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Original Essays | April 11, 2014

Paul Laudiero: IMG Shit Rough Draft



I was sitting in a British and Irish romantic drama class my last semester in college when the idea for Shit Rough Drafts hit me. I was working... Continue »
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Created in Darkness by Troubled Americans: The Best of McSweeney's Humor Category

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Created in Darkness by Troubled Americans: The Best of McSweeney's Humor Category Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Now more than ever, Americans are troubled by questions. As sweaty modernity thrusts itself upon us, the veil of ignorance that cloaked our nation hangs in tatters, tattered tatters. Our "funny bones" are neither fun nor bony. Glum is the new giddy, and the old giddy wasn't too giddy to begin with.

What can be done to stop this relentless march of drabbery? Nothing. But perhaps this book can be used to dull the pain. Included herein:

  • The Ten Worst Films of All Time, as Reviewed by Ezra Pound over Italian Radio
  • Unused Audio Commentary by Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky, Recorded Summer 2002, for The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring DVD (Platinum Series Extended Edition), Part One.
  • How Important Moments in My Life Would Have Been Different If I Was Shot in the Stomach
  • My Beard, Reviewed
  • Circumstances under Which I Would Have Sex with Some of My Fellow Jurors
  • Words That Would Make Nice Names for Babies, If It Weren't for Their Unsuitable Meanings
  • As a Porn Movie Titler, I May Lack Promise
  • Ineffective Ways to Subdue a Jaguar
  • Eleven Lunch Meats I Have Invented
  • Four Things I Would Have Said to Sylvia Plath if I Had Been Her Boyfriend
And much, much more, including 20 brilliant new lists . . .

Review:

"In his introduction, McSweeney's founder Eggers says the goal of these short pieces, most of which originally appeared on the McSweeney's Web site, is to be 'funny without being humorous,' which is an open invitation for critical bashing. It's true that the short stories, essays and lists — oh, so many lists — tend not to have, or even try for, the sort of universal appeal that turns stand-up comedians into bestselling authors. Readers' reactions will depend on whether they share the same level of erudition and love for pop culture as the authors. Greg Purcell's spot-on impression of the deranged voice of Ezra Pound's later writings, for example, will work only for those who know Pound's work, while the 'Journal of a New COBRA Recruit' will be equally incomprehensible to people who didn't grow up with GI Joe in the 1980s. If you get the jokes, though, they can be side-splittingly hilarious. Of course, there are misfires, especially those that play with the idea of trying and failing to be funny." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"The selections in Eggers's new collection take many forms: stories, letters, interviews, jokes, plays, and a large number of lists....The best of the lot are quite good; the rest are worth a look." Library Journal

Review:

"[G]ive[s] a nice break from more serious reading and may even entice reluctant readers." School Library Journal

Review:

"Achieves the sensation of being hit by a hip, humorous train....Breaks mold after mold in hilarious fashion." The New York Times

Review:

"In this collection, the wit and wisdom is 98 percent male, laconic and wry....Skim through some of the sophomoric sex jokes and the self-indulgent obscurity, and you'll find some gems worthy of a second-read chuckle." Providence Journal

Review:

"This book is lacking one essential element: humor....The majority of pieces lead to groans rather than grins.... Created in darkness, it should have stayed there." Rocky Mountain News

Review:

"Some of the stories seem to be intentionally unfunny exercises in "deconstructing" the structure of jokes and humor...But some of them can be wickedly cute..." Seattle Times

Review:

"The authors of the pieces assume you are also university-educated, well read and that you know the nuances of an imagined conversation between Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky....Gems are few and far between."Chicago Sun-Times

About the Author

McSweeney's is a small group that sells taxidermy equipment and also produces books, a literary quarterly, and The Believer, a monthly review. Based in San Francisco, McSweeney's is also home to 826 Valencia, a nonprofit educational center for Bay Area youth.

