God Bless America! (He is. Are you?)

Books, can they be trusted? Of course not. Just because something is in a book doesn’t make it factual. The printed word is full of lies and deceit.

That’s Stephen Colbert’s philosophy, and it is exactly why he says instead of writing his new book, I Am America (And So Can You!), he simply shouted it into a tape recorder, threw it to his agent and said, “Sell it.” And by reading this opening paragraph about his book, you’ve become 12.5% more patriotic.

Colbert manages to cover various American topics, ranging from family, old people, and the evil known as higher education (that’s right, St. John’s could be out to get YOU). Throughout every chapter, he includes footnotes and margin notes to (1) answer rhetorical questions and (2) prove his point even further. Colbert makes it incredibly clear that a half-hour show isn’t nearly enough, so this book serves as an appropriate extension of said show. A copy of his 2006 White House Correspondent’s Dinner speech is also included in the back of the book.

But instead of being just straight text, I Am America includes numerous images and different sub sections. These sections include “Canary in a Coal Mine,” a “Fun Zone,” and “Stephen Speaks for Me.”

“Canary” takes excerpts from newspaper articles and puts them into “perspective.” “Speaks for Me” gives supposedly average Americans a chance to speak out (should you pick up the book, we recommend the Sports Guy Sitting Next to You; it’s hilarious). Finally, “Fun Zone” presents a variety of “fun” things for you to do, ranging from finding racial slurs in a word search (if you do happen to find any, you prove yourself a racist) to figuring out the order of the top ten items on the homosexual agenda. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, then take pleasure in graphs showing the evolution of God (who starts as Dagon and then evolves into Jesus) or the test to see whether or not your friend is gay. There’s also stickers, red ones with random statements and silver ones for the Stephen T. Colbert Award for Literary Excellence. And who doesn’t love stickers anyway? Communists, perhaps.

The humor, just as it is on the show, is terrific. It’s somewhat over the top but it tends to come naturally. Anything that could have been subtle, such as the American flag look of the first paragraph of every chapter, is made distinct in typical fashion. And the margin notes are much like “The Word” segment of his show. Of course, you can’t really take any of it seriously. Colbert himself is a self-declared democrat and his extremely right-wing alter ego of Stephen Colbert is merely a comical front.

So now that you reached the end of this review, you gained yet another 12.5% of patriotism. Congratulations! Opening the book will earn you another 25%, and buying and finishing it will round off the rest of the 100%. The book is more than worth a purchase, and if you listen to Colbert, you will not only buy the book, but also the audio edition. And if you buy now, you’ll find a commemorative First Edition ribbon to mark where you are in the book. So if you are a Colbert fan, pick this up as soon as you can.