Wednesday, September 5, 2012

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

edited by Dave Eggers

A collection of brief humor pieces from the literary magazine and website, written mostly by unknowns and showcasing its erudite, absurdist slant.  As with any florilegium such as this, it’s a hit and miss collection.  The relatively lengthy piece explaining that the Supreme Court’s decisions are actually arrived at through basketball games played by the justices is far too overblown and tedious; I found Neal Pollack’s nonsensical “Trinity” to be the least funny thing that ever attempted to be funny.  Mostly the value in this collection is in the ultra-short, dry pieces that approach pop culture straight-faced, as if it were academia, such as “Pop Quiz,” in which the narrator cluelessly answers song titles that are questions (“Why Do Fools Fall In Love?” – “they have lower standards”), or the interviews with Goofus and Gallant’s friends and co-workers to explain what “pushed Gallant over the edge.”  Fun, quick reading, non-essential but worth dipping into.

three stars

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