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Funny Ha Ha Reviews

Funny Ha Ha by Paul Merton

Funny Ha, Ha

80 of the Funniest Stories Ever Written

Paul Merton

3.29 out of 5

3 reviews

Imprint: Head of Zeus
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Publication date: 14 Nov 2019
ISBN: 9781788544269

80 of the funniest stories ever written, selected and introduced by comedian and broadcaster Paul Merton.

4 stars out of 5
Alexander Larman
1 Dec 2019

"this compilation of his favourite funny stories offers material both hilarious and unusual"

...this compilation of his favourite funny stories offers material both hilarious and unusual. Alongside Wodehouse and Saki are contemporary writers including Margaret Atwood and Ali Smith, the latter’s bizarre tale of an unusual encounter on a shopping trip being one of the best things here. It’s also hard to beat Kevin Barry’s uproarious Beer Trip to Llandudno – a finely wrought tale of alcohol-fuelled male bonding.

Reviews

3 stars out of 5
Nick Rennison
10 Nov 2019

"(an) eclectic, wide-ranging anthology"

Pedants will complain that he stretches the definition of “story” beyond its limits to include personal favourites (a Tony Hancock script by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, Joyce Grenfell monologues, two Pete and Dud sketches), but it’s difficult to grumble when his selections meet the basic criterion for such a collection by mostly being extremely funny. The usual suspects, from PG Wodehouse to Dorothy Parker, join the line-up, but Merton also shows a good eye for the less familiar.

3 stars out of 5
8 Nov 2019

"while Funny Ha Ha may not remotely do what it says on the tin, the tin is packed with goodies"

Many, if not most, are firmly in the category of “funny peculiar” rather than “funny ha ha” — and some don’t seem intended to be funny in any way. Satyajit Ray’s The Two Comedians is perfectly charming and Katherine Mansfield’s dazzlingly good The Daughters of the Late Colonel is a lot more than that. Their authors, though, would surely have been startled, and possibly a bit miffed, to learn that anybody considered them among the funniest stories ever written.