Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘comic novels’

Reviews |

Kids These Days, by Drew Perry

Lots of novels that call themselves funny turn out to be playful or witty or perhaps casually clever in a quiet way. But Drew Perry’s Kids These Days (Algonquin) is a genuinely funny book. One that will make you guffaw into your gingerbread latte until a stranger at the next table asks, “What’s so funny?” At which point you might—as I did—end up reading pages aloud and making a scene at Starbucks. If you want a novel that serves up its humor in a venti-sized cup, this one’s for you. Part of what’s funny is the premise: Walter and Alice […]

Shop Talk |

In Defense of Comic Novels, Part II

Recently we discussed a Times article about why comic novels often get overlooked when it comes to literary awards. Over at BlackBook, author and Columbia professor Sam Lipsyte adds his thoughts on the status of funny fiction today: Do you feel that literary fiction is afraid to make people laugh these days? I think there’s a worry that if it’s funny then perhaps there’s something slight about it. That it’s not as important as a deeply researched, earnest, historical novel, or a kind of humorless tale of contemporary life. I think there possibly was a moment in the ‘60s and […]

Shop Talk |

In Defense of Comic Novels

In the art world, comedy seldom gets its dues: if it’s funny, many assume, it can’t also be “real” art. At the Oscars a couple of years back, Will Ferrell, Jack Black, and John C. Reilly lamented the plight of “A Comedian at the Oscars”: “the saddest man of all / Your movies may make millions, but your name they’ll never call.” Something similar happens in literature, Erica Wagner points out in the UK’s Times: Comic novels — let’s call them terrific novels that happen to be funny — tend to fall through the cracks, especially where prizes are concerned. […]