The McSweeney's Joke Book of Book Jokes by the editors of McSweeney's
You don’t need to be a reader or a writer to enjoy the book jokes in this joke book because some of the material is just plain funny regardless of your background and hobbies, but it will certainly augment the laughs and open up a number of gags. For example, the synopses to John Updike’s television work on Newhart, Friends, and Gilligan’s Island are comical, but those who know his writing will appreciate the parody as every show deals with characters going on a ski trip to Vermont, resulting in unsatisfying sexual experiences.
The jokes with the greatest success take fictional characters and place them in real-world settings. I laughed out loud at the office worker frustrated by the poor performance and the spilt honey of Winnie the Pooh and at Gregor Samsa learning his Social Security disability claim had been denied even though “I AM A GIGANTIC COCKROACH” is listed as an impairment. Real world celebrities deal with literature as well. Right-wing talk-show host Sean Hannity lists “The Five Most Dangerous Children’s Books Ever Written,” such as Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, which undermines “the capitalist spirit” and ignores “the Christian element of Christmas” and the obvious Communist metaphor of Clifford, the Big Red Dog. A glimpse into the future is provided as a young Ralph Nader writes a book report about Sinclar Lewis’ The Jungle. These two ideas are wittily combined when Lolita’s Humbert Humbert gets caught on Dateline: To Catch a Predator and mistakes Chris Hansen for Quilty.
The remainder of the review can be read at Blogcritics.