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Created in Darkness by Troubled Americans: The Best of McSweeney's, Humor Category, a collection from the clever young writers that bring us the McSweeney's literary journal and Web site, and co-edited by their leader, Dave Eggers, is funny from the first page. And by "first page," we mean the table contents. Of course not every essay, list, and swatch of dialogue are created equal, but the collection has many tasty morsels that are well worth a read, a read to friends, and then a re-read, after a decent interval has elapsed.
Most appealing in the book's starting lineup is J.M. Tyree's "On the Implausibility of the Death Star's Trash Compactor." Humorous as well as thought-provoking, this essay makes the perfect amuse bouche for what is arguably the collection's main course of hilarity, "Fire: the Next Sharp Stick?", "Candle Party," and "Unused Audio Commentary by Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky, Recorded Summer 2002, for the Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring DVD (Platinum Series Extended Version), Part One," all to be found in the early middle. Though a familiarity with candle parties, Howard Zinn, sharp sticks, and other topics satirized in this book is helpful, it's not necessarily required for understanding the jokes. The biggest risk here is binge-reading, as you may exchange audible laughter for the feeling that you are being force-fed an ice cream sundae. If you pace yourself--say no more than four to six pieces at a time--you should have the energy for the final third, including the funny list marathon at the end. Or save a few portions for later when you are really starving for a good laugh. --Leah Weathersby --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
In his introduction, McSweeney's founder Eggers says the goal of these short pieces, most of which originally appeared on the McSweeney's Web site, is to be "funny without being humorous," which is an open invitation for critical bashing. It's true that the short stories, essays and lists—oh, so many lists—tend not to have, or even try for, the sort of universal appeal that turns stand-up comedians into bestselling authors. Readers' reactions will depend on whether they share the same level of erudition and love for pop culture as the authors. Greg Purcell's spot-on impression of the deranged voice of Ezra Pound's later writings, for example, will work only for those who know Pound's work, while the "Journal of a New COBRA Recruit" will be equally incomprehensible to people who didn't grow up with GI Joe in the 1980s. If you get the jokes, though, they can be side-splittingly hilarious. Of course, there are misfires, especially those that play with the idea of trying and failing to be funny.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I hoped to be inspired by the wit and humor in this book, but instead my mind was numbed by inane meandering twaddle. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Susaninacloud
It was OK. I wanted better because I love McSweeneys but maybe it has jumped the shark, as they say.Published 2 months ago by L. WA
Created in Darkness is a brilliant collection of some of the funniest satire of our age presented by one of the funniest and original publications ever created. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Garrett Zecker
Hilarious collection of short stories and humorous lists. I have purchased several copies of this book as gifts - as it is perfect for the intelligent reader with a good sense of... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Julie
A fun compilation of humor writing. Dry sense of humor definitely needed to enjoy this book, as I found the tone of most articles very tongue-in-cheek.Published 18 months ago by Janet K. Nabring-Stager
I love this book. It's kind of off-beat humor just hits home. Favorite pieces are the "Death Star Trash Compactor" and "Rapper or Personal Hygiene Product". Read morePublished on March 21, 2011 by Ria Darling
"Created in Darkness" is a collection of humour ranging from lists to jokes to stories and as you would expect with any joke anthology, the results are mixed but are generally... Read morePublished on January 14, 2011 by Sam Quixote
Maybe it hints at my age or "demographic", but I was profoundly influenced and thoroughly troubled by this prose. Chomsky on Middle Earth? Cobra recruiting? Read morePublished on December 10, 2008 by William Bickford
...Eric J. Baur "Internet Consumer" (for which, see below on the reviews page).
Holy mother of comedy, Batman! Could a 'humor' anthology be any less humorous? Read more