Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Author: Douglas Sarine
Release Date: 9/9/2008
Recommended Audience: Young Adult
Ask A Ninja was a huge hit when he debuted his first video on YouTube about 4 years ago and has gone on to win multiple awards including a YouTubey award for best series. His maniacal and highly entertaining view of the ninja universe is a blast to read in this book. The book teaches you how to become a ninja starting as a nonja (non-ninja). You take the paths of Ninjaish, Whooooooo, and then finally Is That A Ninja? AAN’s wonderful use of metaphors as well as taking this to literal terms can have you busting a gut on every page. He makes up wild animals, as well as creates a whole universe based around ninjas with nonsensical tasks, forms, and worksheets printed in the book.
It’s really hard to tell you how AAN writes its material because there is no way to describe it. Fans of AAN will know what to expect, but newcomers should get familiar with him on YouTube before diving into this trance of excellent outrageous literature. AAN also uses real-life people, places, and events in his book and uses metaphors for Ninja information which is very entertaining. This kind of lets you know his views on the real world while still learning how to become the ultimate ninja.
The book contains quotes from fans on his site as well as how to use ninja weapons, clean, and some excellent ninja history. Thankfully AAN writes the book in a way where it doesn’t sound like a pseudo-intellectual trying to write a history book on something that doesn’t exist. AAN knows that none of this is real and writes as so as to even give us a great fantasy book. The book contains stories from “other ninjas” as well as songs and interviews. This thing is chock-full of info on everything ninja and there isn’t quite a book out there like it.
While the book may be a tad long-winded at 325 pages you will stay entertained and want to keep seeing more and more of AAN’s unique and unusual humor. The book isn’t for everyone and definitely not children will all the killing and talk of gore and mutilation in a comedic way will turn parents away. There are a few sex jokes thrown in for a good taste, but it all makes sense and you never really get bored with the book. It is worth the $15 purchase? Yes, it is but for fans and fans only. Someone just wondering by this book may get completely turned off by the obtuse humor and risque content.
As the ninja, himself would say “I look forward to reviewing your media soon! Hiya!”