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THE BIG FAT SOUTH AFRICAN JOKE BOOK (article first published : 2004-09-21)

The Big Fat South African Joke Book offers a refreshing look at South African humour in that nobody escapes the barbs. Thabo, Winnie, Manto, Mad Bob, Koos, Tony Leon … they’re all there. And there are no holds barred; this is not a book for the faint-hearted. The language is raunchy and the sexual humour uncompromising, but if you like a good story this volume has plenty of them, old and not-so-old.

In the main they’re pretty well told too with commendable brevity, the punch-lines standing up well, only occasionally cluttered with unnecessary interstices. The book is as fat as it is because it contains gags from beyond its advertised realm - Irish stories and digs at blondes spring to mind - but they are stories which are often told in South Africa and deserve a place.

As a professional stand-up comic and raconteur, I came across many a story I hadn’t heard before - and that has to be regarded as high praise.

You’ll get many a giggle out of this anthology. It is on a par with Leon Schuster’s own collection - and infinitely better than Jeremy Mansfield’s dreadful and appropriately titled Vrot Jokes which contains only about a third of the volume of material for more or less the same price.

The Big Fat South African Joke Book is a Zebra Press publication in softcover and retails at R119.95. ISBN: 186872 920 6. Enjoy! – Frank Graham




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