Book Review: America (The Audiobook) – Jon Stewart

Title: America (The Audiobook): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction
Author: Jon Stewart & The Daily Show
ISBN: 9780446691864
Pages: 240 (paperback version)
Release Date: September 20, 2004
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Genre: Non-Fiction, Satire, Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:

In this audiobook, Jon Stewart and the writers of The Daily Show take the listener through the different facets of American democracy, taking time to focus on history, the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, the Founding Fathers, and each branch of our government, all with The Daily Show’s signature humor and satirical interpretations.

Review:

I’m a fan of The Daily Show, so I’ve been wanting to read America: A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction for a long time, but for some reason, it didn’t really appeal to me in print.  When I received a download of America (The Audiobook) from Hachette at BEA this year, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to “read” this book.

I’ve said before that while I don’t really listen to audiobooks on a regular basis, I want to start.  America (The Audiobook) was my first, and it worked incredibly well.  The non-fiction/satire format was great in audio because it didn’t require intense concentration to follow what was going on.  I listened to it while driving, and if I had to tune out to focus on traffic, I had no problem tuning back in and understanding exactly what I’d missed.  It made me realize that memoirs might be the perfect genre for me in audiobooks.

I usually don’t like abridged versions of books, but America (The Audiobook) was abridged and it worked very well.  I think if it had been the full content of the book, it would have gotten old.  The narrators, Jon Stewart and occasionally some of The Daily Show writers from the time it was written (Ed Helms, Samantha Bee, Stephen Colbert, Rob Corddry and more), do an excellent job with the content. 

The book itself was very funny.  Of course, there’s plenty of inappropriate humor – if you aren’t familiar with The Daily Show, I wouldn’t dive straight into this audiobook without first checking whether you find their sense of humor amusing.  This is definitely a book that made me laugh out loud, which makes me glad I didn’t listen to it on a plane!  They cover every facet of American democracy, skewering each part equally.  Admittedly, some of the jokes are blah, which makes me glad that they did abridge it – like I said, more would likely have gotten old.

I’m glad my first experience with an audiobook was such a success – I’ve already tracked down more memoirs I want to try on audio.  I really enjoyed listening to America (The Audiobook) and definitely recommend it if you’re a fan of The Daily Show, and especially if you’ve been feeling cynical about American politics lately!

Comments

  1. I thought this audio was fun and engaging too! Somehow I thought it would have come across as dated and I’ve been hesitant to recommend it to others for a while now. I’m glad it has held up reasonably well after all this time!

    My only pet peeve was the industry’s qualifier of “abridgment.” I’ve always thought the term “adaptation” was more appropriate as the producer had to change up the highly visual text to an equally entertaining audio experience. For instance, the now famous naked Supreme Court Justices paper dolls had to be cut; but the sound effects for the quizzes were extremely well wrought.

  2. I thought this audio was fun and engaging too! Somehow I thought it would have come across as dated and I’ve been hesitant to recommend it to others for a while now. I’m glad it has held up reasonably well after all this time!

    My only pet peeve was the industry’s qualifier of “abridgment.” I’ve always thought the term “adaptation” was more appropriate as the producer had to change up the highly visual text to an equally entertaining audio experience. For instance, the now famous naked Supreme Court Justices paper dolls had to be cut; but the sound effects for the quizzes were extremely well wrought.

  3. Yay! I’m so glad you had a good experience. I swear, audiobooks changed my life. As you listen to more, you will find that the way you listen changes and allows you to absorb more and still focus on what you are doing – your listening muscle gets stronger so to speak! I generally hate abridged (especially when it is a story) but I can see where it would be a good thing in this case.

  4. Yay! I’m so glad you had a good experience. I swear, audiobooks changed my life. As you listen to more, you will find that the way you listen changes and allows you to absorb more and still focus on what you are doing – your listening muscle gets stronger so to speak! I generally hate abridged (especially when it is a story) but I can see where it would be a good thing in this case.

  5. I’ve only seen bits and pieces of The Daily Show, but I thought Jon Stewart was hilarious at BEA, so I’ll have to listen to this one soon.

  6. I’ve only seen bits and pieces of The Daily Show, but I thought Jon Stewart was hilarious at BEA, so I’ll have to listen to this one soon.

  7. I really want to read this book and enjoy the humor of The Daily Show a lot. It’s good to hear that the audio book version is so well done. I might have to consider it! Thanks for the great review!

  8. I really want to read this book and enjoy the humor of The Daily Show a lot. It’s good to hear that the audio book version is so well done. I might have to consider it! Thanks for the great review!

  9. I’m glad (and, honestly, sort of surprised) that this audiobook worked so well for you! You do have to get ahold of a copy of the actual book at some point and look at the pictures. The paper dolls of the Supreme Court justices are pretty funny.

  10. I’m glad (and, honestly, sort of surprised) that this audiobook worked so well for you! You do have to get ahold of a copy of the actual book at some point and look at the pictures. The paper dolls of the Supreme Court justices are pretty funny.

  11. I passed on this auido because it was abridged, so I’m glad to see that it worked for you. And welcome to the world of increased reading through audio.

  12. I passed on this auido because it was abridged, so I’m glad to see that it worked for you. And welcome to the world of increased reading through audio.

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