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This is a Book

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  8,552 ratings  ·  943 reviews
From the renowned comedian, creator, star and executive producer/multiple title-holder of Comedy Central's Important Things with Demetri Martin comes a bold, original, and rectangular kind of humor book.

Demetri's first literary foray features longer-form essays and conceptual pieces (such as Protagonists' Hospital, a melodrama about the clinic doctors who treat only the f
Hardcover, 269 pages
Published April 25th 2011 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 2011)
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Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,552 ratings  ·  943 reviews

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Nov 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
I expected the usual, cynical you-are-sofunny-thus-give-us-a-sketch-book-of-your-most-zany-ideas type of deal... but was disappointed to realize that Martin is incredibly crafty at the most basic of comedic levels--word play, puns, kindergarten notes/drawings to pass to your best friend unbeknownst to the oblivious teacher. & at its height, it's witty enough to surpass the likes of D. Sedaris et al. My favorite snippet was "Sheila", a heavenly almost-film that surely & seriously should be option ...more
Apr 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
i laughed a few times. a few times i didn't. ironic, clever, not clever enough, too clever, not ironic enough. hair. ...more
Dec 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people
Shelves: humor
Read this if you...
a) to laugh out loud - not that disingenuous LOL stuff - real laughs. Here are some examples drawn from my own reading experience:
Types of Laughs Experienced By Me While Reading This Book:
i) Unexpectedly loud when I was trying to be quiet because my wife was sleeping
ii) Snort
iii) The kind where your body shakes and the cat on your lap wakes up and gives you a stern look
iv) A laugh followed up by the statement, "Oh, man. That's great.", followed by embarrassment
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

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Demetri Martin is a comedian. I used to watch his stand-up series, Important Things with Demetri Martin, pretty avidly. He wasn't always funny, but he had an interesting way of looking at the world. One of my favorites was his "This Is a Sketch" segment, where he gets out an artist pad and starts creating these drawings that start out one way and end up totally different by the end.

THIS IS A BOOK is obviously a play on his "This Is a Ske
Aug 31, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, audio-book
Fans of Demetri Martin's absurd, dry wit will enjoy this audiobook, which has many highlights.

The awkward and lonely public hotline helps "Dave" navigate a pressure-filled social gathering:

Just nod and smile for 6...5...4...3...2...and go ahead and say "She called me twice today!"

Fortune cookies:

We didn't know how else to tell you this but, none of us want to hang out with you anymore.

Creating new flags:

New Jersey: A picture of the rest of the country feeling embarrassed

However, he
Feb 12, 2012 rated it liked it
I zipped through this book in about a day, it's a light, easy read. There were moments when reading this book (at my job, as a librarian) when I laughed out loud and had to put it down so I wouldn't seem unprofessional. It starts off with a bang, and hooks the reader right away, just like a good comedy routine, movie or story. I brought it home expecting to be chuckling through the whole thing. Not so much. It's pretty hit-and-miss. What's funny is VERY funny, but some of the longer pieces just ...more
Garrett Cook
Jun 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
I'd seen his standup, I'd watched Important Things and I got an inkling of something I learned about Demetri Martin from reading this book. A lot of comedians have a love of words and everything about them. If it's just you and a microphone making people laugh, you have to develop an affinity for wordplay. But it goes deeper with Martin. He observes, takes apart and repurposes language. There is a poem in this book which is one long palindrome. It should strike you as gimmicky or stupid or read ...more
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-hand, humor
These pieces have that Effortlessly Hilarious vibe that tend to come only with long effort.

Even the introduction is funny.

Highpoints include: Protagonist's Hospital, Bee Sting, and Megaphone
Annette Abbott
Mar 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Demetri Martin is the love child of Steve Martin and Jack Handy.

If you've seen and enjoyed his stand-up routines and/or his television show, I think it's safe to say you'll find this book laugh-out-loud funny.

I borrowed it from the library and liked it so much, I bought it for my Kindle. It's nice having something to read on the train home after a long day in the city - something to make you laugh and thank God you're not drinking milk at the same time causing it to shoot out of your nose.

Jul 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor
I'll start by saying I've never seen Demetri Martin perform stand-up, and I've never seen his TV show. My introduction to him was hearing him as a guest on NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me and I was so fascinated by his sense of humor and the promise of a several-page long palindrome in this book that I decided to get it from the library. I am so, so glad that I did.

