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The Book of Jokes
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The Book of Jokes

3.58  ·  Rating Details ·  118 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Imagine a universe where every joke you’ve ever heard is solid, real, and occasionally dangerous—and all happening, one after the other, to the same small group of people. Detailing a series of filthy and ludicrous episodes in the life of a single family, saddled with a super-eccentric, sexually rapacious father, The Book of Jokes tells the story of the youth and education ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published September 15th 2009 by Dalkey Archive Press
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Mike Puma
Dec 04, 2012 Mike Puma rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: they'll know who they are
It’s a snowy night in late June, and milk is spilling from the broken world’s murdered head.

Suppose Woody Allen retold Sade’s The 120 Days of Sodom. No, that’s not quite right, close, but not quite.

My father and grandfather got on very well. They liked to sit outside a country inn, tugging at the ivy cascading over the walls and drinking iced patis. And they loved to entertain us children with anecdotes so corrosive to good manners or morals that they made customers sitting at nearby tables blus
Nov 06, 2009 Adam rated it it was amazing
This is filthy. Incest acts or jokes every few pages, a dad with a cock that drags on the ground, a prominent character named Molester, etc. In tone BOOK OF JOKES recalls the bawdy, early Barth stuff, or that David Sedaris essay about the sub-literate porno novel, and in tone and style this reminds me very much of Daniel Handler's ADVERBS. The premise here is a family, the Skeletons, live in a glass house and are for some reason totally beholden to tasteless jokes. Laws of jokes dictate their li ...more
Charles Dee Mitchell
Mar 28, 2011 Charles Dee Mitchell rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary-lit
Ever feel like your life is a joke? Meet the Skeletons: Young Sebastian, his sister, and their parents. They live in a glass house where their lives are ruled not by the laws of nature, but by the laws of jokes. The family history and its present, ongoing predicaments are the subject matter of a repetitive series of for the most part rather well known jokes. Do I even need to mention that they are almost entirely dirty jokes. Sebastian seems somewhat aware of this situation, but powerless to bre ...more
Dec 10, 2011 Patrick rated it really liked it
Shelves: comedy
Momus aka Nicky Currie, is giving the reader the finger in this book. It invites one to share a bit of the fun of being put on. I was finishing this particular book in public when a stranger approached me and asked me if there were any good jokes in here. I described the numerous ways that Momus uses the phrase "this is the pig I've been fucking." He was given a warning. I told him that I was not in the habit of telling obscene jokes to strangers. I should have just told him my favorite knock kn ...more
Jesús Santana
Jun 17, 2014 Jesús Santana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hay humor negro y humor muy negro que para algunos leerlo puede resultar bastante delicado y ofensivo, pues sin duda alguna el polifacético músico y cantautor escocés postmoderno Nick Currie ha escrito bajo su alter ego de Momus (nombre mitológico que se adapta muy bien para lo que vamos a encontrar en esta su primera obra literaria que se traduce al español), un libro con humor, sarcasmo y burla permanente que pueden tener por seguro que no sea para todo el mundo, se debe estar en un mood muy p ...more
Nov 23, 2009 Gabriel rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of dirty jokes, Fans of Momus
In the midst of reading other books, I picked up the latest media entry by singer Nick Currie, better known by his alias Momus. This is his "first" novel (he wrote another concurrently, The Book of Scotlands) and falls into a lot of pitfalls that debut novels should avoid if the writer wasn't as well known. Of course, it is the failings of the book that allows it to fully explore the realm of the off-color joke.

