“Dancer on the Ceiling: More Darkly Humorous Tales” by Mark Nutter

This is a book of creative comedy, mainly based on opposites. Think of an idea that our society holds dear, and Mark will come up with a completely illogical reason to believe the opposite.

The story on Reverse Psychology is perhaps the quintessential tale of opposites, except Mark always has to go one step further than necessary. Thus, he posits the opposite of reverse psychology, which, as you may guess, isn’t psychology. The volume also includes Amish with sword canes, a casino for children, bearded whores and unlikable clowns. And many more.

The attraction of the read is the natural, irrefutable logic of his ideas. Something that is unusual is often just silly. With these ideas, you have to stop and say, “Well, if you look at it from another angle…” And then you turn the page and find that Mr. Nutter has found that angle.

Perhaps the most convoluted idea is a private detective who decides to become a murderer so he can solve the crime, then considers going the whole hog and becoming the victim as well. And it sort of works.

Of course, every reader has a different level of acceptance of creativity, and there were places where Mr. Nutter went into areas my sense of humour could not follow. For example, a rather lengthy tale about a man who farted continually did not particularly appeal to me until it appeared to me as a metaphor for Mr. Nutter’s constant output of creativity. At which point I was mildly amused.

And the last point: don’t try to read large numbers of these tales at one time. As you can tell from the deteriorating quality of this review, it could affect your sanity.

Creative humour recommended in small doses.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

About the Author: Gordon Long

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