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Tag Archives: Humour

Look Who’s Back – Timur Vermes

NEOHitlerBerlin, Summer 2011. Adolf Hitler wakes up on a patch of open ground, alive and well. Things have changed – no Eva Braun, no Nazi party, no war. Hitler barely recognises his beloved Fatherland, filled with immigrants and run by a woman.

People certainly recognise him, albeit as a flawless impersonator who refuses to break character. The unthinkable, the inevitable happens, and the ranting Hitler goes viral, becomes a YouTube star, gets his own T.V. show, and people begin to listen. But the Führer has another programme with even greater ambition – to set the country he finds a shambles back to rights.

The premise seems fairly amusing and from that alone possibly worth a decent read, although mainly I was wondering if it would be just a novelty exercise and/or fall into the poor taste trap.  Books like this need to have an underlying message, something they wish to achieve and although this book had some interesting points, it was on the whole forgettable.

It will come as a relief to know that the story has no real explanation for Hitler’s predicament which is still better than the one in that stone cold classic film of the time travel genre, Hot Tub Time Machine.  The story does at least move on in a pacy way without this obstacle and soon gets into its stride.

There is the standard amusement in the form of our narrator being constantly perplexed with modern life and seeing the world through his eyes is interesting up to a point, with all the big chain stores, the internet and different nationalities now inhabiting Berlin and so forth.  Sadly the jokes lose their impact and quite quickly become repetitive and predictable.

Vermes does well to avoid any sympathy one may have for Hitler’s loss of wife and his closest allies which is a relief, as there is a danger in humanising the dictator so that he becomes almost a lovable old grandfather type set in his ways, which just happen to be racist and disagreeable to the modern sensibilities.  Luckily all the characters are two-dimensional and although there is occasion when the story does sail close to the wind, it never becomes particularly offensive unless you are one of the new fangled PC crew that get offended by everything, which I am sure you are not. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on 02/03/2016 in Fiction, Humour

 

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Cracking Up Over Christmas

Before we go any further please apply yourself to puzzling out some of the most humorous jokes you will ever come across. Ever.  Answers will be provided at the end but don’t skip the rest of the post though, let the anticipation build and then feel the buzz drain away from you as the answers are revealed at the end:

  1. On which side to most chickens have their feathers?
  2. What goes up and wobbles?
  3. What type of dog has no tail?
  4. What is green and goes to a summer camp?
  5. What’s a Grecian Urn?

After pushing back the plates of Christmas dinner, my thoughts naturally turned to blogging and it was then that I remembered a much lamented missed opportunity from last year which was to talk about Christmas crackers and the contents therein.  As is tradition around these parts, the pulling of the cracker has been an integral part of Christmas since 1847 and features a wealth of goodies to delight even the most Scroogiest of Scrooges at Christmas.

Fainty sinister example of a cracker pulling found at mediacentre.kallaway.co.uk

Faintly sinister example of a cracker pulling found at mediacentre.kallaway.co.uk

Nothing beats the smell of gunpowder of a lazy Christmas Day afternoon as is attested by the thousands of crackers that go off each year.  It is the ultimate family diversion, of little consequence but always strangely enjoyable and something not to be done without.  Those who fork out lots of money for the so-called luxury crackers with prizes worth ‘winning’ miss the point, it’s the tackiness of the whole ordeal that is so beloved of households everywhere.  For those of you not familiar with this particular treat, here’s a brief and fairly passable explanation of what it all consists of. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on 27/12/2015 in Eccentricities, Humour, Life

 

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The Discworld series – Terry Pratchett (Part 2)

on the disc, the Gods are not so much worshipped as blamed.

Now settled into the series and established, the Discworld books continue in the same vein with their unique brand of humour and satire, there is more of a focus on established characters with a lot of the action being based around Ankh-Morpork, the biggest city and a nice nod to olden times London.  Of particular note from books eleven to twenty-four would be sharp satire on organised religion, The Phantom of the Opera, a nice cliché wink towards Australia( Four Ecks) and a jaunty Christmas tale where Death – complete with beard – has to take over as the Hogfather (our Santa) has gone missing.

Found on io9.com

Found on io9.com

These books all made me laugh a lot, there was comedy in abundance and I looked to each new tale with eagerness, yet from book twenty-five onwards the humour seemed to change and had been changing for a while on reflection, it was becoming more observational based comedy which was fine and did raise a smile still but there a lot less were less laugh out loud bits.  The series has evolved like the characters and Discworld itself, the places outside Ankh-Morpork were marginalised which makes sense from a realism point of view as that is where the books are heading.  I do miss the more fantastical elements but the drive towards modern times is inevitable even in fantasy, the bringing in of newspapers, banks and trains, does allow for more parody on the everyday things that we are familiar with.