This Is a Book is possibly the funniest straight-ahead humor book I've read. (I am not counting The Onion's Our Dumb World or Jon Stew
Eric Townsend
Mar 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
While I understand that the style of the humor used in each piece does vary, This is a Book misses the mark when it comes to being a truly funny book.

This is the case most especially when it comes to the longer form selections. Some seem intended to be humorous, though not all, but many are flat and dry without any life to them. Socrates’s Publicist, Better Than Sex, A Christmas Carol (the Deleted Scene) and Eulogy all fell short in various ways, though mostly from excessive repetition and being
Gavin Breeden
Nov 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
If you enjoy Martin's sense of humor (his stand-up, his TV show), you'll love this book. Some of the chapters feel like skits from his TV show. Then there are charts, drawings, and graphs that we're used to seeing in both his stand-up and TV stuff. There are short stories, one-liners, drawings, lists, and other stuff. The chapters are short and funny. This is the perfect kind of book to sit on the back of the toilet.

Some of the high points:

-Confessions of a White Guy with Dreadlocks
-A hospital
Jun 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
I usually enjoy the humor of Demetri Martin. It is cerebral, witty, and funny. When I was gifted this book I was eager to see if his humor translates to the page. For the most part, it does. “This Is A Book” is a text that had me laughing out loud on more than a few occasions, and it is a good example of a comedian making the successful transition to the page. I would read it a few chapters at a time (each chapter is a stand-alone bit/story) and then would read some other book, finishing that an ...more
I have been waiting for this book ever since I discovered its existence last year. I could of course have purchased it as a hard back but because I’m cheap I waited for the paperback release. Needless to say the wait was worth it because I loved this book so much!
I am someone who loves books written by comedians as they always have this whole level of hilarity that is consistent throughout the entire book.
Not only are there hilarious passages and commentaries there are a lot of pictures that mad
Amanda Hocking
May 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Some of this book was really damn funny. I laughed out loud lots of times. It's his little things that are done best, like a couple of carefully worded sentences that make you think for a second before you laugh. Excellent work. ...more
Holly Mays
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
All the lower ratings for this book are entirely unfair, and I’ll tell you why. I think those people have unrealistic expectations about this type of book. That’s because this is an atypical kind of book. It’s not a fluid story or stand-up routine, it’s a collection of bite-sized comedic morsels. To add to that, the morsels vary greatly from potty-ish humor, to near genius at times, to more serious think-pieces, and I think people get lost during the parts that aren’t their preferred brand of hu ...more
Oct 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
Misogynist, and actually misanthropic sometimes too. I thought this kind of humor went out of fashion with those nasty mother-in-law jokes I grew up on. (Shish ke-Bobs is men on a skewer....) Some bits of cleverness, some insights, but nothing we can't get from other humorous memoirists.

Two stars, not just one, because there are a few bits I enjoyed, like the pictorial chart of character attributes signified by beard length (cool, wise, crazy, crazy wise, wizard) and the epigram, "Never be less
Megan Thurston
Mar 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
Not my kind of book. This collection of short stories is mostly composed of pointless, rambling thoughts on paper. Some were clever. A few were funny, but for the most part I felt like this book was a waste of my time as a reader.
Oct 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a very silly and funny book. I loved it. This is the kind of book I’m always looking for but so rarely find—one chock-a-block full of smart silliness and intellectual goofiness. (It gave me the same joy as reading Woody Allen’s Without Feathers or Side Effects.) It was love at first browse.

I first saw the book at an airport book store. I thought to myself “Demetri Martin. Is that the guy from The Daily Show?” I picked up the book to see if it was (it was) and started paging through. From
Aug 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
One of the most hysterical books I have ever read (if not the most hysterical). I laughed out loud more times than I can count.

I had honestly never heard of Demetri Martin until I saw this book sitting in a pile on Marty’s desk (one of his students had chosen to annotate for their summer reading project). I decided to pick it up for the mere fact that I’m interested in reading what teenagers find appealing.

