This delightfully entertaining anthology presents some of the funniest extracts in English literature. It opens with Anglo-Saxon riddles - 'they couldn't keep themselves warm on a diet of Beowulf' - and continues with medieval memories, Tudor comic turns and Restoration buffoonery. The rise of the novel in the 18th century brought classic humor from Swift, Sterne and Smollett, the mantle then passing to Charles Dickens in the 19th, while in the first half of the 20th century emerged unforgettable comic writers as diverse as Dorothy Parker and P.G. Wodehouse.
This collection is amazing. It isn't always funny because in a thousand years standards of humor have changed drastically and topical puns from even a hundred years ago have aged badly. But when it is funny, it's fantastic. David Timson's selections are masterful, including everyone from Dickens to Wodehouse and Parker. The cast brings them fully to life, handling even the pauses and over accenting of syllables it takes to make some puns work, and switching accents from Twain's frontier English to Wodehouse's British. With selections from children's literature (THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS), wonderful nonsense (ALICE IN WONDERLAND), and satire, this anthology spans Anglo-American civilization, offering something for everyone. G.T.B. © AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine