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The National Lampoon Treasury of Humor

An anthology of stories edited by

Publisher's Weekly
This anthology's release coincides with the 20th anniversary of Lampoon. As Sarrantonio ( The Fireside Treasury of New Humor ) explains, it is ''arranged as closesic as possible to a giant issue'' of the magazine; it comprises samples from the publication's regular features, including a selection of stupefyingly unfunny staff-penned letters to the editor. The result is a fairly representative taste of the magazine's style and content: generally sophomoric, churlish and mean-spirited, full of tiresome bathroom humor and casual bigotry. There are a few exceptions, notably Michael O'Donoghue's mordant dissection of Johnny Carson's monologues, an intermittently amusing if overlong collection of sex scenes omitted from literary works like Plato's Republic , and Sean Kelly's clever poetic parodies. Other pieces, like John Weidman's mildly diverting send-up of Miguel Pinero's Short Eyes (featuring an escalating array of prison-made armaments, such as ''a sawed-off shotgun made from clothesline and a deck of playing cards''), and most of the political satire, have dated badly. Does anyone really need to read a 20-year-old ''Mrs. Agnew's Diary?''

Library Journal
In two decades National Lampoon magazine has earned the distinction of offending everyone equally. This retrospective collection assembles choice satire from past and present NL writers Doug Kenney, Sean Kelly, P.J. O'Rourke, and John Hughes, among others. Just think of it as the thickest, funniest issue of NL ever published. Follow Nancy Reagan's Guide to Dating Do's and Don'ts, or learn about Richard Nixon's secret fantasies. Fail the SAT (Stupid Aptitude Test) and end up at Beloit College. You'll also find True Facts, Letters from the Editors, Mrs. Agnew's Diary, and more. For those who've retreated from National Lampoon to National Review there is little hope for enjoyment here. For the rest of us with half a brain and some time to use it, this volume provides a little irreverent escapism amidst otherwise solemn reality. A fine tribute to contemporary American satire, Lampoon style.--Joe Accardi, Northeastern Illinois Univ. Lib., Chicago

Genre: General Fiction

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