Books in Review
by Adrienne Petterson 2004

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The Signet Book of American Humor
edited by Regina Barreca
New American Library (NAL)
ISBN 0-451-21058-1
Published August 2004 - Paperback - 415 pages - $14.95

Humor to write is not as easy as it might appear.  There's a huge difference between telling a joke and writing a humorous sketch.  This book offers worthy works from the likes of Chris Rock (very funny), Edgar Allan Poe, Jeff Foxworthy, Will Rogers, Gloria Steinem, and Lynn Harris among many others, and it includes a wide range of topics.  A lot on sex however, which I found a little tedious.  There is some dialog from the Marx Brothers' "A Night at the Opera".  Is it just me or is having works by Louisa May Alcott and Chris Rock in the same book, humorous?  Each to his own I guess, but this collection didn't inspire me to do more than smile now and then.  Maybe I'll pick it up at a later date, in a different mood, and give it another bash.  Admittedly, I didn't read every single page (415 pages after a while seems an endless chore, especially when you're not that amused) but this is the type of book you can pick up and read a little, put down and pick up again several days or even weeks later, and read some more.  I enjoyed the author biographies at the end of the book.
Conclusion - Great for collectors of humor but not that humorous per se. BookBrowser


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