Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Funny books

Lovers of humor writing should take a look at the works of Anthony Winkler, who currently lives in the US, but is a native of Jamaica. His most recent novel, the Duppy, is set in Jamaica and is a humorous book about death, or the after-life. For those unfamiliar with Jamaican slang, a duppy is a ghost and the main character finds himself a duppy as he dies on the first page. He then works his way to heaven where he gets caught up with an atheist and hangs out with God. There is lots of earthy humor, and will have particular appeal for those that collect dirty slang.

This book got me thinking about funny books of literature and why there are so few. When I was collecting some funny books for an ill friend, I pulled together some Robertson Davies, a Richard Russo and a John Hodgman book. I then ran out of ideas. While of course there are more, the number of funny books of literature or even funny genre books is strangely small.

Is this a demand or supply issue? Do people want their funny in the Dave Barry bathroom book variety and keep it at that, or do they prefer to read of more serious matters when they pick up a book? I myself don't know.

No comments: