Outskirts Press (2013)
Reviewed by Jennifer Hass for Reader Views (2/14)
Patrick Shannon suggests on the back of his book that “Viva Laughter!” be treated like a box of snacks. “Place it beside your favorite easy chair or atop your nightstand, to be on hand when those sudden cravings for something quick and delectable unsettle the mind.” There isn’t really a better way to say that myself.
“Viva Laughter!” is made up of twenty eight short stories, some longer than others. Every story is different, some touch on political humor and the over-the top-boss at work. A couple of my personal favorites were the thoughts of a cat in “Raising Humans” which I laughed at a good bit, and then the “I Have a PhD” which is pretty much a story about an over-the-top character giving parenting advice and reflecting and replying to the outrageous letters from his following.
Each story is different than the one before and is written to make fun of whatever situation is discussed. Another story that I enjoyed was “Pure Crap” which is a letter to a publisher from an author who has been rejected many times. After the author has sent many of his “best” stuff, he decides to send in his “crap” to see if that will be selected to be published. In this industry, many authors can appreciate this story because many have had this same experience. Taking the good with the bad and leaving the rest to humor is what it is all about.
It is clear to me that Patrick Shannon can take the good with the bad and make fun of anything! I love this quality in an author who doesn’t take life too seriously or even himself for that matter. Shannon’s story telling abilities are sure to make readers laugh. Each story was just enough. I found myself reading out loud, sharing some of the ridiculous paragraphs that were purposefully written to make the reader have the reaction of “WTH?”
“Viva Laughter!” by Patrick Shannon is one of those books I will keep out on the coffee table and indulge in when I feel like I need a good laugh at someone else’s expense, someone fictional of course!