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The Humorist Hardcover – 26 Apr 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (26 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 085720923X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857209238
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 347,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'A brilliant writer. Dark but very funny.' --Amanda Ross



'Every comedian wants to deliver the punchline to end all punchlines, and in this slick, viscerally nasty book, award-winning stand-up Kane does just that' Guardian


'Comedian Russell Kane takes a break from stand-up and TV panel shows to write a novel. Whirring with weirdness and wit, it follows a troubled writer with the gift-cum-curse of being able to see comedy as a scientific formula. A recommended read that plays to Kane's strengths' --Shortlist

'The climactic period of the book... reminds one of the kind of contretemps that Douglas Adams could colour so well. Kane is also no slouch at building a scene overflowing with both tension and humour. The blurb directs the reader to make comparisons with Will Self, Michel Houellebecq and Martin Amis. The satirical and surreal qualities of the former are present, as is the casual-yet-compelling inhumanity of the latter two. Crucially, Kane's own voice - a driving, occasionally overwrought, stream of interlocking description and observation - is dominant' --Julian Hall, Independent

'Every comedian wants to deliver the punchline to end all punchlines, and in this slick, viscerally nasty book, award-winning stand-up Kane does just that' --Guardian

'The climactic period of the book... reminds one of the kind of contretemps that Douglas Adams could colour so well. Kane is also no slouch at building a scene overflowing with both tension and humour. The blurb directs the reader to make comparisons with Will Self, Michel Houellebecq and Martin Amis. The satirical and surreal qualities of the former are present, as is the casual-yet-compelling inhumanity of the latter two. Crucially, Kane's own voice - a driving, occasionally overwrought, stream of interlocking description and observation - is dominant' --Julian Hall, Independent

'Every comedian wants to deliver the punchline to end all punchlines, and in this slick, viscerally nasty book, award-winning stand-up Kane does just that' --Catherine Taylor, Guardian

'The climactic period of the book... reminds one of the kind of contretemps that Douglas Adams could colour so well. Kane is also no slouch at building a scene overflowing with both tension and humour. The blurb directs the reader to make comparisons with Will Self, Michel Houellebecq and Martin Amis. The satirical and surreal qualities of the former are present, as is the casual-yet-compelling inhumanity of the latter two. Crucially, Kane's own voice - a driving, occasionally overwrought, stream of interlocking description and observation - is dominant' --Julian Hall, Independent

'Every comedian wants to deliver the punchline to end all punchlines, and in this slick, viscerally nasty book, award-winning stand-up Kane does just that' --Catherine Taylor, Guardian

'The climactic period of the book… reminds one of the kind of contretemps that Douglas Adams could colour so well. Kane is also no slouch at building a scene overflowing with both tension and humour. The blurb directs the reader to make comparisons with Will Self, Michel Houellebecq and Martin Amis. The satirical and surreal qualities of the former are present, as is the casual-yet-compelling inhumanity of the latter two. Crucially, Kane's own voice - a driving, occasionally overwrought, stream of interlocking description and observation - is dominant' --Julian Hall, Independent

'A great read, by turns funny, sinister and macabre' --Mike Wade, The Times

'The climactic period of the book… reminds one of the kind of contretemps that Douglas Adams could colour so well. Kane is also no slouch at building a scene overflowing with both tension and humour. The blurb directs the reader to make comparisons with Will Self, Michel Houellebecq and Martin Amis. The satirical and surreal qualities of the former are present, as is the casual-yet-compelling inhumanity of the latter two. Crucially, Kane's own voice - a driving, occasionally overwrought, stream of interlocking description and observation - is dominant' --Julian Hall, Independent

About the Author

Russell Kane was born in Enfield, Essex, in 1980. His life-long love of literature meant that he read his way out of Ecstasy pills, cannabis and a job as a shop assistant, into a first-class degree and a job at an ad agency. He made Head of Copy in eighteen months. Then a colleague suggested stand-up comedy as a way of letting off steam and creative juice in the evening. Within two years, Kane had left the world of advertising to become a professional comedian and won last year's Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Show, the most prestigious prize in UK comedy. The Humorist is his first novel.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By ratman on 21 Jun 2012
Format: Hardcover
I had much anticipation when The Humourist was given to me as a birthday gift. Knowing Russell's comic career, no surprise that the story starts at the Comedy Store in London.

