Of all the books I reviewed in 2011, this is the one I am still dipping into and re-reading.
It takes the form of three transcripts of Stewart Lee's shows, each copiously footnoted, explaining and critiquing his material and techniques, with excurses on his life, his health, his friends, his comedy heroes, and his mum. I was in the audience for every one of these shows; they were hilarious then and are still hilarious on the page. But would I laugh so much if I hadn't been there, if I couldn't remember Lee's slow, bitter, weary, irony-saturated delivery?
Take no chances – buy this book and get the DVDs of the shows as well. And if you get the chance, go and see Stewart Lee perform.