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

3.26  ·  Rating Details ·  129 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Seriously Funny Writing By Today's Most Celebrated AuthorsAt last, a premier showcase of fifty-four great literary humorists and masters of the journalistic jab, the social spoof, the parodic proof, the satire, the tirade, and the send-up. Here are those "last laughs" and "wit's end" pieces everyone turns to first but then loses in back issues of favorite magazines and new ...more
Paperback, 640 pages
Published February 2nd 2000 by Harper Paperbacks
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Aug 05, 2007 David rated it it was amazing
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
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
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
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.
Aug 19, 2015 Katrina rated it it was ok
Spotty witticism
Jul 29, 2007 ba rated it really liked it
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,
Apr 07, 2010 Belinda rated it did not like it
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
1 or 2 good stories. Ending up doing a lot of skimming towards the end.
Melissa Hurwitz
Mar 12, 2008 Melissa Hurwitz rated it it was ok
Not so funny
Dec 18, 2012 Jimmy rated it liked it
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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