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Search tags: humor-satire
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review 2017-03-16 05:38
Jeeves and the Impending Doom
Jeeves and the Impending Doom and Other Stories - P.G. Wodehouse

This is one of the little Pocket Penguin editions that contains two of Wodehouse's Bertie and Jeeves short stories.  Bertie and Jeeves is a little bit hit-and-miss with me; some of them come off hilariously but some feel like they go too far in relying on outright stupidity for the comedy.

 

Both of these stories veered towards the latter; they were both amusing, with Jeeves, as always, coming out on top.  In Jeeves and the Impending Doom he gets a bit of revenge on Bertie too.  

 

Jeeves and the Song of Songs was the winner for best dialogue; the exchange between Bertie and Aunt Dahlia made me chuckle.

 

Wodehouse is pretty much always on my TBR in some form or another because he can always be counted on for excellent and lighthearted writing.  

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review 2017-03-14 22:24
Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls
Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls - David Sedaris

This is my first exposure to David Sedaris' writing, and I doubt it'll be my last, but this is also the first time I've ever dinged a rating for content.

 

The writing is incredibly good and hysterically funny.  I listened to the audio and Sedaris does his own narration - as he should, because I don't think anyone else could have pulled it off half as well.

 

Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls is a collection of essays, mostly biographical with embellishments for comic effect.  They were all good, but even when they were laugh out loud hysterical, they were also oftentimes gritty and confronting.  There is not a topic he doesn't address upfront and without relying on innuendo.

 

I don't typically have a hard time with that; but what I do rebel against is animals being hurt or killed and/or casual references made to it in my reading.  And while Sedaris doesn't hate animals, (in the first essay he professes to be an animal lover) he is very casual about animal death and cruelty.  One particular reminiscence about capturing sea turtles I just had to skip past completely.  

 

Everything else was pretty flawless; at the end, he reads a small collection of short fictional narratives he created for use in forensics competitions (= fancy name for 'debate team').  These were very gritty, very angry, and difficult to listen to, although they were really good.  Hypocrisy was a strong theme running through these.

 

So while I enjoyed all his essays about traveling, life abroad, growing up, etc., I was not at all comfortable with the casual, easy way he had with telling stories involving bad ends for the animals.  There was a distinct lack of compassion or regret in these essays and their casual matter-of-factness made me uncomfortable about the author as a person.  So I dinged my rating by a star.

 

If you have a thicker skin than I do (admittedly, this is most people), and enjoy edgier humour, definitely give this a look if you haven't already.   

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review 2017-03-01 07:27
Wild Strawberries
Wild Strawberries - Angela Thirkell

This was really good!  I'd read High Rising last year and enjoyed it; enough to buy the next couple of books, obviously.  But then they languished on the pile for awhile, because High Rising wasn't that good.

 

But this was great!  If you like family pandemonium (the kind where you sit back and wonder at the chaos as each member lives in their own orbit, occasionally bumping up against each other, while all somehow working as one eccentric unit), a smattering of light romance, a lot of tongue-in-cheek stereotyping and a story line that really meanders and goes nowhere in particular, this is a book worth checking out.

 

It's a historical piece, so there is at least one cringe worthy use of language, but in the context of the time it was written it, it doesn't come across as painful or nasty.

 

Mostly, it's just a wonderfully silly book.  I closed it thinking "that was fun!". 

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review 2017-02-27 02:40
NPR Laughter Therapy
NPR Laughter Therapy A Comedy Collection for the Chronically Serious - (U.S.) National Public Radio Inc.

A collection of NPR's funnier interviews, April Fool's day gags, news stories, etc.  Like in any collection, there were some I found funnier than others and 1 just fell sort of flat.

 

It's a short, easy listen and it was fun to hear a few voices that aren't with us any more (Joan Rivers, Phyllis Diller).  I miss NPR, so seeing this in my local library was a nice boost to the spirit.  

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review 2017-02-25 08:58
I Could Pee on This
I Could Pee on This: And Other Poems by Cats - Francesco Marciuliano

I've wanted to read this for a few years now and I was able to pick it up at the library sale last weekend, which is the perfect place to find such a book.

 

Middling poetry, cute cat pics (is there any other kind?).  Some of the poems were unexpectedly touching, like 'Something's Wrong' but most are just lightly amusing.  Totally fitting for a book called I could pee on this.

 

It's cute and it made me smile.  Worth every cent of the dollar I spent on it.  ;)

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