Title: The Funniest Thing You Never Said
Author: Rosemarie Jarski
Page Count/Review Word Count: 562
What we have here is a comprehensive collection of the wit and wisdom of the world’s foremost thinkers, from G. K. Chesterton and Margaret Thatcher to Harry Hill, Victoria Wood and Woody Allen. The book’s blurb claims that it contains “over 6,000 entries” and that it’s “the most comprehensive collection of humorous quotations there is.”
Of course, whether you agree with this or not will depend upon what your definition of ‘humorous’ is, as there’s no doubt that it’s comprehensive. It’s also very well edited, with no typos or layout errors creeping through as far as I can remember, and separated and sectioned neatly depending upon what the quotes are actually about. Jarski even emboldens some of her favourite quotes, or increases the font size for the best of the best so that they stand out.
You see, you’d better be prepared for an onslaught of quotations, because they’re coming fast and thick here – it’s not necessarily easy reading despite the humorous subject, but then this comedic book has a serious side. It’s a true reference book, a bible that you can refer back to in pretty much any situation to find the right riposte. Of course, the moment is usually gone by the time you manage to find what you’re looking for, but it’s the thought that counts.
Now, I have another three hundred words to fill, and so for the time being I’m going to throw a few of my favourite quotations from the back cover at you. “The only way of catching a train I ever discovered is to miss the train before,” said G. K. Chesterton. “I was so horrified when I read about the effects of smoking that I gave up reading,” replied Henry Youngman. “Not only is there no God, but try getting a plumber on weekends,” countered Woody Allen.
That would be quite an epic dinner party, and one you’ll be able to recreate yourself once you’ve absorbed all of the wisdom that’s on offer. Sure, there are plenty of boring quotes in there alongside the good, but that’s always going to be the case with a book like this – how much you appreciate each of the quotes will depend upon your own perspective, and the ones that I enjoy are sure to be different to the ones that you like.
But that’s the magic of a book of quotations – you never quite know what you’re going to get, and every now and then one comes along at the right time and you seize upon it, and remember it forever. That exact feeling actually inspired me to collect a short book of quotations of my own, called ‘Inverted Commas‘; reading this book helped me to carry out my research, and it left me with a lasting impression of quality and professionalism.
So if you do need a book of quotations, especially if you like your quotations to be humorous rather than serious, then this is probably the book for you. If not, then you might be wise to avoid it, especially if you’re the kind of reader who hates to dip in and out of books and wants to read it from cover to cover. Like how I am.