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Isaac Asimov's Treasury of Humor

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  284 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
640 jokes, anecdotes, and limericks, complete with notes on how to tell them, from America's leading renaissance man.
Paperback, 448 pages
Published February 4th 1991 by Mariner Books (first published 1971)
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Jun 23, 2011 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
Dr. A's tome is as interesting for what it tells us about changes in humor since 1971 as information about the forming and presentation of jokes. As usual his work is informative and easy to read, and equally typical for his non-fiction work padded with personal references and editorial asides. Some readers will object; I find it adds to the fun of reading him.

Amazing how many "current" jokes were old stand bys forty years ago.

I especially liked his dipping into material from as early as the Gre
Oct 16, 2013 66yoguy rated it did not like it
The author ststed that he would provide commentary about humor and why certain jokes were funny,
I read the first 95 jokes. They provided me with not one funny joke, not even one single chuckle.
Often, I found myself continuing to read along after the joke had ended and right into his commentary about why the joke was funny.
I missed the humor, and punch line, time and time again.
Didn't bother finishing it.
I pulled this off the shelf because I was looking for a citation for the joke that ends "The chef says he refuses to butcher an entire elephant just for one cutlet."

I've puzzled through the index (which confusingly refers to joke numbers rather than page numbers), and I think that joke is not in this book. But since I've hauled the thing down, I might as well read it again. I think it may be where I first encountered many other classic jokes, if not the one I was looking for.

Yes, there are seve
Venkataraman Kumbakonam S.

This book may be easily described as a text book for those who want to write on humor. Isaac Asimov, the author, has mastered the art of humor and has systematized the creation and expression of humor stories or jokes. His classification of humor stories is very informative.

The author's interlocutory remarks are no doubt educative but for a casual leader they are redundant. Knowing this the author suggests to skip them if the reader feels like that but also warns that the reader is likely to mi
Mar 21, 2012 Jon rated it really liked it
Not just entertaining, but insightful and informative as well. Asimov almost comes off as arrogant as he very frankly explains why we laugh and what is funny, and offers examples from his own formidable collection. And in the end, if he is being arrogant, he absolutely earns it. His analysis of humor is spot on and I find myself referencing it frequently in conversation. I was also delighted to read several jokes that are still around today, both mutated ones and those that are still in tact. Un ...more
Jun 03, 2015 Remo rated it it was ok
Shelves: humor, biografia, 2015
Es como un libro de chistes escrito por Arévalo tras conseguir su doctorado en bioquímica. 640 chistes de los que hay 5 salvables. Y lo peor, con diferencia, aguantar los consejos de Asimov para contarlos con más "gracia", desmenuzando y analizándolos de manera bastante inane. Eso cuando deja de echarse flores y de fardar. Ejemplo: "Estábamos en una cena y por algún motivo yo estaba en la cabecera de la mesa (en realidad el motivo es que yo era el invitado de honor)[...]"
No, doctor Asimov, no e
Ravi Veloo
Jan 23, 2012 Ravi Veloo rated it it was amazing
Amazing insight from Asimov into why we laugh at a joke, with loads of annotations.

Also the best all-rounder collection of jokes I have ever encountered, some short, some long, and a whole section on bawdy jokes. Unbeatable in this category. Almost encyclopaedic, like Asimov's mind itself.

By the way, he includes one real-life anecdote where he asked a fellow writer, "When will your next book be coming out?" and the response to the prolific Asimov was, "And when will your next book not be coming
Jul 17, 2012 Pastie rated it did not like it
Asmimovs Science fiction novels have dated well and feel as fresh and relevant today as when they were written.

Unfortunatly, his humour hasn't and this book feels really dated. Admittedly lots of the jokes/anecdotes relate to the Jewish religion/ way of life, which I know very little about, but I get the sense that even then I'm not sure If I'd find it funny.
Jan 13, 2010 Unojoe2 rated it it was amazing
This is an awesome completely dry analytical view of humor for the complete nerd!!! I read it in HS instead of attending one of my classes that was completely and incredibly boring and I don't regret missing that class in the slightest! This book is really quite entertaining for the detail oriented mind with an interest in humor analysis.
Travis Hull
Mar 01, 2008 Travis Hull rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of-the-best
More than just a joke book, Asimov takes a deeper look at what humor is and how it's constructed. Every kind of joke is covered along with advice on how to tell it, timing, etiquette, choice of words, etc. People still don't laugh at my jokes, but at least now I know that it's their fault, not mine.
The Good Doctor presents a collection of jokes,anecdotes, and limericks, with accompanying criticism of how they work (or don't).
Margaret Oliver
Sep 20, 2016 Margaret Oliver rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor
I found this little gem while browzing books at a yard sale. Loved it!
Frank Taranto
Jul 18, 2009 Frank Taranto rated it liked it
Shelves: humor
Some amusing jokes and stories. This was fun to read in stages.
G. Branden
Mar 06, 2009 G. Branden rated it liked it
In anyone's hands but Asimov's, I'd probably rate this a 2.
Katherine Jensen
Jul 17, 2013 Katherine Jensen marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 89
2/9/89. Mt. Dora.
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Isaac Asimov was a Russian-born, American author, a professor of biochemistry, and a highly successful writer, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books.

Professor Asimov is generally considered the most prolific writer of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. He has works published in nine of the te
More about Isaac Asimov...

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