The Book of Jokesby 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/i>… See more details below
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
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.
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