State of the Stacks: Unintentionally Funny Edition

Some books are supposed to be funny and some books are funny without even trying. Then there are those books that don’t necessarily look for the humor, but the laughs bubble up anyway. Whether from odd phrasing or an unbelievable twist, these are the books with lines that are impossible not to laugh at.

Read on to find out more about my laugh-out-loud encounter and other bookish updates in this week’s State of the Stacks.


Unintentionally Funny

First and foremost, The Calling by Bob Randall is about a haunted telephone. So based on that description, it’s fair to assume that this horror novel, first published in 1983, is a bit absurd. However, Randall actually makes the the ridiculous scenario a bit horrific by carefully shaping it into a classic ghost story.

Susan is plagued by mysterious phone calls. They come at all hours of the day whenever she’s alone, and the sound on the other side is always the same: absolute silence. Yet Susan can’t escape the feeling of absolute dread these calls give her— there’s something evil lurking on the other side.

There are some thrilling moments of tension littered throughout the story. Randall plays heavily with the supernatural, culminating in a small battle toward the end of the book. Perhaps because up until that point he manages to play it straight, going heavy on the realistic impending sense of doom, I was not prepared for this line:

And the phone slowly moved to the center of the room and levitated there, spewing its hot, evil-smelling flatulence.

I laughed so hard I had to stop reading.

What about you? Have you ever read a line so unintentionally hilarious you couldn’t stop laughing?


Stack Chat

I only snagged one book from Edelweiss this week, but it’s one I’m greatly looking froward to:

  • The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters

Publication Day

Only one book reviewed here celebrated its Publication Day this past week. It’s officially out in the wild, meaning you can snag your own copy at stores and libraries everywhere.


Reading About Books

If you’re not reading a book, the next best thing is reading about books. Here’s a selection of bookish news and essays I enjoyed this week:

  • At the Rio Book Biennial, the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro attempted to block the sale of an Avengers comic book which featured a kiss between two men.
  • Johnny Diamon, writing for Lit Hub, showcases how Amazon broke the sales embargo on Margaret Atwood’s sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale well before its September 10 publication date.

That’s that— the State of the Stacks.

7 thoughts on “State of the Stacks: Unintentionally Funny Edition

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