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Mirth Of A Nation: The Best Contemporary Humor (Mirth of a Nation)

3.29  ·  Rating Details  ·  126 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews

A salvo of hilarity from that loose canon of American humor that Mirth of a Nation editor Michael J. Rosen has culled from some 1200 pages of brilliantly original works by our best contemporary humorists. This action-packed compilation of highlights includes Bobbie Ann Mason's stint at the La Bamba hotline, David Rakoff's insights on families, Andy Borowitz's memoir of Emi

Published (first published March 1st 2000)
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Obviously, no anthology of this nature can be uniformly funny. But this collection comes pretty darned close. You will laugh your a** off - that's a promise.

To my knowledge, there are at least three volumes in this series by now. This one, the first, is the best of the three that I've read. The other two are worth considering as well, but definitely start with this one.
Jul 19, 2013 Alger rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Yes it has funny parts. The problem is that it is the kind of funny that you get in the Shouts and Murmurs page of the New Yorker. Never laugh out loud or very thoughtful, instead the volume lives up to the Thurber House imprint and aims for a solid amuse setting. There it succeeds.

What I wasn't expecting is how sadly dated the jokes are. Don't get me wrong, I am a HUGE fan of vintage humor; Mencken and Twain are the twin compasses of my soul. But this volume has the very unfortunate fate of bei
Glen Brooksby
Feb 18, 2016 Glen Brooksby rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Really bad. It was all I could do to finish this as an audio book. I found only one entry in this entire book truly funny. There were two entries from Dave Barry - who I usually really enjoy - and even these entries were far from his best. I can't imagine how the editor settled on these pieces. It was simply awful. Actually zero stars.
Sep 14, 2007 Tracey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I started reading Mirth of a Nation: The Best Contemporary Humor in early May as a vacation read, from there it became the current bathroom book. It was a pass-along from my mom, along with the sequel [book:More Mirth of a Nation}.

It's a very mixed bag, with a good deal of the material being dated - but I still found quite a few chuckles here and there. I enjoyed the pieces by Sedaris, Updike and Barry - the more political items didn't do a whole lot for me.

Having taken so long to read it makes
Mar 11, 2008 Virginia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
I picked this up because I've been doing some really heavy reading lately. It's a nice break from books on genocide, war, and global warming. And since it's a compilation of essays I can read one or two before falling asleep each night. The material is getting a little dated, though, and I'm not sure I would have picked it out had I known that. The David Sadaris pieces are always good, though.
Spotty witticism
Jul 29, 2007 ba rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The premise (a compilation of humorous pieces by various authors) sounded old-fashioned and destined to not be funny. But after reading some positive reviews, I picked this up and really liked it. If you enjoy websites with good writing by satirists and humorists, you'll enjoy this book,
I don't know, maybe I don't have a very good sense of humor. I've laughed harder at lunch with my co-workers. I had a couple of chuckles but not one true belly laugh. I feel like I wasted my time.
Mar 09, 2009 Maggie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anthology
uneven. funny in parts. dull in others. but worth the time anyway just 'cause we need to search for laughs everywhere we can. recommended. second reading.
Linda Appelbaum
Sep 04, 2012 Linda Appelbaum rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Well if you want something funny, don't look here. Only a couple of "essays" made me laugh. Most I could't even finish. Total waste of time.
May 26, 2011 Mahria rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While there were some humorous pieces in this collection (Sedaris, Jon Stewart), the majority left me bored. And I read this on an airplane.
Sep 23, 2013 D. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
I read about 20 percent of this before giving up. Disappointing. Pieces ranged from mildly amusing to not funny at all.
Nov 06, 2012 Andy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read through, thinking I would eventually get to the "funny part".... only it wasn't there..
Krista Crow
Not bad to listen to as an audio book, but I will admit I skipped more than a few of the stories.
May 10, 2010 Nathan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As it should be, this was a mixed bag. Anthologies take me a really long time to read.
Feb 13, 2010 Deb rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
1 or 2 good stories. Ending up doing a lot of skimming towards the end.
Melissa Hurwitz
Not so funny
Dec 18, 2012 Jimmy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hit and miss...
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Rosen's Website should provide all this and more. It's
Nonetheless: Michael J. Rosen is an American author and illustrator with over 120 books of fiction, nonfiction, humor, picture books, poetry, and more. With a strong interest in nature and animals, reflecting his animal behavior degree from Ohio State University, Rosen resides within a peaceful crease of Central Ohio
More about Michael J. Rosen...

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Mirth of a Nation (2 books)
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