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More Mirth of a Nation: The Best Contemporary Humor written by Michael J. Rosen


More Mirth of a Nation: The Best Contemporary Humor written by Michael J. Rosen


More seriously funny writing from American's most trusted humor anthology

Witty, wise, and just plain wonderful, the inaugural volume of this biennial, Mirth of a Nation, ensured a place for the best contemporary humor writing in the country. And with this second treasury, Michael J. Rosen has once again assembled a triumphant salute to one of America's greatest assets: its sense of humor. More than five dozen acclaimed authors showcase their hilariously inventive works, including Paul Rudnick, Henry Alford, Susan McCarthy, Media Person Lewis Grossberger, Ian Frazier, Richard Bausch, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Nell Scovell, Andy Borowitz, and Ben Greenman — just to mention a handful so that the other contributors can justify their feelings that the world slights them.

But there's more! More Mirth of a Nation includes scads of Unnatural Histories from Randy Cohen, Will Durst's "Top Top-100 Lists" (including the top 100 colors, foods, and body parts), and three unabridged (albeit rather short) chapbooks:

David Bader's "How to Meditate Faster" (Enlightenment for those who keep asking, "Are we done yet?")

Matt Neuman's "49 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth" (for instance, "Make your own honey" and "Share your shower.")

Francis Heaney's "Holy Tango of Poetry" (which answers the question, "What if poets wrote poems whose titles were anagrams of their names, i.e., 'Toilets,' by T. S. Eliot?")

And there's still more: "The Periodic Table of Rejected Elements," meaningless fables, Van Gogh's Etch A Sketch drawings, a Zagat's survey of existence, an international baby-naming encyclopedia, Aristotle's long-lost treatise "On Baseball," and an unhealthy selection of letters from Dr. Science's mailbag. And that's just for starters! Just remember, as one reviewer wrote of the first volume, "Don't drink milk while reading."

Publishers Weekly

Regular readers of the New Yorker's Shouts & Murmurs page and the Modern Humorist will likely have already digested some of the fare in this biennial collection of humor pieces, nearly all of which have been published elsewhere. Though big names like Steve Martin and Bruce McCall are trumpeted on the cover, the real treats can be found in the work of less famous contributors. Francis Heaney's "Holy Tango of Poetry," which imagines the results of poets writing poems whose titles are anagrams of their names-e.g. "I'm Leery Jocks" by Joyce Kilmer, or "Toilets" by T.S. Eliot ("Let us go then, to the john,/ Where the toilet seats wait to be sat upon")-is irresistibly goofy. Tim Carvell's account of his solo attempt at being a Neilsen family (he manufactured a couple of kids and wife named Gladys and made them all Eskimos) should be required reading for anyone who has ever longed to lie on annoying questionnaires. And Jeremy Simon's parody of an existential Zagat's guide is a witty send-up of a city staple (the entry for the opposable thumb reads: "While this 'innovative' evolution-a 'pick-up joint' for the klutzy-is valued by locals for 'synergy' with its surroundings, dissenters dis it as 'overrated' 'finger food'"). Silly lists, "unnatural histories," fake correspondences and countless other oddball selections round out this amusing volume. (Nov.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.

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