Gary Susman
May 02, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Lamentations of the Father

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Ian Frazier
publisher
Farrar, Straus & Giroux
genre
Essays, Comic Novels

We gave it an A-

With Lamentations of the Father, his third humor anthology, Ian Frazier again proves he’s the master of the New Yorker-style parodic essay, and of elevating life’s petty irritations to epic status. Not all of these sketches, written over the past 13 years, remain fresh (one pre-9/11 piece about Osama bin Laden now seems too cavalier to be funny), but most are witty, polished gems. Warning: Frazier’s pieces are easily digestible but addictive. Reading them in the bathroom, on the subway, or in other heavy-traffic areas may force you to have to explain to others what’s making you guffaw so loudly. A-

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