This Is An Audiobook (Review)

Book cover for "This is an Audiobook" by Demetri Martin.Title: This Is An Audiobook

Author/Narrator: Demetri Martin

Publication Year: 2011

Pages: 288 (audio length: 4 hours 16 minutes)

Genre: Non-Fiction, Humour

Source: Audiobook version purchased from

From the cover:

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 listeners in stitches from beginning to end.

Nominated in category: “Humor”

This has got to be one of the most random pieces of writing I’ve ever read. I never would’ve heard of it if it hadn’t been for the Armchair Audies. And I loved it.

Martin’s book is a random compilation of pieces of writing, ranging from pseudo-short stories to collections of one-liners. Supposedly in the paper book, there are also drawings and such, but I can’t really speak to those as they aren’t available in the audiobook version. I think that seeing the book visually might have helped some of the sections be even more entertaining – for example, it’s hard to really get the “feel” of a list when it’s being read to you instead of seeing it in list form on the page.

Having said that, I feel like the author’s narration was actually one of the winning points of this audiobook production. Martin narrates with a soft, deadpan – though still highly expressive – voice, which just adds to the humour of each and every piece. There’s a certain level of snark and the feeling of being “in” on an inside joke that you get as a listener to This Is An Audiobook, and I think that affect is largely created by the way in which the author tells the story, both in the actual words and in the delivery.

There’s not really a lot that I can say about the content, because it’s so varied. That’s what I found interesting, though: it wasn’t one long story, so the constant changing of the characters, the themes, and even the actual format kept me on my toes and listening for the next New Thing.

Give this one a try, either in paper form (This Is A Book) or audiobook form like me (This Is An Audiobook). Either way, I think you’ll really enjoy yourself. I’m definitely waiting for more from the author after this.


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