A Summary of Jon Stewart's Book "Earth"

by Noel Shankel
Jon Stewart's

Jon Stewart's "Earth" is intended to bring a smile to your face.

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Fans of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" may get a kick out of his 2010 book "Earth (The Book)," a satirical look at human existence, dreams, flaws and achievements. The book tackles everything from relationships to work to social interacting and is written as if the human race no longer exists. "Earth" is a follow up to Stewart's 2004 book entitled "America," and fans of that work may enjoy this one as well.

The Main Story

The book "Earth (The Book)" was written by Stewart and a collection of other writers -- most of whom also write for "The Daily Show -- and chronicles human existence on Earth from the dawn of man until modern times. The book is written in the past tense and is intended to sound like it was researched by an alien race visiting Earth long after man has been eliminated from the planet. The book has a satirical take on everything from religion to science to culture to society. As with his previous book "America," Stewart and his team of writers intend to make audiences laugh while also giving them something to think about, the same structure used on his show "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."

The Look And Tone

"Earth (The Book)" is purposely designed to look like a textbook, similar to the design of his previous book "America." Outside of the written words, Stewart and his writers also include photos and cartoon panels, all of which maintain the satirical tone throughout. The book also contains statistics and graphs showcasing how far we have evolved -- or devolved -- as a society. For example, one statistic states that we were willing to wait eight hours in 1900 for a baked potato, but only one second for one in 2010. A Photoshopped picture of a nude Larry King is used to explain an anatomical lesson. This is similar to "America," which used a Photoshopped nude image of the Supreme Court justices to prove a point.

Reaction

The reaction and reviews to "Earth (The Book)" are mixed, with some critics praising its humor and insight, and others finding it less than amusing. Steve Weinberg of the Christian Science Monitor stated that the many attempts at humor throughout the book seemed "forced" and could only highlight a couple of passages that almost made him chuckle. Keith Staskiewicz of Entertainment Weekly found it far more comical, giving it an A- while stating that it brings the "mordant humor to the commonplace."

No Connection

While "America" was very open about its connection to "The Daily Show," Jon Stewart's latest book is not. Unlike his previous work, "Earth" does not feature opinions from the show's correspondents, and only briefly mentions "The Daily Show" in its 244 pages. As of 2011, the book is available in a hard copy print with a starting price of $16.79, a paperback version for $10.85 and an audio version for $10.19 on Amazon.com. All three versions should be easy to find at major bookstores.

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