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105 of 110 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublimely funny
I'm a fan of humor anthologies and have a collection that includes books by E.B. White, Gene Shalit, and many more. This is the best because it was assembled by one of the funniest guys around, Andy Borowitz, the first winner of the National Press Club's award for comedy and the guy behind the Borowitz Report, the most hilarious tweet feed there is. I grabbed my copy as...
Published on October 14, 2011 by Nell Minow

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The 50 Funniest American Writers
I had just signed up for Andy Borowitz's blog, and I was very excited to see he had also published a book. It's kind of like the blog: some just crack me up and some don't, but all in all it was a worthy investement.
Published 20 months ago by Sandra L. Hausser


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105 of 110 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublimely funny, October 14, 2011
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This review is from: The 50 Funniest American Writers*: An Anthology of Humor from Mark Twain to The Onion (Hardcover)
I'm a fan of humor anthologies and have a collection that includes books by E.B. White, Gene Shalit, and many more. This is the best because it was assembled by one of the funniest guys around, Andy Borowitz, the first winner of the National Press Club's award for comedy and the guy behind the Borowitz Report, the most hilarious tweet feed there is. I grabbed my copy as soon as it arrived yesterday and read for an hour, enjoying old favorites and finding new favorites. Borowitz begins with Twain but instead of the usual jumping frog or whitewashed fence he makes an unexpected but absolutely perfect and timely choice with Twain's declaration of his candidacy for President. I was delighted to see George Ade, Charles Portis, Frank Sullivan, and Peter DeVries included -- for different reasons, all four have been neglected and all four merit thoughtful reconsideration. Their selections are also superbly chosen. I was even more delighted to find that Orchid Thief author Susan Orlean could be so funny, to see many of my current favorites like Sloane Crosley and David Rakoff and Wanda Sykes, and to be introduced to authors who are new to me like Jenny Allen and Henry Beard and Larry Wilmore. Dave Barry's discussion of men, women, and relationships and Bernie Mac's description of African-American funerals are priceless. The piece by Donald Barthelme on the questionnaire about writers and drinking and the Molly Ivins about Texas politics, "the finest form of free entertainment ever invented" are among my favorites because they show how the simple recitation of actual facts can be funnier than anything you could exaggerate or make up. This book is a treasure trove of laughter and an ideal gift for anyone who needs to be cheered up or refreshed, which these means just about everyone you know.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent bathroom reading. And I mean that as a compliment., October 20, 2011
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This review is from: The 50 Funniest American Writers*: An Anthology of Humor from Mark Twain to The Onion (Hardcover)
Andy Borowitz is hilarious, and this collection of works that have made him laugh and influenced his humor is extremely funny. He generously, perhaps too modestly, steps aside and lets the works themselves do their thing without introducing them individually. While I know I would've enjoyed whatever he had to say, I admire his choice. It feels as though a trusted friend has lent me a bunch of his books and marked the good bits.

Borowitz also excludes his own writing from the collection, which in the self-promoting, self-publishing frenzy of today is nearly unheard of. There are absent writers I would've loved to see included, but this is the 50 Funniest Writers *According to him, not to me. Life would be quite boring if we all agreed on this sort of thing and we'd never read anyone new, so reviewers, such complaint will grow tiresome quite quickly. Let's cut it out.

This collection is perfect for bathroom reading. Some of the longer pieces are particularly good for constipated times. And nothing helps move things along like a good laugh. Kudos to Borowitz for a fine collection.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humor for the sophisticated crowd, December 29, 2011
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This review is from: The 50 Funniest American Writers*: An Anthology of Humor from Mark Twain to The Onion (Hardcover)
I wish I could write half as well as these writers. To convey the subject and the story in such a way that makes the reader laugh out loud is a talent that is unique among writers. Great humorous fiction, great comedic films and comedians are often under rated and under appreciated. Don't get me wrong, we love our comedians and those who make us laugh. We do not, however, take them seriously. I think this is very wrong. What could be more important than to have a daily laugh that makes our sides hurt or even a laugh that makes one pees one's self a little? Wouldn't having Stephen Colbert for president have been a great thing? We really should have statues erected of all the court jesters of all time and not these stodgy old mounted warriors with swords and such. Thanks to Andy Borowitz you have created a new, go to book, for me when I need a reminder that there is hope for humanity. :^)
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Four Republicans, November 29, 2011
This review is from: The 50 Funniest American Writers*: An Anthology of Humor from Mark Twain to The Onion (Hardcover)
Asked why he seemed to focus on conservatives, Borowitz borrowed a line from Willy Sutton. Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, and he replied that where the money was. Borowitz goes where the comedy is, and today, that is the GOP.

It appears from the four one-star ratings that four Republicans took the time to bash the book.

Last, a quote from Karl Rove, Bush's Brain: "As people do better, they start voting like Republicans - unless they have too much education and vote Democratic, which proves there can be too much of a good thing."
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Borowitz scores AGAIN..., November 5, 2011
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This review is from: The 50 Funniest American Writers*: An Anthology of Humor from Mark Twain to The Onion (Hardcover)
I'm generally fairly scattershot when it comes to the manner in which I approach a typical anthology: I'll thumb through, choose selections at reckless random, set it aside for months, perhaps pick it up later, and likely completely forget about the 44% I never managed to get to. Dust ultimately collects, as dust is wont to do.

I've long been deeply amused by damn near EVERYTHING that Mr. Borowitz has to say (whether it be in The New Yorker, via Twitter, or on his masterfully produced satirical website (BorowitzReport.com)), and I was intrigued by the notion of perusing the work of writers that HE considers to rank among the country's most amusing, past and present. I decided, what the hell, worst-case scenario? One more anthology, one more potential dust-collector...

