Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Causing a Scene: Extraordinary Pranks in Ordinary Places with Improv Everywhere Hardcover – May 19, 2009
"Cats in Paris" by Won-Sun Jang
For lovers of cats, Paris and coloring! Learn more
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
"Causing a Scene" catalogs some of the work of Improv Everywhere, a group of people devoted to, well, causing a scene--in a word, pranks. What if, for example, 80 people showed up at Best Buy wearing blue shirts and khakis? Or suppose seven people on a subway train weren't wearing pants? What if the next year there were year there were 30 and then 40 and the number kept growing each year? These, apparently, were the sort of questions that the authors thought needed answers. So they set out to answer them.
The thing that separates the "missions" in this book from the realm of the ordinary practical joke is their sheer inventiveness and the fact that there is nothing malicious here. At their finest, the members of the Improv Everywhere are simply providing free entertainment for the lucky few who happen to be present at, say, the Olympic tryout of the New York City Synchronized Swimming Team--in about four inches of water in a public fountain.
The book describes thirteen missions, devoting around 20 pages to each one. The authors share the genesis of the idea, the planning, the execution, and the reactions. This project--by which I mean the book, not the missions--strikes me as a risky proposition. Describing jokes never works, so would describing pranks? The answer is a resounding yes, at least for most of the chapters.Read more ›
This book compiles thirteen of IE's "missions," describing the event in great detail, from the inception to the actual incident. They've included some of my favorites - the book signing by (the very dead) Chekhov, the Best Buy employee army, and the subway ride sans slacks. All the agents do a great job and the reactions from members of the public are priceless. Maybe one day I'll be lucky enough to be in New York when IE strikes!
As far as downsides to the book, I would have to say that it is a fairly small book, the paper quality isn't great, and the pictures are black and white. But I consider these relatively small issues and I feel the book is fairly-priced.
If you're looking for a good laugh, definitely check out this book (and their site at improveverywhere dot com to see more missions). Be sure to leave it out on your coffee table so friends and family can enjoy it as well!
Whether or not you're already familiar with Improv Everywhere, this book will amuse in an easy-to-read, lighthearted way. Five stars.
Most of the material in the book has already been on the website in some form, but it is expanded upon and better put together for the book. I believe that fans won't really even mind that the material has appeared on the website because they will enjoy being able to read and share the funny experiences and stories.
My son would love to figure out how to get to New York and find himself in the middle of one of these extraordinary pranks!
But who cares?
The deviltry they've been up to with Improv Everywhere is hilarious. The intent is obvious: improvisational theatre everywhere.
Recounted here - in sometimes too much detail - are the plans and execution of each of their events. Some involve just a few people, others many more.
For example, one of my favorites involves a reading of his own works by Anton Chekhov, who had been dead only for a century or so. There's a bit of irony here because Anton Chekov and even his mother were notorious pranksters themselves. The idea was simple: a wonderfully bearded and wild-haired John "Wimpy" Ward was found taking classes at a local (New York) improv theatre. He became Chekhov. The stunt was staged at a Barnes & Noble and several dozen people gathered to hear Anton Chekhov read his works. The stunt went off successfully - and hilariously.
Another stunt, that you may have seen on YouTube or on television, involves people riding the subway. Pretty prosaic, eh? Not when they do it without pants!
How about walking into the men's room at a McDonald's - and find a tuxedoed attendant, complete with a collection of toiletries to aid in your grooming?
These people know how to have fun and the book can produce chuckles. It would produce more, however, if the authors could actually write well and the production values were higher. I thought the writing was kind of stilted and that the primary author puts way too much of his ego on display. The book is physically small, the paper of poor pulp variety and the many black and white photos are muddy and difficult to view.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read the online versions and seen the videos and this book realy didn't add anything of value. I would rather of spent 10$ donating it to Improve Everyware then to waste my time... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Andrew Anderson
I've been a huge fan of improve everywhere for years so i figured I needed to get the book. It has some interesting information in there on the missions they did but all of that... Read morePublished 19 months ago by jack
If you enjoy all the clever and creative and (occasionally) disruptive flash mobs on Itunes, you'll enjoy this brief history of how it all started. A quick fun read.Published 21 months ago by S. Nelson
Had been reading and viewing the Improv Everywhere pranks on their site prior to buying this book.
"Causing a Scene" showcases 13 of their better 'missions',... Read more
If you like
- planning and performing any type of projects
- covered surprise actions and flashmobs (which is a term that ImprovEverywhere carefully... Read more
This book is an absolute can't miss for lovers of great comedy. There is literally nothing out there to compare this gem to because it is a singular original. Read morePublished on August 28, 2012 by Roland Dice
This book is a stitch. I laughed a lot reading about Improv Everywhere's elaborate "missions" (pranks) in public places in NY city. Read morePublished on July 27, 2011 by wordgarden
This is a fun book. It recounts the various exploits of the informal street performance group Improve Everywhere. Read morePublished on March 15, 2011 by Gadget Fan
These guys are so funny and their book really reflects that. The concept of "invisible theatre" is hard to teach improv students and this book might help me with that. Read morePublished on October 16, 2010 by Jennifer L. Forrest