Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I Am America (and So Can You!) [Book Review]

Do you want to be America? Then you have to be Stephen Colbert, America's most American American. He socks the facts fast and hard, with little concern for if they have any basis in reality, because Mr. Colbert knows that the truest facts come straight from the gut.

The book opens up brilliantly, and hits the ground running with the "Congratulations-just by opening the cover of this book you became 25% more patriotic" and in the intro he states "I am no fan of books, and chances are, if you're reading this, you and I share a healthy skepticism about the printed word." and then explains "Now you might ask yourself, if by yourself you mean me, 'Stephen if you don't like books why did you write one?' You asked yourself a trick question. I didn't write it. I dictated it. I shouted it into a tape recorder over the Columbus Day weekend, then handed it to my agent and said, 'Sell this.' This sets-up the tone of the rest of this satirical little book (which actually exceeds 200 pages).

The book is quite good. I had my fair share of laughs and the writers (there were multiple including Mr. Colbert) executed and pulled off translating Stephen's style of comedy into textual format largely through the use of footnotes and side messages in the margins which helped simulate Stephen's habit of pausing a moment after making a normal statement and then following it up with something absurd. It also followed the habit of his popular 'The Word' segment with adding little plays on words and situations that are tangential to what he is discussing. Much of the book is quite amusing (it has aged well, I must say). The highest point though, is that it includes glorious, glorious stickers, which was really the major selling point for me.

The book does have its down-sides though, namely that it can be very repetitive and predictable at some points. Often times you can see the joke coming which sadly takes away a lot of the impact and potential hilarity of the joke. Fortunately, this doesn't happen very often which helped mitigate the damage his occasional repetitiveness had.

Another note, is that you should be aware that this book is satire, specifically it is a satire of Far-Right folks and the entire book is a caricature of certain positions they hold. I do see it having potential to offend certain moderates as well, so just know what you are walking into

Score: 7/10 'Muricas

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A young man living in North Texas. He is an actor, a Hellenistos, and a proud member of Hellenion.