genre humor

The Great Passage

“An award-winning story of love, friendship, and the power of human connection. Kohei Araki believes that a dictionary is a boat to carry us across the sea of words. But after thirty-seven years of creating dictionaries, it’s time for him to retire and find his replacement.

He discovers a kindred spirit in Mitsuya Majime—a young, disheveled square peg with a penchant for collecting antiquarian books and a background in linguistics—whom he swipes from his company’s sales department.

Along with an energetic, if reluctant, new recruit and an elder linguistics scholar, Majime is tasked with a career-defining accomplishment: completing The Great Passage, a comprehensive 2,900-page tome of the Japanese language. On his journey, Majime discovers friendship, romance, and an incredible dedication to his work, inspired by the words that connect us all.”

(A special thank you to Dr. Carol McCrea, the mother of one of our book club admins for the suggestion.)

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The Family Mansion

“Bringing history to life via the quixotic character of Hartley Fudges is an impressive enough feat, but it is Winkler's uncanny ability to add uproarious humor to this shameful history that sets The Family Mansion apart from the standard fare of historical fiction.

Winkler may be the best novelist you've never heard of with a brilliant, irreverent recasting of Europe's colonization of Jamaica. This lyrical and engaging novel transports readers to his native country’s sugar cane plantations in the tumultuous years before the abolition of slavery.

The Family Mansion tells the story of Hartley Fudges, whose personal destiny unfolds against the backdrop of 19th-century British culture, a time when English society was based upon the strictest subordination and stratification of the classes. Hartley's decision to migrate to Jamaica at the age of 23 seems sensible at first. But for all its fabulous wealth, Jamaica was a difficult and inhospitable place for an immigrant. The complex saga of Hartley's life is revealed in vivid scenes that depict the vicissitudes of 19th-century English and Jamaican societies.

‘The Family Mansion is written with the comic sensibility of Wodehouse and the insightful social comment of Orwell.’ -Midwest Book Review

‘Winkler's fiction magics the island into a place of rough-edged enchantment.’
-The Independent

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The Duppy

“‘Every country (if she’s lucky) gets the Mark Twain she deserves, and Winkler is ours, bristling with savage Jamaican wit’ -Marlon James
 
Being dead is most definitely an impediment to writing a book, under ordinary circumstances. But the narrator of this novel, Taddeus Augustus Baps, has turned into a duppy—a ghost renowned in Caribbean folklore—and he has a story to tell.
 
At first, he thinks that his new status as a spirit will provide some mischievous fun, but he’s in for disappointment. He gets whisked off to heaven—via minibus—where he meets not only God but some other interesting characters, and finds that the afterlife can be more irritating than one might expect . . .
 
This smart, rollicking, and ultimately uplifting tale is a delight from the prize-winning author of The Lunatic and other comic novels. As The Independent said of Anthony Winkler’s work, “It’s almost as if P. G. Wodehouse had strolled into the world of Bob Marley.’”

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Down the Rabbit Hole

While more of a novella than a novel at 97 pages, this book was shortlisted for the 2011 Guardian First Book Award and the awarded the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize.

"A pint-size novel about innocence, beastliness and a child learning the lingo in a drug wonderland. Funny, convincing, appalling, it's a punch-packer for one so small." - Famed author, Ali Smith

"Tochtli lives in a palace. He loves hats, samurai, guillotines, and dictionaries, and what he wants more than anything right now is a new pet for his private zoo: a pygmy hippopotamus from Liberia. But Tochtli is a child whose father is a drug baron on the verge of taking over a powerful cartel, and Tochtli is growing up in a luxury hideout that he shares with hit men, prostitutes, dealers, servants, and the odd corrupt politician or two. Down the Rabbit Hole, a masterful and darkly comic first novel, is the chronicle of a delirious journey to grant a child's wish."

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