The Book of Jokes

The Book of Jokes

by Momus
     
 

Imagine a universe where every joke you've ever heard is solid, real, and occasionally dangerous--and all happening, one after the other, to the same small group of people. Detailing a series of filthy and ludicrous episodes in the life of a single family, saddled with a super-eccentric, sexually rapacious father, The Book of Jokes tells the story of the

See more details below

Overview

Imagine a universe where every joke you've ever heard is solid, real, and occasionally dangerous--and all happening, one after the other, to the same small group of people. Detailing a series of filthy and ludicrous episodes in the life of a single family, saddled with a super-eccentric, sexually rapacious father, The Book of Jokes tells the story of the youth and education of a bland young boy doomed to record--in an incongruously serious, autobiographical mode--all the ridiculous incidents befalling his household. With their lives dictated by set ups and punchlines, the boy's family quickly becomes luridly dysfunctional, and he realizes that the only way to escape his tragicomic fate is by trying to take control of the joke-telling himself. Channeling the spirits of Chaucer, Rabelais, Flann O'Brien, and Gian Francesco Poggio Bracciolini, the Vatican secretary who compiled the first known book of jokes in 1451, The Book of Jokes is a happy raspberry in the face of life as we know and tell it.

Dalkey Archive Press

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Michael Schaub - Bookslut
“The book is gleefully postmodern, and only a novel in the most technical sense: it's meta-jest, a long joke about jokes, and it is, by turns, funny and horrifying.”
The Los Angeles Times
“Momus' book is funny—sometimes laugh-out loud, sometimes wincingly—and the humor is delivered in Joycean puns, dry British parody and spoof...”
Publishers Weekly

Known primarily for his avant-garde music, Momus (aka Nick Currie) proves that he is no slouch as fiction writer either, easily translating his iconoclastic vision to prose. The novel is a phantasmagorical ride through dirty jokes that, in Momus's twisted alternate reality, dictate the lives of a very unfortunate family. It's all here: bestiality, incest, rape, murder and combinations thereof, as if related in the locker room of a junior high. There is no clear narrative structure; the action meanders through anecdotes told by the narrator-sometimes a young boy, and sometimes his hugely endowed father-who lives in a glass house and is sometimes imprisoned with a pair known only as the Murderer and the Molester. The humor is dark and absurd and genuinely funny (though not for everyone), and the style is reminiscent of Naked Lunch, with puns and coarse jokes instead of caterpillars and otherworldly creatures. This strong and short novel, despite its uncompromising structure and style, is delightfully crude and never ever dull. (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Rolling Stone
Momus delights in wordplay like few others in contemporary pop, using wit as a formidable weapon against the tyranny of everyday banality.
The New Yorker
He lists Rabelais and Martial among his songwriting influences (with a side of Matthew Barney and Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange"), and his music-from Brecht to Beck on Moog and simulated harpsichord-is suitably challenging . . . His songs, by the way, are quite dirty, as might be expected of someone who goes in for the Decameron too.
Melody Maker
One of the UK's greatest and most underrated songwriters . . . ambivalent, challenging, confusing, disturbing.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781564785619
Publisher:
Dalkey Archive Press
Publication date:
09/15/2009
Series:
British Literature Series
Pages:
200
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >