Archive | 10:55 AM

Book Review: This is a Book by Demetri Martin (3/5)

26 Mar

I’m a big fan of Martin’s stand up comedy. I saw him live back in high school. I own one of his books and I’ve wanted to read this one for a long time, too. I’m glad I finally did and it was a nice, quick read.

Cover image via Goodreads

This is a Book by Demetri Martin

Summary from Goodreads:

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 flesh wounds and minor head scratches of Hollywood action heroes), as well as his trademark charts, doodles, drawings, one-liners, and lists (i.e., the world views of optimists, pessimists and contortionists), Martin’s material is varied, but his unique voice and brilliant mind will keep readers in stitches from beginning to end.

This book is about what I expected. There were some parts I thought were funnier than others. A few made my husband come in from the other room to check on me, a few made me smile. Some were grounded in a comedy I could appreciate, a few were a bit too much for me. Some were puns, others situational comedy. It was a real mixed bag with something I think everyone could find funny.

Demetri Martin
Image via the Royal Oak Music Theater

I liked the drawings best. That was always my favorite part of Martin’s comedy specials and the entirety of his other book and I was glad to be able to enjoy them in this installment as well. He does great in a visual medium.

Some of the long-form work was a bit much for me. I liked Protagonists’ Hospital, but Sheila didn’t do it for me. The situations he describes are a bit much and pieces like Socrates’s Publicist just ran too long. There were one-liners in it, but they weren’t the focus and that made it fall flat for me.

Writer’s Takeaway: Martin’s comedy shines here, but it needed to be a bit better refined. I believe his second book, which I read first, was a better expression of his comedy. I haven’t watched his TV show but all the references to it on the back blurbs makes me think I should. Maybe I would appreciate some of these jokes more. I think Martin did a great job in his first book, but it did feel like a Freshman effort. I’ll have to be equally easy on myself when (not if!) I publish my first book.

This book was fun and quick, just what I expected of it. Three out of Five Stars

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
“This Is A Book” by Demetri Martin review | Demetri Martin News
I Give Up Book Review: “This Is A Book” by Demetri Martin (2011) | Elliot’s Blog
This Is A Book by Demetri Martin | Allison’s Weblog
Travis_J_Smith’s #CBR5 Review #144: This is a Book by Demetri Martin | Cannonball Read 5
Erin Sullivan’s #CBR5 #1: This Is A Book by Demetri Martin | Cannonball Read 5