Review: The Onion Presents A Book of Jean’s Own!: All New Wit, Wisdom, and Wackiness from The Onion’s Beloved Humor Columnist

The Onion Presents A Book of Jean's Own!: All New Wit, Wisdom, and Wackiness from The Onion's Beloved Humor ColumnistThe Onion Presents A Book of Jean’s Own!: All New Wit, Wisdom, and Wackiness from The Onion’s Beloved Humor Columnist by Jean Teasdale
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

As a humour book this doesn’t really work. For those not aware of Jean Teasdale, she is a fictional ‘columnist’ on the Onion whose gag is that she is an overweight loser who takes cutesy-poo to new heights and doesn’t realise just how repulsive she is. Which is fine for 1,000 words, but spread out over a whole book the joke wears pretty thin.

The problem is that the ostensible author ‘Jean’ is not herself funny, and the humour is entirely of the point-and-snigger variety. There is no satire at all. And this falls flat. And one particular reason for this is that the book is not organised. Now, obviously it shouldn’t be overtly organised (as the authoress isn’t) but one would expect to see some underlying flow or thrust, with the purpose of making some comic point. But there isn’t. And it could do with one. And in some cases, it almost seems the real authors think there is one. For example, ‘Jean’ suffers a breakdown near the end, and the book is finished off by her husband. Now, one would expect to see the evidence of the breakdown creeping into the text, but no. Basically, she announces that she’s having a breakdown and then does. And then, when the husband appears, he turns out to be just as she described him (i.e. a surly, drunken redneck lout). But as the point is meant to be that she’s delusional, wouldn’t it be far more funny to learn that he’s not like that at all?

Anyway, the humour is spread thin and leaves a bad taste in the mouth. And, as a capsule summary: this isn’t one I’ll be reading again. And I’ll think twice before investing in future spin-off books from The Onion.

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