Stewart Lee is without a doubt one of the most important and thoughtful artists working in comedy today. Reading his breakdown of specific shows so carefully wrought with such a literate and artful manifesto is an inspiration and education about the art form of comedy, and ultimately of his particular continuing significance in it. Not only compelling to anyone who loves comedy, it is a book for anyone who is interested in art, an artist's process, and the culture in which we live. (I highly recommend watching some of his DVD's before reading this to truly appreciate the stunning work he has done -- all of which is overshadowed by the shockingly funny outcome of his process. Though not necessary to enjoy this book, it will undoubtedly enhance the experience.) Lee is a comedian working at the highest levels-- by any index you choose -- of the artform of comedy, and this book is a treasure for both those who already appreciate it as well as those who may not yet understand the richness, depth and breadth of what the form of stand up comedy is capable. It makes me appreciate his unique brilliance even more than I already have - and that is saying quite a lot. I wish every comedian on earth would read this book, if only that they might begin to aspire to the kind of artistry that Stewart Lee brings to every word, every idea and every powerful, meaningful laugh in his work. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.