Starred Review. Comedy Central's TheDaily Show
proudly touts itself as a fake news show, so it's fitting that phony blurbs adorn this audiobook's packaging ("A Bridget Jones's Diary
for the comedic nonfiction government textbook set," says Melissa Bank, author of The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing
; and "So informative, I even found out who I
was," raves Albert Gallatine, Secretary of the Treasury from 1801–1814). The discs inside offer more deadpan wit, as the authors trace not only the history of America, but of democracy and humanity, all in a mere four hours. The editors and producers who handled this audio adaptation deserve a round of applause; they managed to take a book dependent on a wealth of charts, graphs and sidebars and translate it into audio while still preserving the fact that the book is a parody of a textbook. The result is a highly entertaining listen that showcases the expert comic delivery of Stewart and his Daily Show
"correspondents" Samantha Bee, Stephen Colbert, Rob Corddry and Ed Helms. Stewart narrates the bulk of the audiobook, and the others chime in at the end of each chapter to read the "supplemental material," which includes Discussion Questions, Classroom Activities and sidebars on everything from how things are done differently in Canada to why the founding fathers were "unelectable." Nifty sound effects (like classroom bells) and well-chosen music (which consists primarily of stately, almost pompous horn orchestrations) round out this excellent audio package.
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