The Best Humor Essays Reviewed By BookViral

"Cuttingly astute observation & something unapologetically different"

Humor Essays
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  • Publisher: ‎ Stillwater River Publications (November 14, 2023)
  • Language: ‎ English
  • Paperback: ‎ 156 pages
  • ISBN-10: ‎ 1960505815
  • ISBN-13: ‎ 978-1960505811
  • Genre:  Humor Essays

The BookViral Review:

“But in the end. It was like hitting your head over and over with a hammer. It feels so good when you stop and you actually find yourself missing the pain … a little

Wildly witty, bold and occasionally cerebrally penetrating “Bad Day for Grandpa” blends seemingly benign drivel with cuttingly astute observation to give readers something unapologetically different.

In its opening pages you might not be sure where it’s heading as Norman introduces us to the “Real MA” and the “Fake MA” but follow the segments to the end and you will find a read laced with rambunctious, exuberantly ragged dialogue with Norman revelling in the absurd whilst POTUS RUN and National Baboon’s Vacation are simply hilarious!

The one-liners, causal asides, and occasional in-jokes may not have universal appeal but Norman has bags of wit, style and a coarse creative charm that’s firmly rooted, albeit over the top, in credible characterization. His stories treat us to a cast of eccentric and strangely likeable characters that begin with fragmented Mike  Akashian (who may or may not be a real lawyer) and extend to the likes of Sparkle Floozy, Tater, The Plumber and Trashman, to name but a few of Norman’s wacky creations, as he uses absurdity to reel us in.

But despite Norman’s assignation that Bad Day for Grandpa is simply a “collection of stories and other drivel” it’s hard to ignore the cutting social commentary that bubbles beneath the surface. It sneaks up on us in Part 3 where Norman recounts an actual job he did when “Covid happened and jobs were few and far between”. It’s a slice of life that once again will have you laughing out loud but he leaves us reflecting on human nature as he recounts the different customers he encountered and the realization that A Bad Day for Grandpa is a lot more than mindless drivel.

This is certainly true of Part 5 which tells the story of Nathan Rabo. A story that is darkly humorous, and profoundly affecting as he pursues his “fever dream of an artist and music being a battering ram of change by an actual call to violence”. There are some comparatively calm spots but in the main Norman’s narrative continues at its typical breakneck speed with just enough of a hint of realism to create an intelligent discourse surrounding the transformative influence of music on human behaviour. Nathan’s exchanges with American writer and humourist Kurt Vonnegut are simply sublime and the reader is left with a lasting impression that despite the madness, everything actually, on some level, does make sense!

For readers who love reads that make them laugh out loud whilst highlighting the absurdity of issues that in reality are deadly serious, Bad Day for Grandpa is a must-read and unreservedly recommended!

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