As a future high school English teacher, I’ve been reading books that teenagers can relate
Becca S
Mar 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
I loved this book. Which is ironic based on the fact that I only gave it four stars. There is a reason. See, I usually base a books star rating on how much I would recommend it to another person. In this case, I loved the book, but I don't know that other people would necessarily get it, so I wouldn't recommended it to everyone. Thus the 4 out of 5 stars.
Now that that's out of the way, why do I like this book? There are two types of humor that I like. Finding humor in everyday occurrences and c
Sep 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour, 2012
Never heard nor seen Demetri Martin before so I read this book with no preconceived notion about the writer. Love the offbeat humor. I laughed out loud several times. The longer pieces are just funny-ish but his one-liners, statistics, fortune cookies, short stories, charts, drawings (and the etc.,) all had me in stitches.

Here’s a few that made me laugh:

Word Awards:
The Ensemble Award for the Least Frequently Used Combination of Words went to I was wrong, which was presented by last year’s w
H R Koelling
Jan 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor
'This is a Book' is a funny book. I have no idea who Demetri Martin is --I'm oblivious to contemporary culture-- but I like his irreverent outlook on life.

I felt this book represented a nice cross between John Hodgman and Monty Python's Flying Circus. There's the brilliant zany silliness of Palin, Cleese and Idle, the stodgy inbred intellectual eccentricities of Chapman, the obtuse imaginative renderings of Gilliam and the modern astute satirical observations of Hodgman.

There's a lot to be lov
Jun 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
I have a great deal of affection for Demetri- I loved him from the first time his Comedy Central special aired. I don't think that his comedy translates well to print, though. I expected to chuckle to myself throughout the whole book, but only a few sections made me laugh out loud. Those sections were the bits where the jokes were short and to the point, much like Demetri's stand up. I liked the chapters about statistics and one-liners, and his drawings (fantastic, as always). There were other c ...more
May 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: randomchoice
Buy this book if you like to laugh.

I love his stand-up, and this book was so off-the-wall that I was having trouble reading it on the bus because I kept laughing out loud, which is always a bit awkward. Pictures, charts, short stories...all extremely creative and hilarious.

Just one quote, of many: "We used to take some of the smaller animals the taxidermist had stuffed and put them back into the woods. This would lead the other animals in the woods to think those animals had 'attitudes.' You'd
Mar 31, 2013 rated it liked it
This seems like a low rating for this book, especially for me, a perpetually high rater. I've watched a lot of Demetri Martin videos and think he is pretty funny, but I don't think his humor carried over as well to this book. It was an interesting diversion from the novels I usually tend to read, and was silly and cute, but not necessarily "funny." Many other reviewers noted how often they laughed out loud. I don't think I did one time. I don't regret reading this book, but I was not as amused a ...more
May 28, 2011 rated it did not like it
I got this book for my husband for his birthday because he's a fan of Demetri, and I noticed he wasn't reading the book. I picked it up myself and found out why. It is full of observations, which is Demetri's style, but it wasn't funny. I mean, there were some funny parts, like the Bee Sting bit, but otherwise, I just sort of "ho-hummed" my way through the book.

I think Demetri is brilliant on stage, and I enjoyed his show, but the book just didn't come across as funny as he does live.
Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I actually purposefully took as long as possible to read this book because it was so funny that I took to saving it for when I would have anxiety attacks because it distracted me. Also because every chapter is basically it's own little short story so it was easy to stop and start again without losing your place.
This book is hilarious. I laughed out loud (genuinely) through most of it. If you like Demetri Martin's comedy you'll like this book.
Nov 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
One piece of advice: do not read this in public. You'll look ridiculous.
It's so laugh-out-loud funny. I saw Demetri Martin a couple of years ago on YouTube and found him really funny/witty, and forgot about him till now.

If you have a weird sense of humor.
That is most entertained by elements of surprise.
Jun 22, 2013 rated it liked it
It's a hit-and-miss for me. The quirky diagrams and short jokes were mostly very funny. The longer chapters were mostly boring and had to skim through them.

If he ever decides to make a book with diagrams and short jokes, sign me up. Otherwise, pass please.
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Demetri Martin is an American comedian, actor, artist, musician, writer and humorist. Martin is best known for his work as a stand-up comedian, contributor on The Daily Show and for his Comedy Central show Important Things with Demetri Martin.

Martin is known for being an unconventional stand-up comic. He uses extensive wordplay (particularly paraprosdokians), one-liners, and drawings on a "large p

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