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Your Wildest Dreams, Within Reason Paperback – March 1, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sacks (coauthor of Sex: Our Bodies, Our Junk) offers 54 short humor pieces, including 25 written in collaboration with fellow humor writers Todd Levin, Scott Jacobson, Bob Powers, Jason Roeder, Scott Rothman, Will Tracy, Ted Travelstead, and Teddy Wayne. The essays, many of which were published in McSweeney's and the New Yorker, is a selection of contemporary social satires, such as signs a college is not very prestigious ("Marching band uses only handclaps") and a bridegroom on Twitter ("Attempting to fist-bump rabbi"). The essays include icebreakers to avoid ("This party reminds me of 9/11"); a director's commentary on the DVD rerelease of a 1990 bar mitzvah video; and a rejection letter to Anne Frank: "Unfortunately, we receive so many unsolicited teenage diaries composed in European attics that it is impossible to publish each one." Highlighting this often hilarious book are Yu's many illustrations, such as the inclusion of Pynchon's muted post horn, and Sancton's 10 drawings depicting "Everyday Tantric Positions" as well as an eight-page pantomime comic strip from Esquire about frustrating Ikea assembly instructions. (Mar. 15)
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From Booklist

Previously published in such publications as McSweeney�s and the New Yorker, these comic pieces should appeal to fans of offbeat humor. It�s difficult to categorize the book because, as Sacks freely admits, the pieces have no �overarching theme, no recurring characters, nothing that links one piece to another.� The pieces, many of them cowritten with Sacks� fellow humorists, range from satire to parody to faux-autobiography (�My Parents�) to instructional articles (�When Making Love to Me: What Every Woman Needs to Know�) to fake correspondence with famous writers to, well, the just plain indescribable (�The Rejection of Anne Frank�). Sacks and his various coauthors are gifted humorists, and it�s safe to say that any reader will emit chuckles, guffaws, and chortles while perusing nearly every page. Some of the material here is rather graphic, especially the illustrated �Everyday Tantric Positions!� and �Kama Sutra: The Corrections.� Recommend this one to adult readers with highly developed funny bones. --David Pitt
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Tin House Books; 1 edition (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935639021
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935639022
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,210,246 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By RLeone on December 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
Sorry, I gotta go against the grain of the reviewers. I am 62. I have loved comedy, comedians, jokes, funny shows, slapstick, saturday night live skits and just about any comedy you can think of all my life. I love to laugh. As much and as loud and as often as possible. I didn't crack a smile on this tome. I laugh out loud when reading David Sedaris. And one of the funniest books ever was "The Last Catholic in America" written 40 years ago. But if you want the same stupid type of writing that was found in the national lampoon in the 60's, then this is for you. The setups are tired, predictable and just plain unimaginative. Gee, there were gems wherein a twitter user wrote "I can't seem to get the exclamation point to work" " opps, now I can!!!!!!!!!" This is funny? Not to me and the book is full of this kind of sophomoric stuff. You will not be left out of the loop if you never read this book. Pass Gas in a crowded elevator and you will have reached the level of humor Mike Sacks attains. I know he is somebody important and has written skits, articles and so forth...apparently the reading level of America is truly at about the 8th grade level with a funny bone equal to that of a 12 year old boy.
I have my book ready to go to the Half Price Bookstore to see if I can get a few bucks back. Terrible. And David Sedaris should be ashamed to have put his imprimatur on the front cover of this sad collection of juvenile wit. Sorry, but that is my take on it. It is just not funny. It is pathetic. Don't waste your money.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've tried and failed to finish this for years. It's one of those books that I saw and loved the idea of, yet it never really panned out in actual practice. I've no doubt that some will absolutely love the book to tatters. I'm just not one of them.

Part of this is that the stories all seem to think of themselves as far more clever than they actually are. I kept flipping through this because I'd find one or two things that were cute enough to give me hope that there were more funny or quirky stories in here, but to no avail. As soon as I started diving back in, I'd get incredibly bored and toss this book to the side in search of more entertaining fare.

The other part of this is because many of these stories are more entertaining viewed separately and sparsely. I keep trying to rationalize giving this a more positive review because I really, REALLY wanted to like this. Heck, once I'd gotten enough money saved, I eagerly rushed to purchase this. It just didn't deliver. You could argue that I could always read the book piece-meal, but that's sort of what I've been doing and I still didn't care for this.

If you've been looking to read this, I recommend either getting a used copy or going through the library unless you're very familiar with Sack's work and absolutely know you'll like this.
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Format: Paperback
I was lucky enough to get my hands on an advance copy of this book during the crazy Chicago snowstorm of 2011. I almost didn't mind being locked inside my house because I had this hysterically funny book to read. I was already a fan of Our Bodies Our Junk so I had a hunch I would like this one too. And I was right. The entire book conveys Mike's ability to poke fun of the absurdity of our lives in a way that is clever enough that we are left impressed and charming enough that we don't mind being mocked one bit. Witty, creative and recommended reading.
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This collection illustrates perfectly why I have been following Mike Sacks's humor for more than a decade now: he is a complete - and completely hilarious - original. Reading his work is like stepping through a door to a world that's been rotated one quarter-turn toward Absurd O'Clock. You recognize the features of the landscape, but the ground is constantly shifting. The people of this world have their own logic, and it's not your own. This is especially true of the piece that kicks off the book, "Whoops!" This is one of my favorite bits of humor writing, not only from Mike Sacks, but of all time.

What is perhaps most impressive is that, somehow, a visit to the World of Sacks highlights the absurdities inherent to our own, real world: office culture, relationship hiccups, communication misfires. I don't often laugh out loud at words on the page; when I do, it seems almost like magic. Mike Sacks is this kind of word magician, and Your Wildest Dreams, Within Reason is a virtuoso performance.
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When I saw David Sedaris blurb on the cover, I figured Sacks must've gotten ahold of pictures of Sedaris doing something hetero in a park. But the famed humorist's "glowing remark" carries substance.

Your WIldest Dreams is hysterical-you will see yourself in its well-meaning, inept, deranged heroes like Rhon Penny (silent h), Mike the Talking Horse, and Jimmy Jam Johnson, classic rock DJ having a nervous breakdown. You will learn that philosopher Thomas Aquinas was "hung like a champ" and what you might do with someone you've just met at a hospital chapel. Your sobs and laughter will be indistinguishable.

In a million years, as archaeologists search for answers about the decline of the once mighty American white man, they shall find what they seek in Your Wildest Dreams.

I promise Sacks' jokes are funnier than mine.
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