Sunday, July 30, 2006
The commercial for Tempurpedic mattresses features a young lady in pajamas jumping on one side of a mattress fashioned from "space-age foam" while an unmolested wineglass stands firm before her bouncing feet. We have a Tempurpedic and typically I'd agree with that infomercial's assessment of the stability of its product.
But while reading Absurdistan I was beset by a storm of guffaws so potent the resultant quaking could have bounced an entire wine cellar off our Tempurpedic and clear down York Road to the Chesapeake Bay. I'm afraid A Confederacy of Dunces has been dethroned as the funniest book I've ever read.*
In Gary Shteyngart's novel the Apocalypse doesn't arrive with a bang or a whimper, but with great gales of laughter. In fact, the Apocalypse is unfolding around us right now, a great drama of hilarious doom. Laugh while you can.
*Mr. Toole's masterpiece, remains, however, a superior literary achievement--Shteyngart's is funnier, but less substantial, and does lose its potency about two-thirds of the way through. Buy them both!