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A Barrel of Laughs, a Vale of Tears Library Binding – September 1, 1995


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Library Binding: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins; 1st edition (September 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062050990
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062050991
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,911,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Jules Feiffer won hearts and a whole new audience when he leapt from the realm of cartooning to create books. His The Man in the Ceiling, the story of Jimmy the boy cartoonist, was a boisterous calling for us to believe in our dreams. In A Barrel of Laughs, A Vale of Tears Feiffer gives us more help in understanding our dreams: If we don't end up where we think we're going in life, maybe we're better off somewhere else--like where we are now. He introduces us to Roger, a prince with such a sense of humor that the king's wizard sends him on a quest to sober him up a bit. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) the quest backfires: Roger enters the Forever Forest, traipses over the Dastardly Divide, and ventures downward into the Valley of Vengeance only to find himself on an entirely different quest than the one the wizard sent him on. Lucky for us, Feiffer's cartooning experience makes him an adventurous author, and he takes us on the ride of our lives, complete with timely asides, wizened wisecracks, silly drawings of characters walking in and out of the story, and more. A Barrel of Laughs, A Vale of Tears will give people of all ages (especially rowdy teenagers who sneak comic books to classes) a barrel of laughs and a wallop of wisdom! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

An inordinately cheerful prince embarks on a quest for greater gravity. "Feiffer's worldly-wise, confiding tone and sense of the absurd are highly congenial, and the drawings are a vintage Feiffer delight," said PW. All ages.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Jules Feiffer lives in New York City with his wife, Jenny. Along with being a famed cartoonist, Feiffer is also the author of numerous novels, children's books, plays and screenplays, including Carnal Knowledge, Harry, The Rat with Women and Little Murders, which was made into a celebrated movie.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 27 customer reviews
Sorry for the confusion!!
Bradleyswissman
The writing style is very loose, and the book is filled with illustrations.
Mojo Jojo
So, if you get a chance, this book is a must.
Deb

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on April 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
In the beginning Roger is a prince, but not a normal prince. Roger has a strange effect on people. If he gets too close to a person, they could die laughing. When J. Wellington Wizard tells Roger to go on a quest, Roger asks, "Isn't a quest where you have to go somewhere or find something?" J. Wellington says that he sees him entering the Forever Forest, and tells him to take a sack of magic powder, and whenever he sees someone, to dust a little on himself, so that Roger can turn into a thing, maybe even a leaf. Then, whoever he is near won't laugh. Roger sets out on his quest, gets stuck in the Forever Forest, and meets a lot of new people, such as little Lucille, Andrew, and Tom. Some are evil and some are nice. Roger hates it in the Forever Forest, but he knows it will get better and he will be the happiest man on earth.
This was a very funny book to read because the author pretended that he doesn't have control over his book, such as when, in chapter 5, Night of the Frogs, he says that he was just trying to fool Tom because chapter 5 is really called Tom. Tom is a character who is supposed to leave on page 9 but he refused. The author always talks about how Tom can walk in and out of the book, and come back at the perfect time. I thought this book was hilarious, engaging, and thoroughly entertaining.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 21, 2003
Format: School & Library Binding
I can't tell you how many times I've read this book. When I first started reading it, I was disapointed because it seemed like a total toddler's book. But the more I read, the more absorbed I became. So many things happen so quickly that you want to keep reading just to find out what's coming next. Jules Feiffer doesn't write like other writers; he plays around with his work, and you can tell he was having a good time writing this book. And although the book is very fun and light reading, I think there are also some hidden meanings and life lessons to be learned from it. I plan to read this book many times more. I also think this book would appeal to the "Phantom Tollbooth" audience, and vice versa.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
When I first read this delightful book, I immediately reread it to experience the joy and wit again. The book is full of wit and whimsy, absurdity and truth. I've read the book several times, and every time it brings a smile and a chuckle. I've described it to co-workers as my happy book because reading it is truly a "feel-good" experience. It is a tongue-in-cheek fairy tale that can be enjoyed by readers of any age.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
I first became interested in this book by my friend Allison. She was reading it and continuously told anyone who would listen of Roger and his adventures. Her little summaries intriged myself and several of our friends so much that we had to read it for ourselves. I am thrilled that I did; it was hilarious and I couldn't put it down. Although I am only 13, I would recommend this book to people of all ages.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
this was a fabulously, rediculously funny book. i did not put it down in the two days that i read it. since the first time, i have read it about seven or eight times. i love this book, and i recommend it to everyone who loves a good laugh when their down. or even when your up! this book is a lot of fun.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mojo Jojo on November 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a fun book, a sort of send up of fairy tales. The writing style is very loose, and the book is filled with illustrations.

I liked it because it moves quickly. It lacks focus, but at least something is always happening, and the story is strange and quirky. The characters are engaging, and the writing is enjoyably casual.

It's about a prince who makes everyone happy, a princess so beautiful she turns anyone who looks at her into stone, a clumsy giant, and a hunter who shouldn't even be in the book but stays in it despite the author's protests.

It's a quick read, very fun. Recommended for kids and adults, especially if you're looking for something different.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Have you ever started laughing and couldn't stop? The reason: Roger is near. He stars in A Barrel of Laughs, a Vale of Tears by Jules Feiffer, which is a wonderful and hilarious fiction book. It is about a prince, Roger, who makes anyone laugh for no reason when they are within a half-mile of him. The sorcerer, to make the problem stop, sends him on a quest.
This book is extremely funny, but only half as entertaining for the older readers. The king, King Whatchamacallit, messes up with his words so much, that it may get a tad old after a while. However, when you hear of the characters and how they act and are described, you can't help but laugh. The book is also very creative. For example, how creative is turning into a stick and throwing yourself, then having a friend look for you? Or for a super time (without drugs) have someone walk within 1/2 mile from you? As you can see, this is a fantastic book.
But of course, some people are never happy. They may think that this book isn't detailed enough. That isn't quite true. The details are just more spaced out. This makes the book a little more exciting. And for the details that aren't so clear, which is quite close to impossible, the little sketches will help. Sure, maybe not everyone would like the fact that it has pictures, but those pictures really add a lot to the story line. It adds details that could take paragraphs, maybe pages to express in words. There is no way that either could take away from such a fun and wonderful book.
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