Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Extravaganza: A Joke Book ” as Want to Read:
Extravaganza: A Joke Book
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Extravaganza: A Joke Book

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  46 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
The lives of two vaudeville comedians, Smith and Dale, are followed through their career, in a story told as a series of vaudeville vignettes.
Paperback, 190 pages
Published October 30th 1997 by Four Walls Eight Windows (first published March 27th 1989)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Extravaganza, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Extravaganza

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-29 of 78)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Daniel Tyler
Feb 03, 2016 Daniel Tyler rated it it was ok
Confounding. Two men tell jokes with conventional setup-punchline structure, then retell the jokes ad nauseam with increasingly menial detail. Every now and then they will break out into Anti-Semitic rants, especially when a joke involves trains. Perhaps this is some commentary on the American Jewish experience and comedy/joke-telling after the Holocaust? An interesting read, very trying at times. I did not understand it!!
May 06, 2015 Sue rated it liked it
May 2015: Re-reading.

May 5th: A very bizarre book, one which I enjoyed but would hesitate to recommend. When it came out (1989), the NY Times review said, "Jokes may abound in ''Extravaganza,'' but Mr. Lish makes sure that existential despair keeps whistling through the cracks." Kirkus Review hated it ("appalling work of fiction").
Ben Schaffer
Nov 30, 2014 Ben Schaffer rated it liked it
Reynard Seifert
Jan 11, 2010 Reynard Seifert rated it really liked it
Are you the doctor?

What the fuck are you talking about, dickhead?

This book will punch you in the face if you don't watch your face. Keep a mirror around; use it often.

But I have to say that the idea this is a comedy is somewhat misleading; I don't think it is. Seems like an experiment in monotony.
Michelle Williams
May 02, 2013 Michelle Williams rated it did not like it
Required reading for an English lit class, but despite that I couldn't even finish it ... and I rarely leave a book unfinished.
May 02, 2009 Kevin rated it it was ok
A disappointment to me after all the other great Lish reads. Bad jokes are called bad jokes for a reason.
Morgan Brown
I don't know how I feel about this book. I'm gay.
Ismael Schonhorst
Jul 10, 2015 Ismael Schonhorst rated it it was amazing
Boring funny; so YES!
Michael Magnes
Michael Magnes rated it liked it
Mar 21, 2016
May marked it as to-read
Feb 13, 2016
Kitty marked it as to-read
Jan 17, 2016
Tom marked it as to-read
Nov 29, 2015
Simon Harper
Simon Harper marked it as to-read
Jul 23, 2015
James marked it as to-read
Mar 31, 2015
Noni rated it did not like it
Feb 22, 2015
Jeffrey Letterly
Jeffrey Letterly rated it it was amazing
Feb 18, 2015
Sam Farhi
Sam Farhi rated it liked it
Jan 08, 2015
Christopher Cella
Christopher Cella rated it really liked it
Jan 08, 2015
Called Back
Called Back rated it it was amazing
Oct 27, 2014
eric marked it as to-read
Oct 11, 2014
Joe Valotta
Joe Valotta rated it really liked it
Oct 02, 2014
Jason Kirk
Jason Kirk rated it liked it
May 04, 2014
Weichen marked it as to-read
Mar 22, 2014
Tim Racine
Tim Racine rated it it was amazing
Apr 11, 2014
Michael Fisher
Michael Fisher marked it as to-read
May 07, 2013
Captkrc rated it really liked it
Apr 25, 2013
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Gordon Jay Lish is an American writer. As a literary editor, he championed many American authors, particularly Raymond Carver, Barry Hannah, Amy Hempel, and Richard Ford.
More about Gordon Lish...

Share This Book