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This Is A Book, By Demetri Martin


An extremely funny collection of silly stories, random aperçus, surreal scripts, crazy statistics ("The boomerang is Australia's chief export. And then import") and daft drawings, this is reminiscent of Woody Allen's early comic prose pieces.

"Socrates's publicist" is the story of the Athenian philosopher's career, including the time he got a job in a restaurant but "customers complained about the 'annoying waiter' who pestered them with 'difficult questions' about their orders".

"Bee Sting" is a comic Rashomon in miniature, in which Martin gives the viewpoints of Maureen, the bee that stung her, the magazine that was flapped at the bee, the squirrel in a nearby tree, and God.

"Spanish Teacher", a dialogue in which a guy encounters his former teacher and remembers very little of the Spanish she taught him, is making me giggle even now at the recollection.