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Fierce Pajamas: An Anthology of Humor Writing from The New Yorker (Modern Library Paperbacks) Paperback – October 15, 2002
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From Library Journal
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Classic humor writing from a fantasy slumber party of writers.” —Vanity Fair
“Quite simply among the greatest stuff like this ever written . . . There is comic brilliance in these pages. . . . [Fierce Pajamas] is more than worth your time, your money and the potential damage to your funny bone.” —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“The New Yorker’s fine anthology of humor writing can inspire us to collectively bemoan the scarcity of a certain kind of printed comedy: the subtle and sophisticated type." —Newsday
Top Customer Reviews
If you are like me, The New Yorker's cartoons draw your attention first. Then, you'll look for quips in verse. You'll scan your favorite features. Next, you'll scan the table of contents for your favorite writers. Finally, you will read articles on subjects of interest.
In all cases, you can expect to be surprised with wit . . . even in the midst of "serious" articles on "serious" subjects.
Unless you have read every issue of The New Yorker over the past 75 plus years, undoubtedly you've missed some wonderful humor in the form of prose and poetry. This anthology lets you quickly access the works that have "stood the test of time" to still produce a laugh now for both editor, David Remnick, and editorial director, Henry Finder.
Over 70 contributors are represented, many by more than one piece.
You are cautioned that "humor is often diluted by concentration" so that you should sample this collection over time in small doses, like medicine.
The works are loosely organized into Spoofs, the Frenzy of Renown, the War between Men and Women, the Writing Life, a Funny Thing Happened, Words of Advice, Recollections and Reflections, and Verse.
The works vary a lot in how quickly they will reach your funny bone. Some will release many laughs, while others are basically one joke that will raise not too much more than a smile. After you have finished all of the offerings to the altar of humor, you may wish to create your own index of which works match best with which moods and times when you read.
I usually prefer compact works suffused with quick humor. Here are my favorites in the collection:
E.B.Read more ›
Oh, it's funny, alright. Just not the right kind of funny. "That was clever," you might say to yourself, after a romp through one of Garrison Keillor's prose pieces. "I wonder if I should chortle now? I think I shall... Chortle!" Or: "Look, mum: alliteration! How ingenious. I marvel at the textbook examples of Comedy found herein." It's humour of the head, as you can see, but rarely humour from the gut. The kind that causes an unexpected snort, embarrassing you in a room full of stranger. Or, the kind that promises a swift trip up the nasal passages for the mouthful of milk you just gulped. This is the kind of visceral humour that I expected. Alas, I did not get it.
Let me show you what I mean, by giving some examples of Head-Funny (not Gut-Funny) pieces: Polly Frost's 'Notes on My Conversations', in which the author imagines herself as a professional conversationalist; Thomas Meehan's 'Yma Dream', in which the author must disastrously introduce a series of guests at a party he is throwing (example: "Ilya, Ira, here's Yma, Ava, Oona. Ilya, Ira -- Ona, Ida, Abba, Ugo, Aga.Read more ›
A collection as large and varied as this necessarily lacks universal appeal. Tastes in humour vary as widely as in religion or politics. Groucho Marx is mostly unknown in this generation, but on stage, TV and here in print, displays why he was revered as a comic for many years. On the other hand, Remnick and Finder let Steve Martin convince them he's funny. Others remain to be convinced, but his inclusion in this collection still is justified. There is more than just the issue of generations involved. "Classical" humourists abound here, James Thurber, E. B. White and Robert Benchley.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Often still funny, albeit dated humor from an American humor icon - the New Yorker. The short, one-liner style nuggets are of particular interest.Published 12 days ago by Yosef Y - Have had it all...
Easy to read and informative. I read it between an initial trip to China and a return a few month's later. Read morePublished 19 months ago by George B. Roberts
If The New Yorker publishes an author's work, that author has "arrived." Not only has the author arrived in stature, the author's pockets are happy. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Linda Schell
After reading The New Yorker book on Sports, I thought this would be another great read, however, I am 25 percent through this book finding it lacking.Published on March 17, 2014 by David J. O'Rourke
The Kindle edition of this otherwise excellent book has replaced the in-text illustrations and, in at least one case, tabulated text, with a generic illustration (the magazine's... Read morePublished on September 27, 2013 by bookmender
The New Yorker never fails. If you want humor, go to the New Yorker. The only other publication that equals it is the Atlantic.Published on September 1, 2013 by C. Alvarez
I love New Yorker humor, prose as well as the cartoons, and this is a lovely collection. Some pieces are goofy fun, others are very arch, and some are quite sophisticated. Read morePublished on April 14, 2013 by Wing