By Joseph Geha
By Jonathan Kiefer
By Katie Tandy
By Mollie McWilliams
By Jennifer Baires
By Jonathan Curiel
By Sherilyn Connelly
Knopf (2004), $16.95Three Observations Gleaned From Reading Created in Darkness by Troubled Americans: The Best ofMcSweeney's Humor Category, Written in the Style of a Typical McSweeney's Humor Piece:
1) $16.95 is far too much to charge for this book.
2) There is absurdity here. Lots of it. Oh yeah. For example, there is a story about a painter stuck on the moon who misses his love; a short play about cavemen discovering fire written in the style of George Saunders; a piece about Supreme Court justices deciding cases through basketball. ("How absurd!" you say. Exactly.) About 10 percent of this absurdity is funny; most of it is imaginative; none of it adds up to much.
3) Originally, this review was going to be about how the only good use for this book was as bathroom reading, as the time it takes to read the pieces here corresponds nicely to the time it takes to move one's bowels. Specifically, I was planning on describing my personal bowel movements achieved while reading this mildly amusing collection. There would be jokes about "shit." Lots of them. Oh yeah. I did not end up doing that.