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Impractical Jokes

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  205 ratings  ·  30 reviews
'A diabolical ping-pong game of prank and counter-prank across the generations. Hilarious and warm-hearted, Impractical Jokes is both a comic evocation of the Australian larrikin spirit and an ode to a loving father. Don't just read the jacket blurb - buy it!' - Shaun Micallef
In 1986, Charlie Pickering's dad, Ron, was pushed into a pool by his best friend, Richard. What fo
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 2010 by Allen & Unwin (first published January 1st 2010)
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3.94  · 
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 ·  205 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, humor
This book is fantastic it had me fits of laughter :) I highly recommend it :)
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
Stand up comedian and television host Charlie Pickering recounts the hilarious protracted war of practical jokes and oneupmanship between his father and his best friend, Richard, in the light and funny memoir. It began with a playful nudge that saw Charlie's dad, Ronald, land fully dressed in the backyard swimming pool. Revenge was carefully plotted until the opportunity presented itself to soak Richard in a restaurant using water guns. The two grown men, one a respected pharmacist, the other a ...more
Jan 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read this book for an assignment. We were aloud to read any non-fiction book we wanted. I liked the informality of the book. I think that comes from it simply being a stand up act written down, the fact that it's purpose was just to make you laugh not for you to cry, feel like a lesser person, tell you someone amazing survival against the odds or to tell you how easy your life is to someone elses.

This the kind of book that you only get in non-fiction. A string of related stories that you would
Sean Kennedy
May 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book surprised me as it was much more heartfelt than I anticipated. Laugh out loud funny at times, it's the story of a war raged between two friends as they try to top their jokes upon one another - proving that age and maturity do not have to go hand in hand. In the end, though, it is a story about a family that is shaped by, and bonded through, humour. The final page also gives a touching account of the bond between Pickering and his father. It may be bordering on cynicism to suggest that ...more
Aug 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Author Charlie Pickering describes 10 years of his childhood in which his dad Ron waged a tit-for-tat war of pranks and practical jokes on his best friend, Richard. From a water pistol ambush in a 5-star restaurant, the pranks escalate out of control to a point where they come within a hair’s breadth of blowing up the whole neighbourhood! An hilarious account of Charlie’s childhood and his relationship with his dad, who actively included him in all his shenanigans. In the end, Charlie realises t ...more
Nov 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
I was reading this at 2am in the morning, constantly disturbing my sleeping husband by laughing out loud.

EDIT, June 2014

Picked up on reread on a whim four years later and still as brilliant as I remembered. Some of the language/turn of phrase is a bit heavy, maybe dragging on some of the funnier parts, but clearly to draw out the humour in the situation. You can see Pickering performing this on stage in mind's eye, with all the right pauses and emphasis and he transcribes it very well to book fo
May 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book. I have seen Charlie Pickering on 'The Project' but not seen a lot of his work as a comedian.

This book was a surprise in that it was more than just a comedian telling stories and actually let you into the Pickering family. Having read about the family I would have loved to have been part of it during my childhood.

Charlie tells the story with humour (at times it is laugh out loud) and also with great feeling. You get to the end and you want it to continue. You
Oct 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: auto-biography
I'm not sure what I expected from this book, but it certainly surpassed any criteria for humourous reading that I might have had. The love that Charlie has for his family - dad especially - shines throughout this hilarious recount. I can certainly see why. Life in the Pickering household must certainly have been fun with all that comic and unpredictable mad-hattery being concocted behind closed doors. This book is laugh out loud funny so grab some tissues and strap yourself in for a treat. Some ...more
I've no idea when I actually finished this book so I'm going to go back two months and marked it as read...It's within the time frame!

