Monday, October 9, 2017

Book Review: 'The Winter Laugh Book' by Fay Jacobs

Delaware author Fay Jacobs presents a collection of ‘Fay’s Favorites’ gleaned from her career as a humor columnist and from her successful books series— As I Lay Frying, Fried & True, For Frying Out Loud, Time Fries, and Aging Gracelessly: 50 Shades of Fay.

If ever there were a time for the release of this book that time is right now! Fay Jacobs is a treasure - a combination of Mark Twain, Lily Tomlin, Gertrude Stein, and Laurel and Hardy all wrapped up in one fine writer and humorist. Who knew all the ins and outs of the life in Rehoboth Beach? It is as pungent as diaries from Provincetown and West Hollywood and Fire Island with a solid dollop of laughter thrown in for good measure.

Jacobs take everyday occurrences that feed her columns and dishes them out like piquant soufflés at whose core dwells the humor that can be found in almost everything. Her take on politics (at times acerbic but with very good reason...), on interpersonal relationships, on life's embarrassing moments, and on simple observations of how people react to the world and to news of the day and to each other provides a much-needed grounding. How this talented observer can turn sow's ears into silk purses is wonderfully puzzling and at all times entertaining. But another aspect of her writing is the manner in which she embraces her own sexuality and hence the sexuality of this apparently skewed population of Rehoboth Beach and makes it so very normal and universal, never for a moment biting or moaning about injustices or prejudices, but instead replacing those tendencies with down home humor.

A little example – ‘Learning to Crawl’ – ‘I have now spent more money on one room in my house than on any other. And it’s not even a room. It’s the crawl space. Cue the scary music. How I came to own a home with something called a crawl space is beyond me. What am I, from the Addams Family? Just the thought of the space and what could crawl in it makes me nuts. And I’m sure nobody is surprised I’ve never actually crawled into the crawl space to take a look at what’s crawling around down there. But that scary space beneath my home has, over the years, seen more inspections than Iraq’s nuclear facilities…etc’

We need a lot of Fay Jacobs around, but sense she is a unique lady we must all grab her books and .... breathe! Grady Harp, January 17

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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