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on 24 July 2017
some good jokes
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on 10 September 2013
This is a funny book to dip into, with various jokes under various categories. Some are really old - and some are not that funny. But some are classic.

Worth anyone preparing a speech looking through for inspiration.

A good joke book - and not American either, which most joke books are (and thus rather obvious and crude).
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on 4 January 2017
A lot of the reviews for this are from people buying it as a joke present for others, people who haven't read it extensively themselves, which might explain the 4-star rating.

The author is a self-described 'scholar' of humour and jokes, i.e. not a comedian. The sheer randomness and lack of discretion in his accumulation of ancient, recycled junk for this book proves that studying something is no guarantee you'll eventually understand it. He has no sense of humour - he just collects humour. Indiscriminately.

The book is divided into 2-page spreads on different topics: "only an X's daughter but...", "Why did the X cross the road", "what's X and Y?" and so on. Many categories appear again later in the book, for no discernible reason other than to less obviously spin out the recycled content. Most of the jokes are so bad, you can't believe someone would bother to put them into print. The first set of 'Why did the X cross the road" jokes are exactly the ones you heard (and got quickly bored of telling) when you were 4 years old: the chicken, the dinosaur, the horse ("it was the chicken's day off"). The X and Y jokes include ones so tediously old, even Penguin wrappers no longer consider them worthy of print: "What's brown and sticky? A stick." And so on.

Some people are happy with this because they bought it as a deliberately bad, "so bad it's good" present for someone - a joke present. The problem with that is, the title is "500 of the funniest jokes, one-liners and puns". I love one-liners and puns. I love so-bad-they're-good jokes. But these literally, actually are not the best ones - they're the worst. The most tedious, washed-up, saturated, flogged-dead jokes that only now reappear when a grandparent is briefly tasked with entertaining a toddler.

There are a few good jokes in here, seemingly by accident - the author's approach has simply been to unthinkingly harvest all of the most common-by-appearance playground jokes and print them, and now and then, good jokes as well as "Knock knock" jokes make it into playgrounds. So once every ten or twelve pages, I found something that made me laugh. But most of it is absolute bilge - jokes you already know and didn't find very funny the first time, jokes you get punished with if you cheap out on bad Christmas crackers.

Actually, that's a lie. Three out of the six cracker jokes at my last meal made me laugh, if a little weakly - a much better ratio than this book manages. Passing the contents of this book off as worthy of reading, let alone as the "funniest" classic jokes, is fraud. Once you grasp the (lack of) effort put into it, asking £10 for it is robbery. For £2, I might have just blamed myself and kept it. For the sake of £10, I returned it. Nobody should get paid for publishing this tripe.

I'm worried you might not believe just how painfully lazy some of the material is, so I'll end with a few examples.

"Why did the giraffe cross the road?"
"To visit the chicken."

"What's black and white and read all over?"
"A newspaper."

"What is black and white and eats like a horse?"
"A Zebra."

"Why was the mushroom invited to the party?"
"Because he was a fun-guy."

"Waiter, there's a fly in my soup!"
"Sorry, sir. Did you want it served separately?"

"What's orange and sounds like a parrot?"
"A carrot."

"What time does the Chinese dentist's open?"
"Tooth hurtee."

Agonising.
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on 13 December 2013
Bought for a colleague at work as a birthday gift.
great quality book, and makes an ideal gift for someone with a good sense of humour!
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on 23 October 2013
it reminded me of the jokes I was told when I was growing up. It provided lots of happy memories
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on 30 May 2016
This was book as a gift for a dear friend who was extremely poorly, I am lead to believe this book brought him great pleasure. I bought this after a friend received it for Christmas this year and thoroughly enjoyed it! I can not recommend this book highly enough!
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on 15 February 2016
Great - a lot of the content invites groans, but I have had a lot of laughs from it - and so has a lady I visit who has dementia, which has been a particular bonus.
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on 12 February 2015
Very poor jokes. Depends on personal taste I guess. Your taste would have to be pretty bad though.
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on 16 May 2014
Not my type of humour but not bad at all,l suppose there are people our there that wouls like it.
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on 20 December 2015
The jokes are so bad I'm actually returning the book.
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