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Funny You Should Say That: Amusing Remarks from Cicero to the Simpsons [Hardcover]

Andrew Martin
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

6 Oct 2005
'A fool and his words are soon parted' wrote William Shenstone in 1764; one might add that 'A wit and his words are rarely collected'. Here is the antidote: a dazzling survey of the funniest remarks, quips and observations from Ancient Rome, the Bible and Chaucer right up to The Simpsons and Little Britain. Over 5,000 of the very funniest remarks to have appeared on paper since, well, paper was invented. The quotations are arranged thematically and cover all aspects of life: from the world we inhabit to the things we eat, smoke and drink; from the way we move around to what and how we learn - oh, and the pointlessness of football. Within each theme, the quotations are chronologically placed so that the reader gets a real sense of the development of thought about each subject - as well as seeing how jokes evolve over the years and, in some cases, who 'borrowed' from whom. There is a short biography of all of the authors in the book, a brief contextual note for each quotation and an index of keywords to help you find you chosen witticism quickly. But do not be over-hasty when you use this book: it is a browser's delight, and should be enjoyed at leisure.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd (6 Oct 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141006455
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141006451
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.4 x 4.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,649,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Andrew Martin, a former Spectator Young Writer of the Year, grew up in Yorkshire. He has written for the Evening Standard, the Sunday Times, the Independent on Sunday and the Daily Telegraph, among others. His weekly column appears in the New Statesman. His much-praised first novel, Bilton, described by Jon Ronson as 'extremely funny, genuinely moving and even a little scary', was followed by The Bobby Dazzlers, which Tim Lott hailed as 'truly unusual - a comic novel that actually makes you laugh'. He has just completed his next novel The Blackpool Flyer which is to be published in 2004.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A respectable collection 5 Aug 2008
By William Cohen VINE VOICE
Since I work as a speechwriter, I choose to plough through books of quotations to find things to bedizen my scripts. I don't envy the effort Andrew Martin must have put in to create this fresh collection of lines taken from sources including popular culture and contemporary journalism.

I was at school with Guy Browning, who doesn't get enough credit for being one of our top humorous writers, but I'm pleased to see Martin picked a number of his quips. There are lots of good ones from the likes of Alan Bennett, "Sooner or later in life everything turns into work, including work." and P J O'Rourke "(Of East Germany) How the commies managed to make a poor country out of a nation full of Germans is a mystery."

I usually mark the good lines with a tick, and I have to say that the ticks are quite few and far between. There is a bit of dryness and a lack of zip to some of the entries. The impression is not improved by having nearly 2/5 of the pages devoted to biographies and a comprehensive index.
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