Charlie Pickering has a great way of painting a picture in your head about all the antics his family got up too (and possibly still do). The practical jokes that were played between two families sometimes make you wonder if they are actually really true because most of them are so stupid YET highly amusing! :p

Ron and Richard are at WAR and you get the front row se
Apr 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads
A very funny book based mainly on the war of practical jokes between Charlie's father and his father's best friend. I wasn't very happy with the second half of the chapter titled 'Must Have A Sense Of Humour' which involves frogs - both dead and alive - which put a bit of a dampener on the book for me, I like my frogs happily croaking in ponds and creeks, not in laboratories. Other than that it was a thoroughly enjoyable read.
Oct 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: other
While I'm not necessarily a fan of Charlie Pickering's comedy, this book is an absolutely hilarious read. A very loose biography of his father, this book recounts the many hilarious exploits he got up to in the pursuit of comedy. Some of the pranks were so grandiose in their execution, I started to wonder if they were all true.

Regardless, this book is well worth a read. It's short, and straight to the laughs.
Chris Meehan
Feb 14, 2014 rated it liked it
A very quick, hilarious and often familiar read... Especially about the seagrass matting which I was proud to install in a rented house during the 1970's. The addition of several photographs of the key protagonists and their families, which show high levels of happiness and madness in equal measure, allows the reader to visualise the crazy schemes more clearly.
Clive Parkin
Jan 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If the success of a book exploring comedic events is about making you laugh till you cry, then this succeeded admirably. Certainly lightweight but that is some of the charm of the book; a lightness of touch is what makes it so endearing. And the fact that I keep getting a smile, or the giggles when I think about "There's snow business like snow business" adds to the fun.
Mar 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Hysterically funny. I really did laugh out loud in public - a lot. That comes from using public transpot. But equally I spent a lot of time gasping and slamming my hand over my mouth in shock. Charlie has the funniest parents ever and they never give it a rest.

Only thing my dad ever did was crawl down the hall to bed - once. I am extremely jealous.
Jul 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Awesomely funny. More like a lot of mini-stories, not really your typical beginning-problem-climax-solution-end kind of book but that doesn't bother you when reading this hilarious book. Its very very funny and enjoyable and you can't help but love the characters and their personalities and the funny situations they find themselves in. A light,easy, very fun read.
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
This book was laugh out loud funny, Charlie Pickering tells the story of an all-out prank war between his father, Ron and his father's friend Richard. It's a story of epic proportions and I loved reading it!

It's not the usual kind of memoir, but if you're looking for a funny read this is it!
Mar 15, 2012 rated it liked it
What happens when you put two stubborn men together! Heehee. This was a nice easy read. Lots of humour. The pranks got more and more grandiose! I needed to know how it all ended :) Recommend to people who like Charlie Pickering.
Feb 18, 2011 rated it liked it
I thought this book was really funny. It would stall on places with long winded explanations on things like guns and grass matting but overall a great read and highly recommend it especially if you like laughing till you cry.
May 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I read until I cried, Charlie brings growing up in the 1970's to life and for those of us who grew up in the same era can relate so well to the situations. I have passed this book onto others and we all have our favourite parts but agree on one thing this book puts a smile on your face.
Jul 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
A hilarious and charming book. Very short and sweet. I was laughing out loud. I think it would appeal to fans of the movie The Castle.
Steve Molkentin
Sep 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Pickering gold.
Mar 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
hilariously funny! if you want a laugh...this is the book for you!
Jun 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have never laughed so loudly or do hard as I did when reading this book. I was often in tears and my family thought I had gone mad...... until they also read it - then they understood!
I loved the stories about Charlies' family. I found it a real 'laugh out loud' book - which could be somewhat inconvient at times.
Apr 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
oh. my. gosh.
All I can say is: don't read this on a bus/in a waiting room/in public places. You will look really silly sitting there laughing like a crazy person.
Jan 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
I loved this book and I loved Charlie Pickering, I normally don't read books like this but I found this one very funny and something I would definitely read again.
Aug 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Funny as hell. Loved it.
Aug 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: from-the-library
Lightweight but warm and very funny description of author's family, through the medium of his father's practical-joke 'war' with a good friend. A lovely short read.
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