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Ryan DeJonghe - The Avid Reader

I didn't always read, but that changed in June of 2013. I dropped the unnecessary stuff and picked up the awesome stuff--like reading! I started posting my reviews on Amazon and within a few months rose to the top 0.1% of reviewers. My reviews then went to Goodreads, and now my blog (http://ryandejonghe.wordpress.com) and Twitter (@Ryan_Reads). If you are reading this, why not leave a comment or send me a note? I love talking to other folks about books and my reviews. Publishers and authors, feel free to drop me a note if you want me to review your book. I usually stick to mainstream publishing, but I'll consider anything. If I review your book, I’ll give you a fair and thorough review and let you know when the review goes live. You can reach me at dejonghes@gmail.com. Happy Reading!

The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny

The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny - 'Peter McGraw',  'Joel Warner' Well, that certainly turned out better than expected. What starts out as sounding like a bad joke, a college professor and a journalist wanting to find out what makes things funny, ends up being a truly interesting book. It is part science, part road-trip humor, and one-hundred percent heart.

After some initial research, the comedy researching authors set out to test the Benign Violation Theory, which crosses inappropriate humor without going over the socially-acceptable line. You can see this in action on Pete’s (I feel like we’re on a first-name basis after reading the book) TEDx talk on YouTube. Yet, thanks to their travels, everything is in context. In other words, a raunchy joke may grab a ton of laughs from some drink-sodden attendees in a comedy club, but not so much at Sunday morning mass.

I appreciated the comparison between Sarah Silverman type of humor and Jerry Seinfeld type of humor. The authors go on to elaborate other popular humor methods such as that found on The Onion and Jon Stewart. And it doesn’t stop there—not by a long shot. I was surprised about the amount of books cited, both in direct quotation and in footnotes. I’m not sure if everything was as described, such as their interview that caused Louis C.K. offense, but most of it seemed of merit.

Each chapter is broken down by the authors’ stop around the globe. These guys stopped off at Los Angeles, New York, and even Palestine (Humor in Palestine? Yes.). The beginning was an awesome whirlwind of silly and embarrassing experiments that were motivated by research and guidance. When we got to the Amazon (world location, not the website) dressed as clowns, it felt like the book needed to wrap-up. It was a bit over-extending.

The end of the book was to conclude with the authors presenting their learnings at the largest international comedy festival Just for Laughs, located in Montreal. And they did. But that’s where they finally won me over, not in the comedy, but in the heart-touching moments of realization. While we are all different, we all have a united theme.

So yes, this book is an excellent resource on humor. There are plenty of additional resources and research to follow-up with. And yes, this book was funny. There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. And yes, this book offers a ton of heart.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster for providing me with a review copy of this book.