The "novel" is set in an episodic fashion, which each chapter being, in essence, a d
Aug 31, 2013 Downward rated it liked it
each chapter of this novel is structured around a dirty joke of some kind, presented as a real world scenario. we come to learn that the protagonist's life is shaped by other people's jokes, and that he attempts to inject dignity and humanity into these jokes (and his life) by retelling them in his way. it's complicated because the subject of most of these jokes (murder, incest, child molestation, beastiality) don't leave much room for dignity or humanity.

book of jokes suffers the emotional pitf
Feb 29, 2012 Allison rated it it was ok
Each chapter of this book has an overarching joke which is hit home by the last line being the punchline. This IS a novel, so there's a story about a family living in a glass house that alternates between being told by the father and the son…as far as I can tell. A lot of the book is very twisted - and I mean that both in terms of the chronology and the jokes - they're filthy. There's a major punchline at the end of the book too, but I'll be honest - I'm not sure I got it. I'll be very selective ...more
Sep 20, 2012 Emmy rated it liked it
Shelves: metafiction, absurd
This was a rather uncomfortable book. The basic concept was great: a world where a family's lives are governed by jokes. I thought it was a fascinating read from that perspective. But, at the same time, the book was nasty, dirty, and crude. Most of the jokes are dirty, and oftentimes, they push it to the point where they just become uncomfortable. (view spoiler) ...more
Aug 22, 2009 Stephen rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009
This book caught me by surprise. The premise - that of a family ruled by a "Law of Jokes" in the same manner most families are ruled by, say, the Law of Gravity - is clever enough, but I wasn't sure if momus could pull it off for 200 pages. He does, though, and the result is damn funny. Not for the faint of heart or the politically correct, but then how many of those types would pick up this book in the first place?

This definitely deserves readers.
Jan 13, 2015 Kaoru rated it really liked it
It's like listening to a Momus album really. Just replace "Dafuq did I just hear?" with "Dafuq did I just read?" for the same effect. And, oh, it's the good kind of "dafuq", of course. Or at least I suppose so. One just isn't always so sure about that when it comes to Momus.
Sep 13, 2012 acb rated it really liked it
The literarily-inclined songwriter's fiction début is a ribald picaresque, set in a world in which dirty jokes are true. There are echoes of The Aristocrats, Gershon Legman and Alfred Jarry here.
Luke Crawford
Aug 23, 2016 Luke Crawford rated it it was ok
so, it's a book, by momus, that is, well, it's a sort of recursive dirty joke. As a piece of modern art? sure, it works. As a novel? it didn't really do a lot for me.
Oct 29, 2009 Alastair rated it really liked it
Recommended to Alastair by: Momus
Filthy, smooth -- I read it in a day --, clever. Momus is one of those people who is always interesting, perhaps more interesting the more you pay attention to him (I read his blog).
Sep 11, 2016 Charly rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
Pésimo, al punto que no lo terminé (y he terminado libros malos a la espera de la redención). Mal escrito, aburrido, sin pies ni cabeza. Una charada absolutamente prescindible.
Ben Richmond
Just like Momus's music: The book is erudite, consistently funny and surprising, but not really emotionally engaging or necessarily engaging the whole time. Great premise though, adequate story.
Anthony Vacca
Anthony Vacca rated it really liked it
Aug 04, 2016
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Oct 17, 2009
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Feb 12, 2013
Darling Daintyfoot
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Apr 29, 2014
Julian Gough
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May 30, 2011
Paul Gelsthorpe
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Apr 05, 2015
Amar Gupta
Amar Gupta rated it really liked it
Jan 14, 2014
Doug rated it it was amazing
Jan 12, 2014
Nuno Camarneiro
Nuno Camarneiro rated it it was ok
Jun 22, 2011
Tina rated it liked it
Jun 26, 2013
Colin rated it really liked it
Dec 04, 2009
Maggy rated it it was ok
May 07, 2013
Denis rated it it was ok
Jan 12, 2013
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Nick Currie (born 11 February 1960 in Paisley, Scotland), more popularly known under the artist name Momus (after the Greek god of mockery), is a prolific songwriter, blogger and former journalist for Wired. Most of his songs are self-referential and many could be classified as postmodern.

For more than twenty-five years he has been releasing, to marginal commercial and critical success, albums on
More about Momus...

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