Admirers of Seinfeld’s stream-of-consciousness observations about the minutiae of daily life will find much to enjoy here ... Seinfeld remains immensely popular and fans seeking fresh entertainment will be thrilled to see him in book form.
... not a memoir along the lines of Steve Martin’s Born Standing Up, but it does serve as Seinfeld’s This is Your Life, only with jokes instead of trotting out distant relatives and former teachers ... The bits are presented in their polished form. It might have been instructive for aspiring comedians had Seinfeld illustrated how he took an idea and worked it until it was where he wanted it to be. But they will learn some lessons through the way Seinfeld finds fresh takes on well-trod topics ... Seinfeld’s keen-eyed encapsulations of the minutiae of daily life are testament to the old saw about how in the specific there is the universal ... With the exception of jokes about now-outmoded technology (the BlackBerry), this material doesn’t feel dated ... captures the output of one of our great comic minds, still in thrall to the process of working 'tiny clubs with flimsy stuff, night after night, month after month. And it takes however long it takes' ... And that’s a big deal.
Despite the self-deprecating title, Seinfeld has assembled his greatest hits. Readers will delight in seeing how he mined a shifting landscape of inane commercial products, societal norms, and myriad pet peeves for laughs.
Did you ever read a book where it’s obvious the author has no burning desire to write a book, where he puts down phrases in staccato bursts that are not really sentences or paragraphs or even proper English? A book where the author admits he has little patience for story structure in the first ten pages? That book must suck, right? Wrong! If you’re Jerry Seinfeld that book is very funny indeed ... he is so funny that virtually all of his bits (and this book is nothing but a compilation of bits collected over a 40-year career) leap off the page and, yes, make one laugh out loud ... Seinfeld is no tortured genius giving us anecdotes about how he grew up—he just gets to it in a very plain manner of fact way.
A joke vault in portable form! ... [Seinfeld's] autobiographical intro to Is This Anything? is so perceptive and engaging, as are subsequent interstitial glimpses of his offstage life, that I found myself wishing he’d written an honest-to-God memoir; he’s an observational comic, after all, and he’s surely seen some stuff ... The stand-up material is presented chronologically, by decade. Most of it reads funny on the page, especially if read with Seinfeld’s Long Island bray in your head. It helps, too, that his humor is rarely topical, so most jokes don’t date ... Myself, I’m not sure I need to savor his work quite this way, though it’s interesting to chart the changes in Seinfeld’s life through his comic preoccupations ... Seinfeld does seem to have soured a bit with age, growing more irritated than amused when it comes to humankind’s quirks, but even when he was young you could sometimes detect a fastidious lip curl behind a lot of his material. Otherwise, his psyche remains impenetrable.