More Mirth of a Nation: The Best Contemporary Humor
About this book
More seriously funny writing from American's most trusted humor anthology Witty, wise, and just plain wonderful, the inaugural volume of this biennial, Mirth of a Nation, ensured a place for the best contemporary humor writing in the country. And with this second treasury, Michael J. Rosen has once again assembled a triumphant salute to one of America's greatest assets: its sense of humor. More than five dozen acclaimed authors showcase their hilariously inventive works, including Paul Rudnick, Henry Alford, Susan McCarthy, Media Person Lewis Grossberger, Ian Frazier, Richard Bausch, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Nell Scovell, Andy Borowitz, and Ben Greenman -- just to mention a handful so that the other contributors can justify their feelings that the world slights them.But there's more! More Mirth of a Nation includes scads of Unnatural Histories from Randy Cohen, Will Durst's "Top Top-100 Lists" (including the top 100 colors, foods, and body parts), and three unabridged (albeit rather short) chapbooks:David Bader's "How to Meditate Faster" (Enlightenment for those who keep asking, "Are we done yet?")Matt Neuman's "49 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth" (for instance, "Make your own honey" and "Share your shower.")Francis Heaney's "Holy Tango of Poetry" (which answers the question, "What if poets wrote poems whose titles were anagrams of their names, i.e., 'Toilets,' by T. S. Eliot?")
And there's still more: "The Periodic Table of Rejected Elements," meaningless fables, Van Gogh's Etch A Sketch drawings, a Zagat's survey of existence, an international baby-naming encyclopedia, Aristotle's long-lost treatise "On Baseball," and an unhealthy selection of letters from Dr. Science's mailbag. And that's just for starters! Just remember, as one reviewer wrote of the first volume, "Don't drink milk while reading."
This is a great traveling book because the stories are short and some are absolutely hysterical. Out loud laughing. Plus it gives a taste of various writer's styles.
I enjoyed about 3/4 of the short stories and comedic samples found in More Mirth.
At more than 500 pages, this anthology of satires, parodies and humorous essays packs a lot in. It also has an all-star cast of contributing authors including Andy Borowitz, Ian Frazier, Merrill Markoe, Steve Martin and Rick Moranis - as well as numerous up-and-coming humorists. It's a mixed bag, however. While there are some keepers here - such as Borowitz's "Inaugural Address of President George W. Bush" and Frank Gannon's "Sixteen Magazine Rates the Presidents" - some of the bits really fall as flat as a water balloon. Sorry, Rick Moranis, but your "New York Confidential" struck us as incomrehensible. Published in 2002, this was the second book in what was supposed to be the "Mirth of a Nation" series edited by Michael Rosen (former director of Thurber House) and published by Perennial. Unfortunately, the series must not have taken off. If it had, we would have been willing to continue reading it. While we can't give it five stars, we will recommend to fans of American humor willing to overlook some of its blemishes and flaws.