This book will NOT be receiving the 56%-read solution, just to be cast aside like so much stultifying yard-sale fodder. As a matter of fact, my original copy is currently in the hands of a third grateful reader. And I'm maintaining a bit of a wait-list.

THIS book is one of the most well-considered, thoughtfully-ordered, skillfully-constructed collections I can recall chancing into. In addition, as I read it cover-to-cover in the order Mr. Borowitz plainly intended (well played, Andy!), I laughed aloud often enough to leave my eyes significantly tear-swollen, and hard enough to prompt a fair ache in my sides.

Beginning with Mark Twain's 'A Presidential Candidate' (stunning in its latter-day prescience) and finishing with Larry Wilmore's 'If Not an Apology, at Least a "My Bad"' (a drolly hysterical examination of ways "white guilt" might be more effectively expiated), the collection presents some of my favorite writers (Davids Rakoff & Sedaris, Dorothy Parker, Calvin Trillin...) along with a few that were less familiar to me (as if I'm unsophisticated enough to list them - ha!). The progression from story to story, as aforementioned, feels adroitly manicured without coming off as affected, and neither satire-fatigue nor comic-habituation ever threaten to set in. It's rare that I feel "approaching-the-book's-end-remorse" when tearing through a digest such as this, but as I neared the final four pieces, I discovered that I'd slowed my pace as if to somehow extend the book by just a few pages more... High praise, indeed, for a compilatory effort, in my opinion.

Bottom line: This book is consistently hilarious, brilliantly constructed and worth every moment invested in enjoying it. I'd normally hesitate in waxing so trite, but THIS one is an absolute must-read.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Trouble with someone's list is that its someone's list, October 17, 2011
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R. Scott (Cazenovia, NY) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The 50 Funniest American Writers*: An Anthology of Humor from Mark Twain to The Onion (Hardcover)
First off this is a great list. Good writers, excellent excerpts that aren't cliques that everyone associates with an author. From classics and greats to little known. Some vulgar, some not. Personally I find that lack of vulgarity in humor is more of a challenge to the writer (and thus commendable) but still those that do use it, use it correctly and for the punch of the laugh. The only problem with someone's list is that its rarely what anyone else completely agrees with. This is basically Mr.Borowitz's list and as a great funnyman himself he is given some slack. He knows Thurber, Twain and Parker HAD to be in there and who can argue with Barry or Carlin? Still I think if he has success with this book he should look around some more for a sequel. Christopher Moore's stories are plain hysterical. Unless you are an outdoorsman you might not know who Patrick McManus is, and trust me he is a great descriptive writer of droll humor even if you are an indoorsman. Richard Armour was a renowned poet but also wrote some excellent humor with his "It all started with..." series. Joe Heller's books, Groucho Marx, Al Frankin, the list goes on and on....but that's part of My List. So we're all going to be guilty of it. Mr. Borowitz is right. we all need humor these days. But I think of it as an enjoyable place to start to find other humorist we haven't sought out or heard of before and go from there.....
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The cure for Seasonal Affective Disorder, December 9, 2011
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This review is from: The 50 Funniest American Writers*: An Anthology of Humor from Mark Twain to The Onion (Hardcover)
Because Mark Twain, The Onion, and Andy Borowitz always make me laugh, I preordered this book. My only regret is that I didn't order two: my companion has been laughing up a storm every time he opens this anthology, and I'm still waiting for my turn.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Everyone Needs a Laugh, October 17, 2011
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This review is from: The 50 Funniest American Writers*: An Anthology of Humor from Mark Twain to The Onion (Hardcover)
I pre-ordered a copy of this book for one reason only: I wanted to support Andy Borowitz who has provided me with so many laughs on so many days that I thought the least I could do in return is to buy his book. I simply don't know how Andy's daily emails can be funny every damn day. He never misses.

So on the book. This is a delightful collection of all sorts of writers and many are topical, modern, diverse and also laugh out loud funny. Not "funny" the way something you read in English Lit in 8th grade was supposed be be funny but wasn't. Really laugh out loud at a funny movie funny. Who couldn't laugh at Wanda Sykes, for example?

The other thing I like about this book is that each author gets about five or six pages so you don't have to commit to reading an hour at a time. You can pick up the book as the coffee is brewing and get a good laugh. Plus, you can just skip around and read the selections in any order.

I will add (seriously) that this book would be a perfect holiday present for all those hard-to-buy for people on your shopping list, including sullen teenagers, old grand-dads, faux intellectuals, real intellectuals -- anyone. Buy a dozen or so and your shopping will be done.

In short, we all need a break. We all need a laugh, and this is just the book to help us do so. Great job, Andy!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh Out Loud, October 17, 2011
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This review is from: The 50 Funniest American Writers*: An Anthology of Humor from Mark Twain to The Onion (Hardcover)
A wonderful and entertaining look at humerous writers' works. Also, it showed me the evolution of humor through the ages. Yes, as one of the reviewers here put it, as time goes on humor becomes more vulger. But, as I see it, that is part of the over-all history. Some of the writers' pieces are incredibly timely (Twain for President). As a lover of humor, I was very pleased that most of the writings were those that I had never seen. I admit that I did Google a few of the authors, which in some instances provided even more laughs. I heartily recommend this book to anyone who wants to LOL.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious book, December 9, 2011
This review is from: The 50 Funniest American Writers*: An Anthology of Humor from Mark Twain to The Onion (Hardcover)
Love this book....absolutely hilarious. Very well written, love the format. The kind of book that you don't want to put down. I have actually read through it twice.
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The 50 Funniest American Writers*: An Anthology of Humor from Mark Twain to The Onion
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