Friday, December 28, 2012

I Am America (And So Can You!) - Stephen Colbert

I did it!  52 books in one year!  There will be several wrap up posts coming as well as some ideas about 2013 and the future.  For now, though, I am content to celebrate meeting (and surpassing!) my goal.  I knew Christmas break would come through for me, and it has.  

It seems oddly appropriate to have reached the finish line on this ridiculous little book with its nonsensical, feel-good title.  While preparing this post, I struggled to even qualify what genre label it deserved.  It is not fiction, but I hesitate to call it non-fiction as Stephen Colbert's outlandish statements should be taken with more than a grain of salt.  I finally settled on creating an entirely new blog label just for this book: satire.  Nothing else fit quite right and Colbert is nothing if not satirical.  For those unfamiliar with Colbert, he hosts a "news" show on Comedy Central.  He plays an uber-conservative, right-wing version of himself.  You can't really understand unless you watch some clips of his show.

I Am America (And So Can You!) is basically The Colbert Report (Colbert's show) in written form.  Colbert marches the reader through most every important topic in modern America.  He addresses family, religion, race, education, and more.  Each chapter guides you through Colbert's opinion on a specific topic.  He is absurd, funny, and condescending.  If you do not like satire, stay away from any of Colbert's books.  I, however, love satire and any humor where you have to have prior knowledge to understand the joke.  I found myself laughing and reading specific lines to Kevin throughout the book.  

I will say that this is a book I could only take in small chunks.  Because of the format, the thought flow (Colbert is kind of all over the place - purposefully), and the intense satirical nature, I could only digest a few chapters at a time.  If I read much more than that, I stopped thinking he was funny and found the jokes repetitive.  Perhaps, though, that is partially due to political satire overload after the election season.  Overall, though, I did truly enjoy the book.  I definitely will read Colbert's follow-up books next year, although I may give myself a few months waiting period before diving in.  

In the mean time, I have several more posts to write and a bag of books I have been carrying on our Christmas travels that are still unfinished.  Keep your eyes open for some fun end-of-the-year posts over the next few weeks.  If you have any questions or comments about how the 52 book challenge went for me this year, leave a comment and I promise to answer it in one of the wrap-up posts.

Pages: 240
Date Completed: December 26, 2012

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