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This Is a Book

This Is a Book

4.3 94
by Demetri Martin

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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


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 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.

Editorial Reviews

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.)
From the Publisher
"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

Kirkus Reviews

A grab-bag of one-liners, stories and cartoons from the hipster-favorite comic.

In his stand-up performances, Martin presents himself as the cheerier cousin of comedians like Steven Wright and Mitch Hedberg, experts at simple, observational gags. His debut book is larded with plenty of that brand of Twitter-ready humor—e.g., "You never forget your first kiss. And that's what makes it so hard to forgive my uncle"; "Tell me again how a silver lining helps me?"; "100% of people who give 110% do not understand math." But Martin shines in the longer comic pieces. "Dad" is narrated by the grumpy child of a man who was raised by wolves. In a deleted scene fromA Christmas Carol, Scrooge is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Future Perfect, leading to an entertaining riff on grammatical tenses. "Socrates's Publicist" imagines the deadly consequences of the Greek philosopher acquiring a chirpy PR rep eager to brand him and bring his "question thing" to a wider audience. The best, and longest, piece, which imagines a relationship in the afterlife, is so rich with ironic twists it would be at home in one of Woody Allen's classic books. Martin occasionally tries too hard—one piece makes too much of the phrase "green with envy" —but mostly he displays an enthusiasm for finding literate jokes wherever he can find them, from describing a person's schedule entirely in abbreviations to providing clues for a crossword puzzle in which the grid entirely filled with the letter A. Less successful are the dozens of simple doodles that stuff the book. When they're presented onstage by his deliberately stiff, AV-club–alumnus persona, the cartoons can be endearing. On the page, however, they mostly read like rejected Far Sidepanels.

Not every joke works, but Martin has energy to burn when it comes to mining linguistic absurdities for laughs.

Michael Cavna
If you like random, short-attention-span riffs built on pithy comic premises, Martin's your man. If you delight in writing that deconstructs comedy even while constructing it, his self-aware style will appeal. And if you relish literary humor, This Is a Book is a book for you…Martin's absurdist wit has become distinctly his own, bearing fresh fruit even as the taproot stretches back decades.
—The Washington Post

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.50(d)

Read an Excerpt

This Is a Book

By Martin, Demetri

Grand Central Publishing

Copyright © 2011 Martin, Demetri
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780446539708



Thank you for coming to the show. Before tonight’s performance begins there are a few announcements. Please pay attention.

Flash photography is not permitted at any time during the show. Also, there is no recording of any kind allowed during the show. This includes both audio and video recording, as well as sketching, journaling, documenting, making mental notes reminiscing, reviewing, or remembering anything at all with your mind. Any recording devices that we find will be taken away from you and juggled recklessly by the clown you see standing near the left exit.

Please do not mentally undress the performer. Also, do not mentally put silly outfits on the performer or mentally touch any part of the performer’s clothes. Please mentally avoid the performer’s outfit altogether.

You are not permitted to lip-sync any portion of the show. If you do and we catch you, one or both of your lips may be removed from the building.

In the event of a fire, please use the fire exits—but not the one on the right wall. That one is just a supply closet with a sign that says “fire exit” over it. Do not open that door. There are explosives behind it.

If you happen to catch on fire during the show, do not panic or wave your arms around or scream or we will give you something to panic and wave your arms around and scream about.

It is illegal to yell “fire” in a crowded theater. If there is a fire, please yell something else instead, like “Flames!” or “Smoke maker!” or “Bad hot!”

Please refrain from smoking during the show. Anyone who is caught smoking will be shot with our meat gun.

Fighting will not be tolerated in the theater at any time. If you have a problem with someone, please see one of our blow dart vendors.

If you talk during the show you will be asked to leave and may be forced to talk for up to 72 hours straight in our “chatter chamber.”

If someone is making too much noise, do not say “Shhhh,” unless you want to get squirted with the hose.

Please keep the number of “Whoos!” to two or fewer per person. If you exceed this number (which our whoo counters will be watching for) you will receive an electric shock of memorable force.

Do not heckle the performer. Heckling is strictly prohibited. Making a noise that sounds like “Psstuhh” while judgmentally shaking your head is also not permitted. If the performer dives off the stage and you move out of the way, then you will be “dived” right out of the building. Also, crowd surfing is prohibited unless you have a body that most people in the crowd would want to fondle.

We do not allow dwarf tossing. If you toss a dwarf, the dwarf will be tossed right back at you, but faster.

Drunken behavior will not be tolerated, except by those who are being hilarious.

