English Humour For Beginners
Our beloved adopted Brit takes on the English at their own game
If you want to succeed here you must be able to handle the English sense of humour.
So proclaims George Mikes' timeless exploration of this curious phenomenon. Whether it's understatement, self-deprecation or plain cruelty, the three elements he identifies as essential to our sense of humour, being witty here is a way of life.
Perfectly placed as an adopted Englishman himself, Mikes delivers his shrewd advice - helpfully divided into 'Theory' and 'Practice' - with a comic precision that does his chosen country proud. Drawing on a trove of examples from our rich comic canon, from Orwell ("Every joke is a tiny revolution") to Oscar Wilde, thisis the essential handbook for natives and foreigners alike.
Mrs Kennedy: "I don't think, Mr Churchill, that I have told you anything about my grandchildren."
Winston Churchill: "For which, madam, I am infinitely grateful."
Praise for English Humour For Beginners
Wise and wittyWilliam Cook on 'How to Be an Alien', Spectator
Brilliantly comicalPico Iyer on 'How to Be an Alien', New York Times
Very funnyThe Economist
He is witty, observant, tolerant and saneThe Observer
To write a book is hard; to write a funny book is harder; to write a funny book both wise and funny is the prerogative of Mr. MikesThe Times