Table of Contents

A Brief Parody of a Talk Show That Falls Apart about Halfway through 
The Spirit of Christmas 
The Briefing: A Play in One Act 
On the Implausibility of the Death Star’s Trash Compactor
Preview of Summer Camps
Comments Written on Evaluations of My Speech on Needle-Exchange Programs 
The Newest from Jokeland 
Excerpts from My Speech on Forest-Fire Prevention 
As a Porn Movie Titler, I May Lack Promise 
I Know What You Did Two Moons Ago (The Revenge) 
Words That Would Make Nice Names for Babies, If It Weren’t for Their Unsuitable Meanings
Reviews of My Daydreams 
Insomniacs! I Bring Words of Hope and Wisdom 
The Ten Worst Films of All Time, as Reviewed by Ezra Pound over Italian Radio 
Group Mobilization as a Desperate Cry for Help 
Fire: The Next Sharp Stick?
Not Very Scary Movies 
Candle Party 
It’s Not Actually a Small World
Unused Audio Commentary by Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky, Recorded Summer 2002, for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring DVD (Platinum Series Extended Edition), Part One
Canceled Regional Morning TV Shows 
A Letter from Ezra Pound to Billy Wilder, 1963 
Journal of a New COBRA Recruit 
A Logic Puzzle and Hangover Cure
Some People Don’t Like Celebrities
Tips from Jokes and How to Tell Them, Published in 1963
How Important Moments in My Life Would Have Been Different If I Was Shot in the Stomach
No Justice, No Foul 
Actual Academic Journals Which Could Be Broadway Shows If They Had Exclamation Points Added!
My Beard, Reviewed 
The Name Game 
Circumstances under Which I Would Have Sex with Some of My Fellow Jurors 
The Bet 
The Dance Lesson 
Attack of the Fabulons! 
Pirate Riddles for Sophisticates 
A Short Fictional Passage Entitled “Drift Nets,” in Which Several Enterprising Characters Troll the High Seas, Exploring Abandoned Trade Vessels for “Pirated” Goods, and Learn to Cope with Distinct Personalities in a Close-Knit, High-Stress Environment 
Ineffective Lines Deleted from Final Revisions of Violent Box-Office Hits
A Graceland for Adolf
Trinity 
Pop Quiz
Bad Names for Professional Wrestlers 
Evidently, It Was Live Then
Upcoming Titles from Gavin Menzies, Author of 1421: The Year the Chinese Discovered America
Good Westerns, Not Porn 
Norse Legends Reference Pages 
Goofus, Gallant, Rashomon 
Not-Good Titles for Romantic Films 
Black, Gray, Green, Red, Blue: A Letter from a Famous Painter on the Moon
Lists
Alternate Titles Proposed for This Book
Contributors

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400076857
Editor:
Eggers, Dave
Publisher:
Vintage Books
Editor:
Eggers, Dave
Author:
Dave Eggers, Kevin Shay, Lee Epstein, John Warner, and Suzanne Kleid, eds. Introductions by Harry Magnan, Exalted Ruler of Elks Lodge No. 3, & Dave Eggers
Author:
Eggers, Dave
Author:
Dave Eggers, Kevin Shay, Lee Epstein, John Warner, and Suzanne Kleid, eds. Introductions by Harry Ma
Author:
Dave Eggers, Kevin Shay, Lee Epstein, John Warner, and Suzanne Kleid, eds. Introductions by Harry Ma
Subject:
General
Subject:
General Humor
Subject:
Humor : General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage
Publication Date:
20050631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
7.98x5.26x.63 in. .43 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » General
Arts and Entertainment » Humor » Narrative
Business » Featured Titles
Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » General
Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Miscellaneous Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Science and Mathematics » Featured Titles in Tech » Computers

Created in Darkness by Troubled Americans: The Best of McSweeney's Humor Category Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.95 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9781400076857 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In his introduction, McSweeney's founder Eggers says the goal of these short pieces, most of which originally appeared on the McSweeney's Web site, is to be 'funny without being humorous,' which is an open invitation for critical bashing. It's true that the short stories, essays and lists — oh, so many lists — tend not to have, or even try for, the sort of universal appeal that turns stand-up comedians into bestselling authors. Readers' reactions will depend on whether they share the same level of erudition and love for pop culture as the authors. Greg Purcell's spot-on impression of the deranged voice of Ezra Pound's later writings, for example, will work only for those who know Pound's work, while the 'Journal of a New COBRA Recruit' will be equally incomprehensible to people who didn't grow up with GI Joe in the 1980s. If you get the jokes, though, they can be side-splittingly hilarious. Of course, there are misfires, especially those that play with the idea of trying and failing to be funny." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "The selections in Eggers's new collection take many forms: stories, letters, interviews, jokes, plays, and a large number of lists....The best of the lot are quite good; the rest are worth a look."
"Review" by , "[G]ive[s] a nice break from more serious reading and may even entice reluctant readers."
"Review" by , "Achieves the sensation of being hit by a hip, humorous train....Breaks mold after mold in hilarious fashion."
"Review" by , "In this collection, the wit and wisdom is 98 percent male, laconic and wry....Skim through some of the sophomoric sex jokes and the self-indulgent obscurity, and you'll find some gems worthy of a second-read chuckle."
"Review" by , "This book is lacking one essential element: humor....The majority of pieces lead to groans rather than grins.... Created in darkness, it should have stayed there."
"Review" by , "Some of the stories seem to be intentionally unfunny exercises in "deconstructing" the structure of jokes and humor...But some of them can be wickedly cute..."
"Review" by , "The authors of the pieces assume you are also university-educated, well read and that you know the nuances of an imagined conversation between Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky....Gems are few and far between."
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