Here’s how funny it is: It’s funnier than A Confederacy of Dunces. It’s funnier than Money or Lucky Jim. It’s funnier than any of the product that any of your modern literary LOL-traffickers (your Lipsytes, your Shteyngarts) have put on the street. It beats Shalom Auslander to a bloody, chuckling pulp with his own funny-bone. And it is, let me tell you, immeasurably funnier than however funny you insist on finding Fifty Shades of Grey.
St. Patrick’s Day is over but there’s always cause to celebrate Irish storytellers. (Plus March is Irish-American History Month!) In this video from Open Road Media, you can listen to Edna O’Brien, Joseph Caldwell, Ken Bruen and T.J. English discuss the components of Irish storytelling that make for such good craic. Also you can check out the Poetry Foundation’s collection of St. Patrick’s Day poems for additional (belated) Irish writing.
In fact, my mother carried more than this, as yet undeclared, baby through Irish customs. My father told her to take the suitcase and said nothing (he is a great man for saying nothing), so she stood in all innocence in front of the customs man while he checked the contents. In among the clothes and the souvenir bottles of holy water were a couple of paperback books.
‘Aha!’ said the customs man and he looked at her. Whatever he saw in my mother’s lovely face, he slapped the case shut and waved them through.
She had been used, on her own honeymoon, as a books mule.
America is The Worst for trying to equate popularity with quality.