Please turn off all cell phones and pagers. And if you have a pager please return it to the ’90s.

Goatees are not allowed in the theater under any circumstances. If you have a goatee, then you need to see one of our speed barbers immediately. If you have a goatee and a ponytail, then you should just leave now.

While it is not legally prohibited, we ask that you do not call anyone “dawg” during the show. Also, please note that anyone named “L Train” will be rolled down the stairs.

If, at any time, a security person asks you to leave, please do not resist. However, if it is Earl, please resist.

Please do not sit on your boyfriend’s shoulders during the show (women with perky breasts can ignore this rule).

A man in a trench coat may offer you a glow stick at some point during tonight’s performance. Do not accept the glow stick unless you’re prepared to accept it right up your nose.

If you are choking, please stop it, because it is prohibited.

There is a significant risk that you will be hit with a tambourine at some point during tonight’s show. Also, the person seated in row G, seat 28 will be catapulted later into the small hammock that is hanging between the rafters.

By entering this venue you consent to being filmed, recorded, taped, taped-up, watched, studied, and smelled. You also consent to having your image duplicated, stretched, plastered, mocked, mimicked, misrepresented, and printed on any promotional materials, including but not limited to T-shirts, panties, silly aprons, propaganda posters, pasties, jockstraps, and commemorative yarmulkes.

If you happen to be standing near the confetti cannon, do not be alarmed if you lose your ability to see and/or hear for up to six months.

Not responsible for lost or stolen limbs.

Finally, please do not fall asleep during the show. If you yawn, a marble or small pellet may be carefully tossed into your mouth.

Now, sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. If you don’t, then be prepared to suffer the consequences. On with the show!


Excerpted from This Is a Book by Martin, Demetri Copyright © 2011 by Martin, Demetri. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Demetri Martin rose to relative obscurity when he started doing stand-up comedy in New York City at the end of the 20th Century. Later he became a writer at Late Night with Conan O'Brien and then a regular performer on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. In 2003, Demetri won the Perrier Award at the International Fringe Festival for his first one-man show, If I. He released a comedy album called These Are Jokes and then created and starred in his own television series called Important Things with Demetri Martin. His first stand-up comedy special, Demetri Martin. Person is considered by many to be his longest and only hour-long stand-up comedy special. Martin has appeared in movies as an actor, most recently in Steven Soderbergh's Contagion and most lengthily in Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock. His first book, This Is a Book by Demetri Martin is a New York Times Bestseller. Demetri has brown hair, and he is allergic to peanuts. You can find him at www.demetrimartin.com, at www.facebook.com/demetrimartin, on Twitter @demetrimartin, and in various places in the actual physical world.

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This Is a Book 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 94 reviews.
GaryPerlman More than 1 year ago
I'm a big fan of his show and I really enjoyed the book. If you don't like the show, there is no way you will like the book. If you have not seen the show, think of a cross between Steven Wright and Dave Barry. Many chapters were very clever and some made me laugh out loud. My favorites: "Bee sting" = brilliant! "Frustrating uses of etc" = genius. "Fruit vendor" = insanely funny. "Christmas Carol deleted scene" = hilarious, reminiscent of Dave Barry's Mr. Language Person. "Robot test" = silly but I like silly. "Products" = Dilbertesque. "Epigrams" = many t-shirt-worthy. "One phone call" = maybe cliché, but I laughed. "More drawings" = some good, although I always preferred his live two-handed drawings the most. "My powers" = powerful, considering. "Spanish teacher" = been there, done that. "The word awards" = not for lowbrows. The book is not like watching one of his shows, it's like watching two.
Kelly Hansen More than 1 year ago
Once again Demetri expresses his mad genius skills, like in his episodes, now through book format. Keep up the good work.
Jake Kief More than 1 year ago
Not only is Demetri Martin able to write tremendously funny material, he is able to do so in a way that also allows his tremendous talents as a performer and his evident genius shine in this book. He, I believe, is one of the few people who have mastered the art of making us laugh and think at the same time, and this book is an excellent example of that. A must-read.
STORE NOOKUSER More than 1 year ago
See title
Jonathan Cox More than 1 year ago
this guy is so funny i love everything he does! this is the funniest book i ever read and i c,ant wait for the next one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so funny. It is #1!!!!!!! :-) :-)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hilarious! I love this book!
Cliff57 More than 1 year ago
Read it twice. Love this guy make the simple impossibly funny.
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Kiss your hand post this on hree other books an look under your pillow
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Stupud title o.k book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is Hilarious! :D I was cracking up! XD
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