Book Journey: The Vale of Laughter

EtherealJinxed|Book Review | The Vale of Laughter by Peter De Vries

Genre: Satire, Comedy
Book Name: The Vale of Laughter
Author: Peter De Vries
Pages: 352
Publication Year: 1967
Publisher: Little Brown

A classics styled funny writing (this one is an old book I found in someone else’s collection) and a complete contrast to Kapil Sharma’s not so entertaining jokes on stupid stuff.

You basically understand what a clown (or in this case, a good-for-nothing person) if not able to find his niche can do. He can create scenes out of his own life and portray it in such a practical manner that people instead of despising it will laugh! An interesting read that has an unexpected turn of tales.

Probably I would need a re-reading of this book to better understand the underlying genre these series of books generally catered to for I am yet to touch-base and be comfortable with similar class of books.

Excerpt from the back cover of the book:
A brilliant, fiercely funny novel that ponders the eternal question: is it better to laugh or cry?

Joe Sandwich is a clown. Not literally, but what else do you call an eleven-year-old who goes to church to confess his good deeds: “I did my homework without being told”? A stockbroker who gets seasick watching the market tape and claims the gross national product is “deodorants”? A father who mows curse words into his lawn and names his son Hamilton because, well, who can resist a Ham Sandwich?

Prankster, punster, cut-up, card—Joe needs to crack wise about everything. Has he figured out the secret to embracing the inherent absurdity of life, or is there some terrible anxiety at the root of his compulsion? Lots of people want to know, including his wife, Naughty, who is anything but; his mistress, Gloria Bunshaft; and her husband, Wally Hines, a humorless professor who specializes is the philosophy of humor.

“If you look back,” says Joe, “you turn into a pillar of salt. If you look ahead, you turn into a pillar of society.” He prefers to live in the moment, from one gag to the next, but the joke he doesn’t see coming may get the biggest laugh of all.

About the author:
Peter De Vries was born in Chicago to Dutch immigrant parents. He worked with New Yorker magazine for forty years. A prolific author of novels, short stories, parodies, poetry, and essays, he published twenty-seven books during his lifetime, several of which were made into films. He was heralded by Kingsley Amis as the “funniest serious writer to be found either side of the Atlantic.” De Vries was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1983, taking his place alongside Mark Twain, Dorothy Parker, and S. J. Perelman as one of the nation’s greatest wits.

Rating: 7/10

About Alka

Trying to just make some sense out of things and put some sense into me!! :) :) :)

Posted on November 15, 2015, in Book Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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