Let There Be Laughter: A Treasury of Great Jewish Humor and What It All Means by Michael Krasny
Rating: 1.5 stars (out of 5)
Genre: non-fiction, humor
Review: Krasny could have saved his own time and effort, and better served his readers, by just giving us a compilation of Jewish jokes, without the so-called analysis in between. His writing is very choppy, moving from one thought to another without much in the way of connectivity, and his analysis is shallow. We all understand that humor is in the eye of the beholder, and that the same ethnic joke when told by a non-(insert ethnic group here) is, or can be seen as, racist, but might be considered hilarious when told by a member of that ethnic group, especially if being told to another member. That certainly doesn't need to be repeated at least half a dozen times in the space of 300 pages. But that's what most of the analysis seems to boil down to, whether he's talking about Jews as outsiders, Jewish stereotypes, or even the way Jews experience joy.
Overall, Krasny seems more interested in name-dropping (he told so-and-so a joke when he interviewed him on his radio program, his close friend so-and-so, etc.) than giving us any new or interesting material.