morning.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish I Could Give It More Stars..., October 9, 2007
This review is from: I Am America (And So Can You!) (Hardcover)
If you only read one book in your life, make it this one. Best book ever. Serious hilarity on every page.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars We've Laughed These Laughs Before - Many Times, November 29, 2007
This review is from: I Am America (And So Can You!) (Hardcover)
I love Stephen Colbert. I used to videotape his segements on "The Daily Show" and watch them several times. His coverage of the 2000 Republican Convention was priceless.

His new schtick, a running parody of Bill O'Reilly, constricts what he can do. He's still funny, but in a more limited way.

I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book; therefore, it surprised me when, even though I laughed out loud while reading it, I didn't feel compelled to pick it up again after putting it down.

I just felt that I had laughed all these laughs before - many times.

Hey, I remember "That Was the Week That Was." (Does anyone else?) And "Laugh-In" and "Saturday Night Live" -- wait, that's still on. More often than not, highbrow satire targets rich, white, Christian, hetero, American men. So, you have jokes, as in this book, which imply that Colbert's macho All-American character hides a secret gay side, brought out by baby carrots. Ha, ha, ha. Isn't that funny.

And there are jokes about how rich, right-wing people think idiotic thoughts about the poor, and jokes about the "War on Christmas."

And the thing is -- yes, the jokes are funny. I did laugh. But -- forgive me for this, Stephen -- I started feeling the way I felt when I laughed at Bob Hope's final stand up routines. (Yes, I remember Bob Hope, too.)

It's all too predictable.

The very best humor surprises. It creates new synaptic connections in the brain. It turns the way you see the world upside down. That's why figures like Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, Jon Stewart, become, not just comedians, but icons of their era.

Stephen Colbert is so gifted, so smart, so funny, I have to think he can do more than give us jokes we've laughed at before, jokes at the expense of a target that is pretty easy, at this point.

How about the Globalization of comedy? How about some jokes about today's news, the jailing of a teacher over a teddy bear? How about jokes at the expense of people who sport environmental bumper stickers on their SUVs?

The world is a diverse place and Bill O'Reilly and his ideology are not the only risible material out there.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 258 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

I Am America (And So Can You!)
I Am America (And So Can You!) by Michael C. Brumm (Hardcover - October 9, 2007)
Used & New from: $0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.