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on 29 December 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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VINE VOICEon 11 November 2007
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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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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on 1 September 2010
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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on 21 January 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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on 2 August 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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on 8 October 2009
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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on 26 December 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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on 11 August 2015
I'm only half way through as I write this, but already it is good enough for the 5 stars.
The chapters are well split to give an insight into different areas of humour and there are some nice little gags as footnotes.
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on 21 April 2013
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 the mix of good jokes and erudition regarding humour.
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