“You’re dead,” he said.
Keli waited. She couldn’t think of any suitable reply. “I’m not” lacked a certain style, while “Is it serious?” seemed somehow too frivolous.

With the latest book Raising in Steam, it was rare I even raised a smile but that doesn’t detract from the actual writing, I still enjoyed the book, I think Pratchett has moved his creation from a whimsical place of magic to one somewhat more grounded in reality and although a lot of readers hanker for the old style hilarious books, it’s a comfortable world, it’s grown up and we readers have grown up with it.  When a world gets to real we wish for the more fantastical elements to be brought back into it and this is just another facet of the Discworld to mirror our own despite is differences. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on 06/01/2015 in Fantasy

 

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The Discworld Series – Terry Pratchett (Part 1)

The Discworld has been a constant companion throughout the last 18 years of my life, I started the series when it was already twenty-five books old and like with any long series I quickly became complacent, expecting a book to come out every year or so.  Since Pratchett was sadly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, I have come to regret my past ways of buying four or five books at a time and rushing through them like a hungry man at a buffet.

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Having just finished the fortieth novel in the series Raising Steam, I have come to re-appreciate and savour my time on that world, all the more as the number of new stories that I will get to experience for the first time will now be a lot fewer.  It is the way with a large continuation of books though, especially when one arrives when a body of work is already established, I think a good resolution for this year will be to savour each book as if it is the last an author will write irrespective of their back catalogues.

He could swagger while asleep. Greebo could, in fact, commit sexual harassment simply by sitting very quietly in the next room.

Anyway what is the Discworld?  It is a place of satire and parody, situated as this flat world (ringed with by The Circumfence to prevent things falling off) is, atop four elephants that stand on the back of a giant turtle that wanders through the universe.  It is populated by a diverse range of characters including, an ape librarian, inept wizards, barbarian pensioners, Gods, a talking dog, Death and a camel who happens to be the best mathematician the world has ever seen, although nobody knows it. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on 04/01/2015 in Fantasy

 

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Good For a Laugh

I refute that this is a lazy post, it is actually a carefully planned post where I have spent literally minutes collecting together some short YouTube comedy clips with which to – possibly – amuse you…on another note, I have had word of an annoying voice advert that has been popping up on the blog, has anybody else encountered this?  Rest assured I am looking to poke the problem with a stick.

A classic:

Historical realism from Lou Ferrigno:

Topical(ish):

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on 01/10/2014 in Humour, TV

 

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Monday Philosophunday

Expansive or just plain lazy?  Either way these are worth a grin for a Monday.  I also have a new Contact Ste! page to, which does exactly what the title says.

pun2Sloth-Puns-Philosophy Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on 11/11/2013 in Blogging, Philosophy

 

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Famous Haunts – Angelica White

book front cover

‘I try to get it straight in my head: I am descending down a flight of stairs into a subterranean passage, lit only by a single flickering taper, to meet unknown dangers in pursuit of a cursed crucifix.  If I had my iPhone on me I’d so be tweeting right now!’

Only two things clear my reading schedules and one of those is a free book (check out http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00B13A8U2 (or for American users http://www.amazon.com/Famous-Haunts-ebook/dp/B00B13A8U2/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1358365278&sr=1-2&keywords=famous+haunts ) , for your free edition if you have a Kindle or Kindle app on any other device, this offer is only lasting three days though so be quick ), so taking precedence over Dickens, Márquez et al comes first time novelist Angelica White.

I met Miss W. once and we got on as well as people who don’t know each other but share a mutual interest get on, which I feel I must add as a point of integrity.  However this one meeting is balanced out by the fact that the genre of this book is chick lit.

But don’t misunderstand the term as I did, to my eyes I assumed it would be a love story featuring man bashing, wine, diets and shopping, but this is no generic love story as the Protagonist Ellie seeks a man, this is something altogether more fun and witty.  I also got that ‘Cosy Crime’ type relaxed and playful vibe that seems to offhandedly draw you in and then makes it a pleasure to carry on reading.

The story centres on Ellie Fox, an implicit believer in the supernatural and a would be ghost hunter (she has her own kit) who takes a job at the eminent ghost hunting TV show Famous Haunts and is the quintessential that classic figure of a star struck lady with a romantisiced view of TV production,.  However things aren’t what they seem with a back stage crew that actually contrive the haunting effects (can you believe it?!) and secrets to be uncovered in the remote village of Pendle, Ellie has her work cut out to find out what’s going on. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on 16/01/2013 in Fiction

 

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