28 October 2011

Imprint Friday: Deliriously Happy by Larry Doyle

Welcome to Imprint Friday and today's featured imprint: Ecco books. Stop by each week to be introduced to a must-read title from one of my favorite imprints. I know you'll be adding many of these books to your wish list.

If you've ever watched American television then you know Larry Doyle. You may not recognize his name, but you certainly know one of the shows he wrote for: The Simpsons. Doyle's latest book--Deliriously Happy and Other Bad Thoughts--is a collection of his short humorous pieces. Some have appeared in magazines (such as The New Yorker), and others are new.

Here is the publisher's summary:

Do you like dogs? Babies? Baby dogs? Have you ever eaten ice cream or had love troubles? Wish there were dirty parts in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this is the book for you.

It’s all here: This impressively consecutive collection of funny writing by Larry Doyle, the winner of the 2008 Thurber Prize for American Humor, a former writer for The Simpsons, and the author of I Love You, Beth Cooper, brings together an astonishing range of subjects under the umbrella of hilarious—an umbrella that is your free gift if you order right now. . . .
Although I've never been a regular watcher of The Simpsons, Doyle's connection with the show was a draw for me. I also liked the fact that Deliriously Happy is a collection of essays, which means I can pick it up and read a piece as the mood strikes, thus drawing out my enjoyment.

The topics Doyle covers include love and dating, family life, work life, popular culture, and restaurants and food. Nothing is sacred, and humor can be found in almost everything. I haven't read every essay yet, but what I've seen is fun. I like that Doyle has presented the pieces in a variety of formats, such as outlines, quizzes, lists, and Twitter entries. These design decisions are an added bonus.

The essay "My Heart: My Rules" is written in outline form:
2. As the result of years of painstaking trial and error, the television, stereo, thermostat, refrigerator, toaster, and furniture in this apartment are all set at their optimal levels in every regard. Any attempt to adjust any appliance or object in my apartment will only
  1. result in them having to be reset, and
  2. introduce passive-aggressiveness into the relationship, which, as any book on the subject will tell you, is bad.
"Local Wag" is written in the style of a gossip column:
Waggings: Ben Finestein, Manhattan's own Jew, denies rumors that his deli, or Jewish-style restaurant, serves moth balls. He says they're called matzoh balls (pronounced "Mott's-O," like the applesauce) and are harmless boiled balls of dough. Jews consider them a delicacy, Ben says. . . . And that wasn't Erma Bombeck spotted signing books at Kym's Kards and Gyfts, Etc. last Saturday. She's dead. It was Michael Moore. Kym apologizes for any misunderstanding.
Any one who likes The Simpsons and appreciates an irreverent look at life will like Doyle. I'm looking forward to reading his version of Huckleberry Finn, his take on actors' strikes, and more.

The promotional materials for the book include the following quotations. I share them here because the full reviews capture the heart of Deliriously Happy better than I could (click the links to read more):
  • Kirkus Reviews concludes: "An unpredictable, unfailingly intelligent demonstration of a unique wit given free reign."
  • Publisher Weekly says: "No matter the subject, Doyle can be trenchant, funny, esoteric, and unpredictable."
For more on Larry Doyle, visit his Facebook page, his website, or his blog or follow him on Twitter.

Beth Fish Reads is proud to showcase Ecco books as a featured imprint on this blog. For more information about Ecco, please read the introductory note from Vice President / Associate Publisher Rachel Bressler, posted here on July 15, 2011. Find your next great read by clicking on Ecco in the scroll-down topics/labels list in my sidebar and by visiting Ecco books on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

Deliriously Happy at Powell's
Deliriously Happy at Book Depository
These links lead to affiliate programs.

Published by HarperCollins / Ecco, November 8, 2011
ISBN-13: 9780061966835


bermudaonion 10/28/11, 8:50 AM  

I've never really watched The Simpsons either, but I know it's full of literary references. This book sounds like a lot of fun. It would be great to keep in the car for those moments you're stranded without a book.

Daryl 10/28/11, 10:09 AM  

Toonman watches The Simpsons and Southpark religiously .. me, I love animation but .... nevertheless this sounds like a good book so I am going to check it out!

Sandy Nawrot 10/28/11, 12:37 PM  

I think at this point, the guy is a piece of pop culture. You don't even have to be a watcher of his shows. This is funny stuff! Yay for Ecco once again!

Margot 10/28/11, 1:08 PM  

Now this is one I'm going to rush out and find. I can't wait to see the variety of writing styles. Who writes in outline form? I'm already laughing.

Zibilee 10/28/11, 2:29 PM  

Sometimes I think I am a little challenged when it comes to comedy in the books I read, but the excerpts that you posted from this book had me giggling a little, so I think this might be a good read for me. I love books that are slightly zany and that can truly make me laugh, though I am sort of picky about that! Great review on this one!

Julie P. 10/29/11, 10:57 AM  

Interesting feature because it definitely sounds like a unique book. Full of laughs!

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