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The Funny Man

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  • Posted August 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting. Different. Just not "funny."

    John Warner's debut novel THE FUNNY MAN is an interesting tale about an average comic in an average city who hits the big time with a gimmick that suddenly the public can't live without. Unfortunately, he can't really live WITH it, and as his fame skyrockets his life completely unravels. He is poor and in love and grounded before fame, and rich and alone and possibly insane after.
    If this were just another "fall from grace" story it would be totally unremarkable. However, the author employs two completely different styles in the story, using both third person and first person to tell the story. The third person portions are more narrative, describing what is actually happening. The first person parts are describing what the hero THINKS is happening, which as the story moves on separates more and more from reality. But the genius in the story telling is that the two stories dovetail in a way that the reader can never be sure that what's happening in the "funny man's" head (we never learn his name) ISN'T reality. It's reality to him, to be sure, and Warner's style is convincing enough that the reader is wondering, "Am I reading tragedy, fantasy, comedy, or something in between?"
    I will admit that the book caught my eye because I was looking for something light and funny. This didn't really fit that bill, but there were definitely some (darkly) funny moments. It was definitely entertaining, just not humorous.
    Plenty of profanity, so for those who don't like their curse words spelled out, this may not be for you.

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