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Frenzied Fiction

Stephen Leacock

Book Overview: 

From the cave man to Santa Claus; spies, know-it-alls, and journalists: all are fair game for Leacock’s special brand of humor. He touches on the changes time has brought about in the city, education, and work habits. Among the other topics in this work are nature, fishing, gardening, success, and spirits–both of the departed and of the variety Prohibition prohibited.

Each chapter of this book is a standalone story and if you love a good laugh, these stories are for you. In me, Leacock’s wit produced the full range of laughter: smiles, chuckles, guffaws, and some uncontrollable giggles. Also, occasionally, I found myself shedding a tear or two.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .My Friend remained silent for perhaps half an hour. Then he asked:

"What?"

I meditated for some time. Then I said:

"This—it seems to me that the whole thing is done for money. How utterly unnatural it is to call up the dead—one's great-grandfather, let us say—and pay money for talking to him."

"Precisely," said my Friend without a moment's pause. "I thought so. Now suppose I could bring you into contact with the spirit world through a medium, or through different medii, without there being any question of money, other than a merely nominal fee, the money being, as it were, left out of count, and regarded as only, so to speak, nominal, something given merely pro forma and ad interim. Under these circumstances, will you try the experiment?"

I rose and took my Friend's hand.

"My dear fellow," I said, "I not only will, but I shall."

From this conversation dated my connection with S. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Sardonic at it's best, outdated in his style I found the prose to be somewhat entertaining but hardly hilarious. Granted it wasn't all meant to be funny but our perceptions and even language have changed dramatically from the time he wrote till now. And similar issues continue to get copy althoug...more

Essential a nonsensical work presumably written as a means to cheer up a world reeling from a World War, Frenzied Fiction by Stephen Leacock is a collection of unconnected sketches ranging from politics to all points south. The book was generally amusing but sometimes hard to comprehend. Many of...more

The absolute best comedy writer!

A hilarious and often poignant read, which proves that human beings have always believed in a Golden Age of Innocence which came to an end just before they were born, or at some point in their early childhood. This Grumpy Old Man - one of the great comic writers of his day - bemoans the fast pace...more

Frenzied Fiction was rather a mixed bag of stories, some rating four stars and others barely scraping in at two. Most of the stories were satires of different genres of humour, with varying degrees of success. The book was published in 1917, so there were a number of references to the war, as wel...more

Reading on my Droid, also reading an history of the Marx Bros. Groucho supposedly loved this guy and would sit and read his books and laugh. Comedy is contemporary, it's funny in some spots but you have to know many of the WW1 cultural references, and I don't.
Having read the whole book I can see...more

Another winner from Leacock. This is a book of short pieces -- perfect for dipping into at any time.

Listened to the "Errors of Santa Claus," the tenth story in this collection, on Classic Tales Podcast. Adults play with the presents they purchased for the children and vice-versa, including Grandpa drinking the bourbon he bought for his son, while all profess to absolutely believe in Santa Claus...more

I sought out this book because my favorite author Robertson Davies (aka "My Literary God") speaks so positively of him.
Mildly enjoyed some of these humorous essays, and I think I would have adored them if I'd read them as a teenager, when I was greatly amused by Robert Benchley's humor.

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