Courtesy of Beaverdale Books
Reviewed by Julie Goodrich
‘Earth (the book): A Visitor’s Guide to the Human Race’
By Jon Stewart
Grand Central Publishing
“Earth,” the hilarious new book from Emmy winner, Oscar host and “Daily Show” anchor, Jon Stewart, is a nonstop laugh from cover to cover. A superb follow-up to his bestselling “America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction,” Stewart aptly shows the comedic genius and insightful commentary for which he has become so famous.
Set in the form of a narrative to extraterrestrial visitors who land here after the humanity tears it apart, Stewart pulls no punches as he describes civilization to the aliens. All of our foibles, inconsistencies and strangeness are on display — from environmentalism to parenthood, cities to religion. Nothing is sacred and nothing is off limits.
Full of pictures, graphs and sidebars, “Earth” is a visual delight, upping the hilarity to new levels. This is also an excellent title to listen to on audio book, as Stewart and a whole cast (familiar to those who watch the “Daily Show”) are wonderfully funny and the dry, textbook-like tone just adds to the laughs. In fact, it’d be a great book to both read and listen to, as the experiences are just as funny the second time around.
While this is obviously a book of satire and humor, it holds a much deeper message. It’s this dark, ominous look at the near future — where we are headed as a species, a society, a world — that truly makes “Earth” a must-read. The premise itself is a comment on the fact that no one is around to meet the aliens: we’ve destroyed ourselves. It’s a strong message for such a funny book.CV