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Published in Vol. Oxford: Oxford University Press, ISBN Also available as: eBook. Balancing an easy and accessible writing style with a light academic analysis, his text makes a strong contribution to contemporary humour research by outlining the dominant theories, themes and issues surrounding the study of humour. Although it will doubtlessly appeal to academics, it may be less accessible to the lay person. Although at times it can be rather dry, the historical references help to make it more interesting and readable.

This is complemented by his inclusion of a number of jokes- each serving respectively to illustrate his theoretical arguments. Skilfully blending historical and cultural elements into his overviews of humour theory, Carroll makes it clear that he wishes to make his compilation accessible to a larger readership than just those interested in humour research, and does so for the most part whilst maintaining an in-depth evaluation. Additionally, although Carroll makes it clear that his primary focus is on the incongruity theory, his treatment of alternative theories is well-balanced, giving equal space to history, reinforcement and criticism.

In his study of the attitude endorsement theory the position that being comically amused by immoral humour shows in itself an endorsement of immoral attitudes , Carroll deftly undermines the central argument of this model by illustrating the ambiguities of intention and interpretation within humour, particularly within satire and dark humour.

He sees the aim of this book as being to articulate, rather than to expand popular theories, topics and issues of humour. A Very Short Introduction to Humour will likely prove a popular text in contemporary humour scholarship, and for both the academic and the casual reader, it provides a useful resource on the foundations of humour theory. James Nixon University of Glasgow. Political Philosophy. David Miller. Brian Charlesworth , Deborah Charlesworth. Presocratic Philosophy. Dada and Surrealism. Egyptian Myth.

Very Short Introductions: Comedy by Matthew Bevis (2013, Paperback)

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