Wes Locher's Reviews > Humor Me: An Anthology of Funny Contemporary Writing

Humor Me by Ian Frazier
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Apr 23, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: 2010-reads, humor
Read from May 30 to June 07, 2010

I received a galley copy of this book for review and after taking a quick look at the authors and writers who contributed, I was quite excited to read it. As I was in the process of writing my second book, this sat for a month or so before I was able to get to it, so it's possible that this book has already been released in its finished form.

I love anthologies since they give you a taste of multiple authors and if you really enjoy a piece, it sparks you to go out and find additional writing by those particular folks.

Being a humor writer myself, I feel that I'm a pretty good judge of what's funny. Not to say that I'm always correct, as humor is subjective, but I have a pretty good idea.

This book didn't do it for me. As I mentioned, the contributing writers are all fantastic, however, I know that there are better pieces they could have used as a representation of their humor. Some essays are 1-2 pages long while others droll on and on without a punchline. I would have liked a little more consistency in length and hilarity.

While a majority of the pieces included were hard for me to finish, there were some hidden gems that everyone should read and enjoy. If you happen across a copy of Humor Me, I'd consider the highlights to be the essays by Steve Martin, Bill Franzen, Jack Handey, Ian Maxtone-Graham, George Saunders, Susan Shapiro, Jake Swearingen, and of course, Mark Twain. Also included is David Sedaris, of whom I'm a huge fan, but they might have chosen one of his stronger stories.

Just because I didn't rupture a vital organ from laughter doesn't mean that this is a bad book. Everyone's sense of humor is completely different and if you enjoy a good laugh then I encourage you to pick this up and just give it a shot. If nothing else, you'll gain exposure to some of the best humor writers of the century (and some of the best from previous centuries).

I bow to the editor, Ian Franzier, for putting this together. Though some of his choices were questionable, I admire what he was trying to do in exposing a variety of hilarity to the world.
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