America (The Book) & I Am America (And So Can You!)

Preface to my short blurb review: I read this well before The People’s History of the United States, and this book is meant to be a humorous overview of what every American typically knows of history and politics, so I’m still glad I read this and would still read more from Stewart in the future because of his smart, funny take on politics; same goes for Colbert.

This is very similar to a history textbook, with a subtle side of The Daily Show humor. Entertaining, but definitely not meant to be read in one sitting. Enjoyable way to read about American history.

When I started this book, I thought, ‘I like Colbert, I’m going to try it.’ At first it was kind of slow going, but once I got a few pages in, I started to understand the humor. There are so many side notes that I found it hard to want to read all of it, but once I got past the thought, I realized how funny this book was. He also talks about his personal life along with childhood pictures and more of the like, but not enough to digress from his main point. I’m looking forward to reading more of Colbert and Stewart if more becomes available.

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Forrest Gump/Gump and Co.

Not much at all like the movie, which I saw many times before finally reading the book, I was surprised to learn Forrest is much more of an idiot savant and in a stranger array of subjects than the movie could allow. For instance, Forrest is a natural at physics equations and learns to play the harmonica in one sitting and becomes a professional chess player as well as ping-pong. He is head over heels with Jenny of course, but she is more obviously portrayed as a self-centered slut than the movie shows. Which was fine for the love story of the movie, but knowing how it goes down here, makes me dislike her with more vehemence than I cared to get involved for the movie portrayal.

Lt. Dan also shows up in a similar capacity as in the movie, but of course his story is also switched which is making the novel much more interesting for character-building. I think I’ll enjoy the sequel, Gump and Co. which starts about 10 years later than the first novel, which Forrest having more adventures, but now he’s got baggage.

Transmetropolitan V.1-10

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This series seems to parallel another character and future dystopian time: Tank Girl in attitude, but also brought to mind Steppenwolf, the lone wolf mentality, (which I was reading at the same time) Jerusalem inhabiting this persona so well. In any case, this future Earth is interesting with it’s strange new fad fashions, including: human half-alien people who need their own diets due to the voluntary operation which becomes the hype in the city. The new America is getting more garbage-ridden (human and otherwise) and it’s highly focused on the political aspect, which is fine, since we get to see Spider go off, usually violently at everyone involved, including some who befriend and help him in some ways, but normally they’re on the left side of the law already, themselves.

Then, Spider finally pisses off more people who would rather take revenge than grin and bear his blatant face-slapping writing. He and his assistants become more armed than with just a bowel-disruptor gun. On top of this, it shows heart, as well. It suits those looking for righteous justice by any means possible. The plot only continues to thicken with more violence and wild rides of story-telling, which breeze by due to Ellis’ uncanny talent of weaving his idea of politico-vigilante journalism into something worthy and easily consumable for the layman (I don’t follow politics and this was easy even for me to grasp). Ellis succeeded where Total Recall fell short when it comes to naked alien chicks, as well.

There are also sharp turns down the dark road of child prostitution and other dirty areas of society, fictional and real alike which all cycle back to the President whom was elected, and Spider’s mission to get him out of office. After, the President sets up an opportunity for a natural disaster to ruin the city and endanger people’s lives by having the paper district (where everything news-related is churned out) quarantined and no one can be helped.

Then we learn Spider is going through a hidden severe physical ailment and we’re plunged into mysteriousness again. So now his goal of getting the President out of office must be done before Spider’s possible expiration! I can only hope this finally is made into a movie. It gets more and more wild and sickly violent as I go, which I love to hate sometimes and it’s safe to say Ellis is going to be hard to stop reading. Lucky for me I haven’t read his novels yet. Those who prefer graphic novels should check FreakAngels out, here.