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The Naked Jape: Uncovering the Hidden World of Jokes [Hardcover]

Jimmy Carr , Lucy Greeves
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 Nov 2006
Is Man the only animal that laughs? Why are clowns so scary? Do jokes make children more intelligent? Are men funnier than women? Can God take a joke? What's brown and sticky? What do you get if you cross a joke book with a vivid, funny and fascinating look at what makes us laugh? Join top comedian Jimmy Carr and his best friend and fellow joke-lover, Lucy Greeves on a whistle-stop tour of the strange and wonderful world of jokes. From the mysterious pygmy jesters of Ancient Egypt to today's stars of stand-up comedy, via Shakespeare, Freud and Lenny Bruce, this journey is by turns thought-provoking and hilarious. And with a connoisseur's selection of over 400 of the best jokes ever told, "The Naked Jape" will be sure to find your funny bone.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph Ltd; First Edition 3rd Impression edition (2 Nov 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718148711
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718148713
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.2 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 201,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


"An intelligent, sensitive and wide-ranging study of jokes that is
actually funny"
-- Scotland on Sunday

"The best book about jokes ever" -- David Baddiel, The Times

About the Author

Jimmy Carr and Lucy Greeves first met at university in 1992, where they bonded over a shared taste for near-the-knuckle stand-up comedy and terrible puns. In 1999, Jimmy binned a perfectly good job in marketing to see if thinking about jokes all day might be more fun. (It was.) Six years later, he persuaded his friend Lucy -- by then making her living as a copywriter -- to do the same. The Naked Jape is their first book together.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A recipe for laughter 29 Dec 2006
Some people are better joke tellers than others. In a hilarious book Jimmy Carr explores the art of joke telling, why stand-up comedy appears to be a male dominated profession,taboos on joke telling (with examination of Jerry Springer the Opera, the career of Lenny Bruce and faith adherents' sensitivities towards jokes).

Each page is laced with the jokes that Jimmy and his co author decided were their personal favourites so this book is both a joke book and an academic insight into the mechanics of humour.

I couldn't put this down. See what you think.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read with some great jokes 11 Nov 2007
By Richard Murphy VINE VOICE
A comedian writing a book about jokes could be a disaster but Jimmy Carr carries this off beautifully, with help from Lucy Greeves.

Although there is a lot of analysis of humour in the book, they made the great choice of sticking lots of jokes in as well - one at the bottom of every page and then pages of them at the end of each chapter. There is no doubt he takes jokes seriously and the book is intended to be read all the way through. However, it also makes it possible to dip into the book for a few minutes and leave with a smile. Everything from Bob Monkhouse to Denis Leary is here and he throws in a few of his own as well.

As you would expect if you know his act, he does not shy away from controversy, with sex, race, religion all covered without pulling any punches. He strongly defends the right to free speech, and for humour to cover the darker aspects of life. It is for the reader to decide if he pushes the boundaries too far, but it is clear that he causes offence deliberately to get laughs. He is no fool.

Well worth reading and would make a great stocking-filler for anyone who appreciated live comedy.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I hate that I love this book. 1 Sep 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Germans have the perfect word for Jimmy Carr's face. His is a Backpfeifengesicht. It's a face you could happily punch until the cows come home. Sadly though, after reading this wonderful book there's an audible lowing at the farmyard gates, and that over-exposed smugness suddenly seems almost tolerable. Almost.

`The Naked Jape' is a warm, lucid and delightfully enlightening look at the history of The Joke, its mechanics, and its place in human culture. The authors deal with the entire spectrum of humour, from the childish to the bigoted. Where the humour is off-colour, the authors explain rather than revel in the shock, and they have a real knack for condensing academic and amateur studies of jokes and condensing them into an argument that's both cogent, readable and very human. They also get points for not resorting to hagiography when mentioning legends such as Bill Hicks and Lenny Bruce. Theirs is a very balanced view.

After finishing this book I think I understand more clearly why we laugh, and why that's important. I'd like to think Lucy wrote all illuminating bits, but Jimmy and his face probably provided a fair share. His evocation of what it takes to be a standup - putting yourself up there in the hot glare of an audience's expectations and judgment - is especially vivid.

