The Joker by Andrew Hudgins
A Memoir

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...he possesses the skills to prompt readers to examine their own complex relationships with chuckles, guffaws and groans. A humorous, cerebral and daringly written memoir.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

This edition includes a packet of Andrew Hudgins's favorite jokes, plus original commentary by the author.

Since Andrew Hudgins was a child, he was a compulsive joke teller, so when he sat down to write about jokes, he found that he was writing about himself—what jokes taught him and mistaught him, how they often delighted him but occasionally made him nervous with their delight in chaos and sometimes anger. Because Hudgins’s father, a West Point graduate, served in the US Air Force, his family moved frequently; he learned to relate to other kids by telling jokes and watching how his classmates responded. And jokes opened him up to the serious, taboo subjects that his family didn’t talk about openly—religion, race, sex, and death. Hudgins tells and analyzes the jokes that explore the contradictions in the Baptist religion he was brought up in, the jokes that told him what his parents would not tell him about sex, and the racist jokes that his uncle loved, his father hated, and his mother, caught in the middle, was ambivalent about. This book is both a memoir and a meditation on jokes and how they educated, delighted, and occasionally horrified him as he grew.
 

About Andrew Hudgins

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Andrew Hudgins has published eight books of poetry and two collections of essays. He currently teaches at Ohio State University and lives in Columbus, Ohio.
 
Published June 11, 2013 by Simon & Schuster. 353 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Joker
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Ben Greenman on Jul 05 2013

It would have been interesting to see more consideration of new technology, especially social networking, and how it has changed joke telling, increasing the speed of response and ensuring that a trace is left even by the smallest stray remark.

Read Full Review of The Joker: A Memoir | See more reviews from NY Times

Kirkus

Excellent
on Apr 01 2013

...he possesses the skills to prompt readers to examine their own complex relationships with chuckles, guffaws and groans. A humorous, cerebral and daringly written memoir.

Read Full Review of The Joker: A Memoir | See more reviews from Kirkus

Reader Rating for The Joker
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