A gift? Yes-a gift for you. You're welcome.—from the introduction by Daniel Handler
Nonsense Novels sends up the silliest conventions of the ghost story, the detective story, the rags-to-riches story, the adventure story, the shipwreck story, and, of course, the story itself. Among other things. Here the close cultivation of cliché yields a bumper crop of absurdity and the utterly ludicrous turns up at every new twist of the tale.
This is a satirical masterpiece. Stephen Leacock was a genius.
About the Author
Stephen Leacock (1869–1944) was born in Hampshire, England, but grew up in a small town in Ontario, one of eleven children. He studied with Thorstein Veblen at the University of Chicago and later taught in the Department of Economics and Political Science at McGill University. In 1906, he composed a textbook,Elements of Political Science, which was used throughout the world, and in 1910 the publication of Literary Lapses, a collection of humorous magazine pieces, brought him fame as a comic author. Thereafter, Leacock wrote prolifically, gaining international popularity with such works as Nonsense Novels(1911), Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town (1912), and Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich (1914), as well as biographies of his literary heroes, Charles Dickens and Mark Twain. An ardent imperialist and nationalist, Leacock was in great demand as a speaker, undertaking an international tour for the Rhodes Trust in 1907 and 1908 and a Canadian tour to promote national unity in 1936. During his life he was awarded the Mark Twain Medal and the Lorne Pierce Medal from the Royal Society of Canada, among many other prizes. The Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour has been awarded annually since 1947.
Daniel Handler is the author of the novels The Basic Eight andWatch Your Mouth, and (allegedly) the sequence of children’s books A Series of Unfortunate Events, published under the name Lemony Snicket.
Praise for Nonsense Novels…
Stephen Leacock was a genius. Yes; genius. Critics are hesitant about using this word, but if it means a capacity for imaginative creation so extraordinary as sometimes to rise above what can be produced by the conscious exertion of an unusually gifted man, that was what Leacock had. If, in the realm of writing, it means individuality so striking as to provoke the admiration, envy and imitation of men themselves finely gifted…certainly Leacock had genius.
— Robertson Davies
It is an understatement to regard Leacock purely as a funmaker. The often veiled satire of his nonsense reveals a sound philosophy. He is a keen critic who, like Lewis Carroll, wraps his deeper meaning in a mantle of mirth.
— The New York Times