If you're curious about comedy and its wider cultural resonances, put to one side that wave of nausea at seeing that name on the cover, read the book, and you may well change your view of the man and his - gulp - art. But just in case you don't I'll keep my foot on his neck `til you're finished...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Naked Jape 26 Dec 2009
A Great book,chuckleworthy and informative. It fulfilled a gap in presents for men and teenage boys this year, and delayed my present wrapping as I leafed through it, so much so that I kept one back for myself. Recommended after sharing a room on a weekend away, and my roomie was giggling into the small hours!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny man, Funny book? 8 Oct 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
i am a fan of Jimmy i have seen his live show several times and enjoy his TV work, being that i am not the biggest reader i was a bit unsure when buying this book, however the book was interesting and engaging.

i would just say though that the main content of the book is a factual study of the origins of comedy, coupled with some one liners at the bottom of each page, i enjoyed this format but if your looking for his stand up in book form this isnt really for you.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only book about jokes you'll ever need 11 Jun 2008
By Mr. Stuart Bruce TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The quote from The Times on the back of the book is spot on: this book is four-fifths a book about the nature, history, and meaning of comedy, and one-fifth the only joke book you'll ever need.

A lot of the analysis in this book is very straight, and to make up for the fact that the main text, though very interesting, is not necessarily laugh-a-minute, they put a classic and relevant joke at the bottom of very page. Brilliantly thought out, witty, intelligent, and well worth reading.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant book: hilarious and fascinating 21 Jan 2007
This book is great. The Naked Jape is funny, interesting, and beautifully written. It made me laugh out loud and also think. It's full of jokes. It's full of interesting facts. Marvellous.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What's all the fuss? 2 Aug 2010
I'm not sure why The Naked Jape has had so many five star reviews. It's not that the book is bad, it's just that the book isn't anything really. I imagine Carr had great fun writing this with his friend, but there is little here by way of real analysis of humour. What there is, is plenty evidence of yet another celebrity being approached by a publisher with a cheque book asking them to put their name to something that can be sold on the strength of their celebrity. There have been few books over the years I have left unfinished, this being one. I left it unfinished not because it was bad, but because it wasn't anything in particular. It seemed to relish in saying more or less the same thing chapter after chapter, leaving me feeling there was no need to finish it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars perfect
Well written, insightful, interesting and there is a joke on every single page.

Not so much a hidden world of jokes but more an understanding of why, what and when. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Michelle Naughton
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!
Packed with great jokes and a lot of more serious stuff about comedy. An all-round good read. I hope Carr and Greeves publish more books like this!
Published 1 month ago by JVG
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for any comedy enthusiast.
Jimmy Carr proves his brilliance once again breaking down comedy for you. Explaining why and how something will make you laugh and teach you with an abundance of jokes all you need... Read more
Published 4 months ago by GEORGE NIKOLAOU
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Great for anyone who likes Jimmy Carr and/ or is interested in jokes and/ or stand up comedy. Interesting, funny, well written and researched.
Published 5 months ago by hannah
5.0 out of 5 stars Naked Jape
I found this book in a charity shop and thought it would be a good one to have in the loo. Enjoyed it so much I bought a copy as a present for my son because I knew he would like... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Morag Henriksen
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing much to tell about this book
I was recommended this book while taking a public speaking classes. I was told that it's a good read for speakers but certainly it did not add anything to my knowledge or helped... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Pratik Thakar
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent and very funny.
This book explores several kinds of comedy, and the way they fit within society, explaining the dynamics and evolution in a very entertaining style. Read more
Published 14 months ago by ...
1.0 out of 5 stars A member of the public speaks!
Want to hear a joke?

Jimmy Carr.

Not very funny is it?
Sadly, recent events, in my opinion, will have demolished Jimmy Carr as a comedian. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Trailergroom
1.0 out of 5 stars A collision of non fiction and jokes
The scientific, and in many cases pseudo-scientific, main body is largely lackluster. It forces itself to dwell on dull areas. Read more
Published 22 months ago by P V
2.0 out of 5 stars not tell much about why jokes are funny
I bought this book because it said on the back "find out what's funny and why" and also says that this book is "a lesson in joke-making" and "a joke book that makes you think about... Read more
Published on 2 Sep 2011 by Mr. Roberto Ferraro
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