Sunday, October 11, 2009

Book Review: "Disquiet, Please!"

David Remnick and Henry Finder have edited a second collection of New Yorker humor writing (the first being Fierce Pajamas). Disquiet Please! (Random House, 2008) includes pieces, as the editors explain on p. xiii-xiv "not found in the previous anthology, that made us laugh, or beam, or both. Then, when those proved too numerous to fit into a book, we arranged the pieces in a circle and spun a bottle. Afterward, we recycled the bottle." They note that they skewed toward authors who are "still living, or very nearly; some are even young ... We have erred on the side of newness."

Like all anthologies, this one is best dipped into at random, rather than read straight through. And, like all anthologies, not all of the selections are rib-crackingly funny. Some aren't very funny at all. Others are hysterical. Each piece, however, is very New Yorker. So if you like that sort of thing, this book's for you.

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