Nicholas Fonseca
November 07, 2003 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Funny Thing Is...

Current Status
In Season
Ellen DeGeneres
Comic Novels

We gave it a B+

DeGeneres is in top form with her second collection of kooky observations, whether imagining an encounter with God (”Please join me for fondue and Chablis…. No need to RSVP. I’ll know if you’re coming”) or kvetching about everyday annoyances (”Ranch dressing is always ordered ‘on the side.’ It’s the mistress of salad dressings…. Stop treating her like a whore”). A lot of this material — perhaps too much — appeared in last summer’s HBO special ”Here and Now.” And for all their hilarity, her wisecracks never quite kill in print; they’re missing her pitch-perfect cadence. Still, her strongest assets — a hard-won dignity and a softly skewed worldview — are on chuckle-inducing display throughout.

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