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The Oxford Book of Humorous Prose: From William Caxton to P. G. Wodehouse: A Conducted Tour Reissue
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The Oxford Book of Humorous Prose: From William Caxton to P. G. Wodehouse: A Conducted Tour Reissue

4.47 of 5 stars 4.47  ·  rating details  ·  51 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Focusing primarily on the 19th and 20th century, but with material dating back to Columbus, this volume is packed with an amazing range of comic material is--from the gentle, charming comedy of manners, to biting satire, to outrageous parody.
There are excerpts from the novels of Jane Austen, P.G. Wodehouse and Mark Twain, complete short stories by O. Henry and Frank O'Con
Paperback, 1198 pages
Published December 5th 2002 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1990)
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Anthony D Buckley
This really is an extraordinary volume. In the UK, Frank Muir (d.1998) was a much-loved character latterly famous as an urbane and witty radio and television performer on quiz shows, but remembered too as a comic writer who co-authored the ground-breaking radio comedy Take It From Here, which incorporate the splendidly awful radio soap-opera,The Glums.

This book reveals a new Frank Muir, a man of considerable erudition, for this is an intelligent selection of comic prose, made all the better by
This is a vast book, the kind that makes my wrists ache, and yet I dip into it from time to time for some remembered tidbit. All the greats are here, and a few unexpected writers not normally classed as humorists. The humor is of the literary rather than the 'ha-ha' sort. There are, for example, excerpts from Ulysses and Cranford, but then alongside these are selections from books more commonly regarded as humorous, such Catch-22 or Cold Comfort Farm. It's an excellent place to scout for writers ...more
Feb 16, 2007 Matthew rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: humor fans looking for classics
*** I own an older edition, so some things may be different ***

The definition of a desert-island book. At over 1000 pages and spanning nearly five centuries, one can find hours of fun reading here. Muir covers all angles from aphorists to novelists, Punch magazine writers to frontier columnists. Nearly everyone who is significant in the history of humor is represented. I can't recommend it enough.
This book is great--snippets from the best humorous prose written in the last several centuries. I like it because I can pick it up and read something short, and put it back down again when I don't have time for reading. It's good to take on trips too.
Joy H.
Jun 13, 2009 Joy H. marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
I bought this book for two dollars at our library's used book sale. What a bargain!
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Frank Herbert Muir was an English comedy screenwriter and radio and television personality. From 1977 on he also wrote children's books based on his family dog, What-a-Mess. In 1997 he published his autobiography.
More about Frank Muir...
A Kentish Lad: The Autobiography of Frank Muir What A Mess What-A-Mess Has Tea Super What-a-Mess Prince What A Mess

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