intense sensations

Posts Tagged ‘humour

Excuse Me Where Is The Exit?Excuse Me Where Is The Exit? by Stella Deleuze
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Life is a lot funnier than a TV sitcom. It’s all a question of attitude.

Stella Deleuze has oodles of attitude.

Take her little piece on cycling. Cyclists are a pest. Cyclists ignore traffic lights. Cyclists hiss at you and speed up in situations where motorists would brake. Cyclists don’t have brakes. They have SOMETHING TO PROVE. German cyclists are the worst because they always have the right of way, even on the pavement, and especially on the piece of pavement that you happen, in your ignorance, to have strayed onto just before they hurtle into you at 25 miles per hour from behind.

Stella is a German cyclist but does this bother her? Not at all.

“Pedestrians are worse than tanks,” she writes.

But she is also lovely. Because Stella doesn’t behave like a cyclist. She behaves like a human being.

She uses the brakes for the bloody idiots. She actually stops at traffic lights. She admits her failings. When she is nearly killed by a bus it is, of course, her fault. When a confused Frenchman stumbles out of a taxi straight into her path, she forgives him. “He’ll have the bruises after all,” she concedes.

Which is why you can’t stop laughing.

But humour is a personal thing so I gave this book the acid test. I read some of it aloud to my flatmate.

Howls of laughter.

Kindle stolen again while I was out.

It’s really hard to find a book that makes you split your sides laughing. Especially when you share it with someone. Keep this one to yourself. Don’t read it in public. And don’t read it out loud.

The Panama LaughThe Panama Laugh by Thomas Roche
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a deeply literary novel steeped in classical antecedents from Virgil to Emily Dickinson. It’s a luridly cinematic novel drenched in every movie genre you can think of from noir and hardboiled through to western, war and horror. It’s a politically subversive novel that wears its intelligence lightly. It’s a streetwise novel that lampoons the blog generation. It’s a techno novel. It’s a zombie novel. It’s a …

It’s a novel that’s really hard to review because it’s so outrageously funny that it’s impossible to be serious about it, yet at the same time it’s a novel that only a seriously dedicated writer could have written.

The author does everything well. He makes you laugh, of course — on every page — almost with every sentence. He writes description well. He does exposition well. He’s a techno babble expert. Dialogue is a breeze. Dammit, his dialogue is so good this book could act as a crammer for social climbers in San Francisco.

It’s an effortlessly readable novel. It’s a fun and funny novel. It’s the kind of novel that college geeks might learn by heart and quote to each other over a pitcher of beer.

It’s fast-paced and packed with action. It’s the kind of novel that makes you want to give up blogging and reviewing and just curl up with on a sofa and read and re-read — for the sheer hell of it.

Damn, it’s funny!

Naughty Fairytales from A to ZNaughty Fairytales from A to Z by Alison Tyler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is one book I’m ashamed to have by my bed. It is really trashy. Luckily the pink and taupe cover blends in with my bedding and can lie camouflaged on my duvet when my flatmate bursts in on me unexpectedly.

I mention it here only because there is one story that lifts it above the average. It is tucked away at the back so you might miss it. It’s called Zoe White and the Seven Whores.

I told you it was trashy.

This story is by Thomas S. Roche and, to be honest, it is not his best story. It is light and frothy. It reads like he dashed it off before his morning cappuccino. But he is one of my favourite authors because every sentence he writes either thrills me or makes me laugh.

Zoe White and the Seven Whores had me in stitches. I don’t usually laugh out loud when I’m reading but with this one I did and, what is worse, I was on my own.

Yes, I know.

I’m reluctant to recommend it. Humour is a very personal thing.

Vanessa Wu is the author of Love Has No Limits


Books by Vanessa Wu

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