Friday, October 12, 2012

Wodehouse Prize

The Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize is awarded every year in the UK for comic literature.  This sounded like a treasure chest for my Amazon wish-list, but clicking through the descriptions, black comedy and tragicomedy - not even "quirky," which would be the lite versions of those - seem to dominate.  A Fraction of The Whole looks like it might be just plain funny, but apparently we don't do that so much anymore. 

I don't doubt I would like many of these at least somewhat.  Terry Pratchett has always seemed to me to be a cross between Xanth and Hitchhiker's Guide and not so appealing years later, but I have liked bits that I have had described to me.  The others listed - except maybe that Ukrainian Tractors thing - seem too drenched in irony, or nuance, or something.  Yet, seeing that even I don't like the humorous styles I used to love, it may be the age.  Some other generation may have to reclaim simple humor.

Does anyone know anything about the others?

Or you could just comment about book-humor in general.


james said...

Pratchett is excellent in places, but his most recent isn't his best (I like Thief of Time). Fforde's The Eyre Affair was fun. Both have an eye for the chaotic.

The rest I'm not familiar with, and spot checking didn't leave me enthusiastic. Though... I'm not sure how well summaries work when describing humor. Something is lost.

Still, The Life of Pi sounded boring.

Mark Knight said...

Pratchett is a great satirist. He's at least as good as Swift, certainly as good as Waugh. He's Wodehouse without the cute; a light touch and yet behind the lightness, a rabbit bunch with a brass knuckles and a vulpine grin.

Mark Knight said...

"a rabbit bunch with a brass knuckles and a vulpine grin"
should have been "a rabbit punch with brass knuckles and a vulpine grin"

but "a rabbit bunch with brass knuckles and a vulpine grin" is a gang I wouldn't want to meet but would want to read more about...

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Yeah, MK, that's a book that would really be funny to read. Get started on that.

Nice warren you got here. It would be a shame if something happened to it.

Anonymous said...

Do you want satire or just need a good laugh? If just a good laugh, try Donald E. Westlake's series of
Dortmunder novels. If these don't bring some satisfaction to your day, you are beyond help.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Mark - rereading my last comment, it sounds sarcastic. It wasn't meant that way. I am really amused by the idea.