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The Best American Humorous Short Stories

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3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  16 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Edited, with an introductory note, by Robert N. Linscott

Contents:
Swallowing an oyster alive by John S. Robb
How daddy played hoss by George W. Harris
The Shakers by Artemus Ward
Mrs. McWilliams and the lightning by Mark Twain
Journalism in Tennessee by Mark Twain
Brother rabbit takes some exercise by Joel Chandler Harris
How brother rabbit frightened his neighbors by Joel Chandl
...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 3rd 2005 by Dodo Press (first published January 1st 1945)
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Joyce Roderick
May 16, 2012 Joyce Roderick rated it really liked it
If you see a copy of this book in a used bookstore, grab it, buy, and place it lovingly in your guest room. You'll hear your jet lagged visitors chuckling into the wee hours. They will thank you, and you won't have to rustle up breakfast for them until noon.
Christopher
Mar 14, 2014 Christopher rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Vintage Modern Library edition, published in 1945. Great collection of familiar and obscure stories (maybe what is obscure now was better known in 1945, though). Arranged chronologically by authors' birth year, which made reading it like going through a 150-year cross section of American literature. Familiar stories by some of my favorite authors--Mark Twain, Ring Lardner, Dorothy Parker, James Thurber, and S.J. Perelman, plus a few new-to-me stories that are now favorites by Bret Harte, Ruth ...more
Alger
Feb 17, 2015 Alger rated it liked it
Pure cultural archeology. There is very little here for anyone who does not already know that humor is a very perishable writing style, and can appreciate the styles of the past.

Poor Linscott, he foretold the doom of his own book when he noted in the introduction that "[It is]...surprising how quickly most humor goes sour. It is a sobering experience to reread the favorites of yesterday."

Sobering is not what you want from a collection of humorous stories. The fads of the past century and a half
...more
Monica Madaus
Sep 27, 2014 Monica Madaus rated it did not like it
I'm not much of a Seinfeld fan except for the line, "Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason." The editor of this book observed at the time that he was picking mostly contemporary stories because humor quickly exceeds its shelf life. I wouldn't have thunk it, but...

Turns out there's a reason that this book is difficult to obtain. Nobody particularly wants it, and I wish I hadn't bothered, either. It will put paid to any illusion you might have that the past, even the humor
...more
Jane
Aug 07, 2013 Jane rated it liked it
Shelves: humor
This book added quite a bit to my awareness of early-to-mid 20th century humor. Not that I couldn't have thought of most of these authors if I thought about it, but who would have thought about whether Life with Father began life as a book? I ended up skipping a lot of the early stories that were heavy on the dialect, but all in all, this added quite a bit to my to-read list. James Thurber, Sally Benson, and Clarence Day top my list to check out.
 Barb Bailey
May 10, 2008 Barb Bailey rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, 2008, short-stories
An amusing collection of short stories. American authors include Twain, Frank Sillivan, James Thurber.
umberto
Nov 08, 2009 umberto marked it as to-read
Shelves: short-story
I bought this second-hand Modern Library hardcover at the BookExpo XIV (15-25 October) in BKK yesterday (approx. US$ 3.00).
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