Premise I thought was excellent. Immersing the story and the players in the comedy world added interest. Like his stage work, rich vocabulary.

However ultimately I found the story far too long, finishing the book knowing where it was heading bacame a real chore.

This would be an excellent short-story.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By David on 3 May 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Do not make the mistake of thinking this is another book that has winged its way to the shelves on the name of a celebrity. Russell Kane can write; he has the gift. But for a book called "The Humorist" authored by a respected stand-up comedian, there are precious few laughs here. The main character, humour-savant Benjamin White, understands humour like a teetotal cocktail waiter understands booze; he knows what goes in to make excellence but he can never partake. And yet, that is what he craves. This is the story of a man who pursues that which he cannot have, embracing all the horrible consequences. This is a beautifully written book, but don't look for the work of pastoral artists: more Hieronymus Bosch than Constable, with all the horrors of Hell on display. Full of bodily functions and course language, the ugliness is somehow more acceptable for the context and literary voice.

There was only one part of the book that grated and that was an epistolary section, penned by a character presumable from New York by his turn of phrase and stereotypical syntax. Had this been dialogue it might just have worked, but we are supposed to be reading a document. Would an official from, say, the Bronx write in exactly the same way he speaks? Maybe, but it felt wrong.

It is a small niggle, and does not merit the loss of a star.

Would I read this book again? For all its merits, probably not. Will I read anything else RK has to offer? Absolutely and without a moment's hesitation.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 2 May 2012
Format: Hardcover
Russell Kane's debut novel allows the reader to see a completely different side to Russell Kane the award winning comedian.
A dark novel that will have you hooked from chapter one. A very intelligent and brilliantly constructed plot, which allows a real insight into the life of Benjamin White;comedy critic. The book allows you to really feel what life must be like for Benjamin and you can empathise with his upbringing. Kane's research into the psychology of White must be applauded and certainly pays off, as throughout the book I found myself liking Benjamin White more and more despite his personality gradually growing darker and more evil. I read this book over two days, as I could not put it down. Even after reading, Benjamin White stayed with me and although you know what he does is wrong, you find yourself thinking that actually it is right, which brings you to question your own morality and outlook on life. He really becomes a loveable hero. To read this book, I had to dismiss the image of Russell Kane, comic and tv presenter and look at him in a whole new light. A thoroughly gripping read, which I highly recommend. I can't wait for the next instalment from Russell Kane, the novelist extrodinaire! Read it, you won't regret it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Beanie on 2 Jan 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sorry but I just couldn't like anything about this book. It was dark and it was far too graphic. There didn't seem to be any redeeming features. Felt like giving up but I made myself read it to the end, and sure enough it ended as I thought it would, and I still didn't like it! I've seen Russell Kane's live show and it was brilliant, one of the best. But as a writer, I don't think he's got the same appeal.
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By ju on 28 Jun 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I do love this guy and his writing is as weird, quirky and out there as his on-screen persona. Just read that's he's 'engaged' to an Essex girl! Can this be true...?!?? seems very suburban..
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By Wood on 2 Jun 2013
Format: Paperback
I am a huge Russell Kane fan. I think he is great live and found his book to be a good read. I do agree with other reviews that it can at times drag out but otherwise I think it is a good read. He has done a good job of making an his character relate to everyone in some manner. It is a very dark book and enjoyed it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Just couldn't get in to this book. I'm halfway through and I'm ashamed to say I might have to give up. Rating based on the first half of the book alone.
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