Fierce Pajamas is an anthology from the famous humor and satire magazine, the New Yorker. An anthology is a collection of works of writing. This book is unique to others that I have read in the past in that it is almost impossible to not like it. Due to the sheer amount of stories/essays/poems contained within written by a century’s worth of the greatest humor writers such as Woody Allen, Anthony Borowitz (the creator and producer of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, quite possibly one of the greatest shows in history), Larry Doyle (producer and writer for the Simpsons), and Steve Martin, there will be at least one story that you will no doubt enjoy. However, this works both ways. They say that “All the jokes can’t be good!”. Since none of the stories really relate to each other, it is entirely OK to skip a story if the first paragraph does not appeal to the reader. Nothing will be missed.
Which brings me to the layout of the book. There are 8 different chapters that encompass an overlying theme to the stories contained within. Each chapter is then chronologically ordered from the earliest pieces of writing at the front to the more modern pieces at the end. So I chose to present a story from a few of the more interesting chapters that I think best represents the chapter (or was the most entertaining)
The first chapter is Spoofs, in which the stories are parodies or imitations of both fantasy and reality. The story Dusk in Fierce Pajamas by E.B. White from the year 1932 stuck out to me during my initial flip-through. One obvious reasons is that the title “Fierce Pajamas” caught my attention in a similar manner that the book title did when we were selecting books. The second reason was that the first sentence was “Ravaged by pink eye, I lay for a week scarce caring whether I lived or died.” My first thought was “this is supposed to be a funny book… so why is it so somber?” As I read through, I found myself edging toward the computer to look up some of the...
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