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The 50 Funniest American Writers*: An Anthology of Humor from Mark Twain to The Onion Hardcover – October 13, 2011
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- Nell Minow The Movie Mom
A New York Times Best Seller
Editor's Choice and Best Seller
"Had me laughing out loud."
"Surprisingly excellent. Anthologies of this sort rarely live up to their claims, but the selections here are a great representation of American humor from the last 100 years."
"Sublimely funny. . . . This book is a treasure trove of laughter and an ideal gift for anyone who needs to be cheered up or refreshed, which these days means just about everyone you know."
-- Nell Minow, The Movie Mom
"An indispensable book for anyone who likes to laugh. A surprisingly satisfying and consistently funny collection that might be the best American humor anthology on the market." Grade: A.
-- Humor Lit Books Blog
"You NEED this book. It's hilarious fun."
-- R. L. Stine
From the Author
Top Customer Reviews
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!
Just as there were once squabbles over what Scripture should be included in the Bible (I'm partial to 2 Machabees and don't think it's been given a fair shake), one could argue that George Ade should instead be represented here by "The Joys of Single Blessedness" or "The Waist-Band That Was Taut Up To The Moment It Gave Way," or that H. L. Mencken's recollection of press agent "A. Toxen Worm" (whom he claimed was a real person) would've been the better choice.
The 50 Funniest is analogous to The New American Standard Bible or even the Book of Mormon, as it includes recent selections, which is nice, because you can now read those pieces you once skipped over in The New Yawkeh.
Although, if you have been keeping up with the weekly Shouts & Murmurs, and if you already have The Onion bookmarked, or if you are more interested in writers of the past, there are better collections than this. A Sub-Treasury of American Humor by Mr. & Mrs. E. B. White is better because it's a thicker book, and so is The Best of Modern Humor edited by Mordecai Richler. However, this collection by Borowitz has two things to recommend it over those volumes.
One, you owe it to Andy to buy it, because he's been sending you The Borowitz Report for free (guilt!), and two, it's so cheap!
That's another similarity with the Bible, because you can always steal a Bible from any hotel or motel room. Can't get any cheaper than that! I've obtained dozens in this manner, and one is propping-up a corner of my washing machine against the sloping basement floor. You apostates may scoff if you wish, but my clothes actually do come out cleaner (especially the whites) since using the Bible. I may add The 50 Funniest American Writers to the other corner to completely overcome ring-around-the-collar.
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But where, oh where, is anything by Damon Runyon?