Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Recent Humorous Novels

Lunatics / by Dave Barry
Philip Horkman and Jeffrey A. Peckerman first meet on a soccer field in Fort Lee, N.J. during a girls' 10-and-under league championship game after Horkman calls Peckerman's daughter offside. Though initially only a mild disagreement, the battle between Horkman, a coarse, "forensic plumber," and Peckerman, a pet store owner, soon escalates into an absurd fight leading to several wacky shenanigans. (FIC BARRY)

The Sisters Brothers / by Patrick deWitt
In the heart of the Old West, a man known only as The Commodore orders bumbling assassins Charlie and Eli Sisters to track down and kill a grizzled prospector named Herman Kermit Warm. During their journey from Oregon to the Sierras, the pair confront a strange cast of characters including a witch, Indians, a parlor full of drunken floozies and a gang of murderous fur trappers. (FIC DEWITT)

Ranchero / by Rick Gavin
Nick Reid is an ordinary low-key guy doing odd jobs at a rental store in the backwater Mississippi Delta until his boss sends him out to repossess a television from no-account hick Percy Dwayne Dubois. Refusing to give up his TV, Percy Dwayne hits Nick upside the head with a fireplace shovel and, with TV, wife, and son in tow, makes a hasty getaway in Nick's borrowed 1969 Ford Ranchero. Now Nick, out of a car and soon to be out of a job, has no choice but to track Percy Dwayne down. (FIC GAVIN)

Pym: A Novel / by Mat Johnson
Having been laid off from his job as a teacher of American literature, Chris Jaynes becomes obsessed with the book The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, the only full-length novel Edgar Allen Poe ever wrote. Inspired by a mysterious slave narrative which may confirm the truth about Poe’s novel and its mysterious island, Jayes buys a boat, hires a crew and sets sail after Poe’s mythical island. (FIC JOHNSON)

The Ask / by Sam Lipsyte
Recently laid-off university employee Milo Burke is doing whatever he can in odd jobs to help his family. Then his old boss, the college dean, offers him his job back under one condition: Milo must get a wealthy alumnus, who just happens to be Milo’s old roommate, to donate a large sum of money to the university. (FIC LIPSYTE)

Dollarapalooza, or, The Day Peace Broke Out in Columbus / by Gregg Parr
Disgraced former professor Vonn Carp returns to his hometown of Columbus, Ohio, to take part in his father’s lifelong dream, the startup of a general store called Dollarpalooza. When the store falls on hard times, partly due to a “Wow-mart” moving in across the street, Vonn stumbles upon a new business model to make a difference in people’s lives “one dollar at a time”—he’ll answer any question any customer may have for one dollar. (FIC PARR)

The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady / by Elizabeth Stuckey-French
In 1953 during a faulty nuclear experiment, Marylou Ahearn had her body contaminated by Dr. Wilson Spriggs. The result was the death of Marylou’s daughter, Helen, from cancer 10 years later. Now, in the present, 77-year-old Marylou is determined to get revenge on Dr. Spriggs, going so far as to move to Florida into a house right down the street from where he now lives and plotting his doom in quirky fashion. (FIC STUCKEYF)

The Family Fang: A Novel / by Kevin Wilson
Performance artists Caleb and Camille Fang are slaves to their art, so much so that they’ve incorporated their only children Annie and Buster (popularly known as Child A. and Child B.) into their oddly subversive work. Escaping as soon as they can away from their circus-like childhoods, Annie and Buster ultimately return years later, their lives now in disarray, only to be caught up in one last performance. (FIC WILSON)

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