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Your Wildest Dreams within Reason    by Mike Sacks order for
Your Wildest Dreams within Reason
by Mike Sacks
Order:  USA  Can
Tin House Books, 2011 (2011)
Softcover, e-Book
*   Reviewed by Rheta Van Winkle

Your Wildest Dreams within Reason is a collection of previously published humorous pieces by Mike Sacks. A few were published in well-known magazines such as The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and Esquire, but most appeared in publications with which I'm unfamiliar - such as The Barnes and Noble Review's Grin and Tonic, Radar, or The Freedonian. Many were in McSweeney's, which I have heard of, even though I've never seen it. Unfortunately the humor in this book was not much to my taste.

There were a few pieces that I thought funny. A cartoon showing a man's inability to follow obscure assembly directions from Ikea, and one called Shaft in the Suburbs that pointed out how even the most edgy people can become overwhelmed by boring day to day events when they're living in the suburbs, were two of the better ones. Many of the pieces, though, started out funny and then seemed to go on and on way past the need for more. There were a lot of sexual jokes and a lot of weird behavior from the supposed narrators who seem to be completely loony, and that got sort of predictable and old. I can see that just one of these at a time in a magazine would work, whereas reading them all straight through did not (at least for me).

As I was reading, I kept thinking of stand-up comedians who aren't getting laughs from their audiences, so they just keep trying and trying. I kept reading this book, hoping to do more than smile occasionally, and being sorry that I couldn't.

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