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This Is a Book Paperback – April 10, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

From 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.)
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Review

"This book embodies the essence of Demetri's comedy to perfection, which is a good thing since he wrote it. Silly but incredibly smart, it's exactly what puts me in awe of his work."
-Will Ferrell

"When I first saw Important Things With Demetri Martin, I said to myself, "this is the funniest thing ever." I was wrong. This Is A Book is better." -Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers: The Story of Success

"This book is so funny I forgot to laugh. I know that sounds like a childish criticism, but I mean it literally: This book is so funny, I forgot a whole bunch of things--who I am, what I stand for, large chunks of my childhood, my sense of equilibrium, how to fall asleep, and when I'm supposed to laugh at things."-Chuck Klosterman

"Demetri Martin has a very funny and original mind. If I could draw a graph explaining how funny and original he is, I would. But I don't do that. Demetri does that."-Conan O'Brien

"Throughout, Martin jokes in many guises, silly one moment, barbed the next, and he achieves a satirical brilliance." -Publishers Weekly

"The best [material] would be at home in one of Woody Allen's classic books...Martin has energy to burn." -Kirkus
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (April 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446539694
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446539692
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Jaydoggy on April 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of the most brilliant, intelligent, and hilarious books I've read in a while. It shows Demetri's myriad creative talents. This is not something to read if you're just looking for a quick, cheap laugh. This makes you think and put the pieces together at times. The palindromes along with the massive poem were astounding. His art and drawings made me laugh each time.

Fans may be caught off guard by some material in here. Don't think of it like a comedy standup; it's a book of creative writing and comic musings of different ideas spanning a myriad of eras from the past to future. Some of them are only one line, others are stories that take several pages. Some may even take the form of a short play!

It's uplifting, funny, even dramatic and thought-provoking. It's not your standard comedy book. It's something fresh and different, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kemuel R. Chavez-vigil on April 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you stumbled across this book, is because you probably have seen Demetri's show before. I'm not much of a book worm to tell you the truth, but I already read a bit more past the half and let me tell you I'm not dissapointed. Demetri always finds ways to make you think, you really have to have an open mind to understand many of his jokes. Only 3 days with it and nearly done with, I just wished it didn't end, every story, a few sentences, and every drawing brings a laugh or a smile.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gentle Reader on April 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Demetri Martin is a hilarious comic, musician and artist. We all know that. But who knew Martin was such a wonderful essayist? These essays could all be in the New Yorker-- they're that sharp and witty. This is a collection I feel like giving to every guy I know. Funny, funny.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Scott on July 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Comedian Demetri Martin's book is a weird collection of one-line jokes, cartoons, and strange (almost surreal) short stories. It's funny, in a kind of existential way. There really aren't any punchlines and the humor is, at times, so subtle that it can pass you right by. However, it is clever, witty, and most of all, highly entertaining.

When you laugh at Martin's jokes, you instantly feel superior to everyone else who didn't laugh at them because those people, obviously, just aren't as smart or precocious as you and therefore don't understand the humor. And you, of course, can't explain why you're laughing because if you did, it would spoil it.

Martin's one-liners are the kinds of things you wish you were clever enough to post as your FaceBook status updates because they would make you seem so cool and thoughtful. As it is, if you read the book, you'll probably just use his ideas on your FB page because it's not like he's your friend or anything and so won't be checking up on you.

So just read it. It's funny.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By sauce on April 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you're a fan of his comedy, you'll love this book. When I'm reading it in public its difficult not to laugh out loud at some parts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert I. Hedges HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I have been a fan of Demetri Martin for years, starting when I saw his cable special "Person." Martin is clearly intelligent, keenly observant, and is able to twist everyday reality into strange shapes that are both delightful and unexpected. He targets ridiculous trends in society, frequently singling out self-important buffoons and sports fans for hilarious lampooning. The book contains a wide variety of writing styles and jumps rapidly between subjects and genres. I love his sketches and graphs; they generally don't illustrate anything we didn't already know, but like cartoons from Gary Larson or "The New Yorker," they manage to elegantly make their points sharply from a peculiar vantage point.

While I would argue that it's not a good thing to kill a cat with a yo-yo, Martin's other skills are well used here, although I wish his penchant for musical comedy could be adequately conveyed in print. I generally liked the shorter pieces better, probably because they most closely resemble his act, which is one of the best in modern comedy. I loved his lists of statistics ("It is safer to fly in a plane than it is to fly in a car.") and the more surreal pieces of comedy, e.g. "Confessions of a White Guy With Dreadlocks," and especially "Products" ("Enjoy Mint Melee tea at home near your bathroom. We mean it.") I was especially entertained by the chapter "Epigrams, Fragments, and Light Verse" which largely features brief prose and poetry in free and blank verse. I was probably most entertained by "What a cruel, ironic, little joke / Nature has played on man / By making the dumbest people the loudest ones / I'm talking to you sports fan.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ly508 on June 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this book was so hilarious, it's definitely an odd book but really funny if you have the right sense of humor, i was laughing out loud at some of the stories in it, it's worth the read if you're looking for something entertaining
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Taylor Renfro on June 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This Is a Book is my new favorite book. Witty, charming, and downright hilarious, This Is a Book is a great read for anyone who wants humor and seriousness in equal doses. While reading, the humor will make you LOL but the topics will make you remember long after you put the book down. I highly recommend This Is a Book!!!
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