Monday, 15 of July of 2024

Last Laugh: Essays and Oddities in the News

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David W. Barber has delighted readers all around the world with the quirky definitions of Accidentals on Purpose, the irreverent history of Bach, Beethoven and the Boy, the literary acumen of Quotable Alice and The Adventure of the Sunken Parsley and a host of other internationally bestselling books of musical humor and literature. He has also been a journalist for more than three decades, both as writer and editor, first at the Kingston Whig-Standard, then as editor of Broadcast Week magazine of the Toronto Globe and Mail, as a copy editor for National Post and as a freelancer for publications as various as The New Yorker magazine, Canadian Living magazine and others. The Last Laugh brings together a collection of his short, comic and insightful essays, many of them based on quirky or unusual items from the day’s news. On topics ranging from why the stock market is like Playboy magazine to the mating habits of mynah birds to why rug shampoo makes a great shark repellant or to what the poet T.S. Eliot might have thought of Toronto’s megacity merger, Barber turns a jocular and sometimes jaded journalist’s eye to a wide variety of current events and little-known items of interest.

Some praise for The Last Laugh:

“I was delighted by these short, witty pieces by this talented writer”

– Ben Wicks, cartoonist and humorist.

“I enjoyed these pieces enormously. I never do the short run myself, since that is very much a newspaper rather  than a magazine format, and I am delighted to see that my most familiar approach actually works over the sprint.”

– Alan Coren
former editor of Punch magazine, author of The Sanity Inspector