The Nilsens outdo themselves in compiling this intriguing, amusing, and relaxed guide to humor from knock-knock jokes, Molly Ivins, and put-downs to Waiting for Godot,film noir, and postmodernism. Beyond clarity in formatting and describing topic, limits, and methods, their book posses the essential attribute of readability.
The extensive bibliography proper is excellent.... it would be excellent in a senior school library, and in larger public libraries as an addition to their literary criticism collections.
The authors have created a reference work that would appeal to psychologists, educators, sociologists, and other professionals who study emotional behavior.
A good starting point for understanding the structure, formats, and varieties of American humor.
As benefits an encyclopedia, this book is thorough and informative. As suits the subject matter, it is also entertaining. It is a valuable book, not only for humor scholars, but for students of culture, society, politics, psychology, and literature. The reader, of whatever background, will nod in agreement with the deft and knowledgeable observations, laugh at the humorous examples, and mutter in surprise at the many arcane bits of information. It is a difficult document to put down, even to write a review.
An ideal reference acquisition for both academic and public library collection....truly encyclopedic in its scope, scholarly in its content, and a delight to simply browse through for the non-specialist general reader with an interest in the history of humor, comedians, and popular culture.
The Nilsens have produced an interesting, erudite, and thorough ^IEncyclopedia of 20th-Century American Humor^R with entries ranging from American Indian humor to cartoons, exaggeration, hoaxes, joke patterns, sitcoms, and wit. It is a truly, comprehensive and encyclopedic volume with an excellent bibliography, a work that will become a standard reference not just in libraries but in the homes of those who love humor.
Some books are a lot of fun to review and this is one of them....This book is recommended for academic and public library reference collections and should make a nice case for going o the shelf rather than to the Internet for material on humor. There are plenty of joke websites on the Internet but nothing that is as extensive and informative as this encyclopedia.
This unique encyclopedia treats the concepts, persons, themes, and media of 20th-century American humor and humor studies. More than 100 alphabetically arranged entries highlight a broad range of humor-related topics from wit, understatement, and ambiguity to late-night talk shows and the Internet. Entries are enhanced with humorous examples and suggested readings.
An accessible writing style and well-chosen examples made pre-publication reviewers smile and even laugh out loud....The book is concise enough to be read cover-to-cover or used as a textbook for humor-related courses in the performance ats or in literary or cultural studies. [I]ts organization also makes it ideal for research in specific areas.
The encyclopedia contains an excellent 20-page bibliography of works on humor. Incredibly up-to-date, the bibliography includes books as recent as 1999 and is especially rich in sources from the 1990s as well as those of historical importance. The index is also praiseworthy and is useful in finding the names of individuals, movie titles, television shows, and books that are mentioned in the entries....Libraries that collect materials in popular culture or American studies will definitely wish to purchase this book.
Encyclopedias are always useful books for any library. This one is also amusing. 20th century American humor gives an interesting insight into the culture of 20th century America. This encyclopedia is an excellent source of ideas for that occasional speech you may be asked to give. For occasions like weddings and surprise birthday parties where you are stuck for ideas, pop open this book and something will quickly grab your attention and subsequently your audience. From the first entry, `Academics Study of Humor'. to the last one, `Wit', this is a good addition to an academic, public or personal collection. There is a good bibliography and a full index at the back of the book.
...this book is thorough and informative....It is a valuable book, not only for humor scholars, but for students of culture, society, politics, psychology, and literature....the reviewer recommends the whole book and looks forward to going back to it again and again.
It deserves to do well in US high school and college libraries and elsewhere. Students reading and researching for their Master of Arts in Humour at Reading University will find it indispensable. Besides all of which it is a good browse.